Burda exec talks video strategy and what it takes to make good video

Fink spoke to FIPP writer Jon Watkins.

There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of video. What is your view?

My personal standpoint is that video is the number one content right now. The definition of video for the future is not typical video as we know it now, though. When I see the great platforms like Snapchat, for younger groups, it is mostly video. Video will have a dominant position in the future. 

How is the business structured to take advantage of these opportunities?

We had a lot of different teams and activities in the editorial environment. For example, on Bunte we had one team that was responsible for producing editorial for video. We had another team that produced corporate video for other clients.

So we brought those together to give ourselves scalability, to share experience among the teams and to grow the business. We did that last year and we have launched it as a company called Bunte Studios. Within that business we also have our TV rights division and a paid-TV video food channel – so the division is all about the moving image. 

Another benefit is that we are building a consistency into our video work and it allows us to raise the quality and the standard of what we are producing.

What are he principles of good video in your business and what ‘type’ of video do you create?

There are really only three areas of focus in this business. You license material, you produce your own material, which is more expensive and there is not an endless supply, or you use existing material which is either free or for which you pay under a shared revenue model. 

In our case, there is a balance to be struck between these three major types of video – how many can we afford to make versus how many we create from existing content etc. 

In terms of our production values, we are keen to produce exclusive, quality content where we can charge a premium in the market, and there is a range of CPM in relation to the quality of the material. At the end of the day, if you want to achieve €22-25 CPM, then you have to offer high-quality content. 

We talk a lot about moving pictures with magazine content. We think about the content rather than the video footage and that is the ethos we embed in our video producers. Content in the future has a lot to do with moving pictures and there is an opportunity to enter this market with a brand attitude and a content attitude that this publishing house has had for many years.

You cater a lot for female audiences. Does that affect the way you create video?

In my view, there are no major differences in the quality of video you produce for males and females, but we do of course create exclusive content created specifically for female target groups. In our business, there is no doubt that if we are producing video for the Paris or Milan fashion shows, then we must be producing exclusive content that they cannot get elsewhere, including from PR companies etc.

What is your thoughts and approach to native video advertising?

My view is that if you are successful in telling stories, through editorial and through video, then there is no reason why you cannot bridge the gap between advertising and editorial to tell the stories for brands. 

That is how we try to interact with brands. We find interesting angles and we try to ensure we tell those stories in an editorial way – just as we would with non-commercial content. There is a long way to go – because it is a new business – but it is an interesting future. 

We set a goal for this year to build the business on producing content for our websites, as a production company producing content, and to achieve a certain level of ROI from licensing content to other partners.

So how do you grow the business from here?

The next step for growth is to grow our central studio. The name Bunte gives us very strong access and we can produce high-quality TV content as well as very fast, high-quality video content. 

Therefore, we want to develop the partnerships we have with studios and we want to continue producing high-speed web videos. The studio will enable us to bring our expertise and our production qualities together to do more.

Jon Watkins has held a range of editorial positions at a number of content agencies and writes on the regularly on issues facing the content industry.

Interested in what’s happening globally? Get more with FIPP Insight.

The Burda story will be one of several case studies in our new FIPP Insight Special Report on global video trends, due for release later this month. 

Packed with data, analysis and case studies, the report will be the first of six in-depth reports on World Media Trends to be released through 2015. The report will be available on FIPP.com to members and non-members, free of charge. In the meantime, feel free to contact FIPP’s head of Insight, Helen Bland.

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