They see its massive audience reach, inherent sharability factor and tools like the Video Rights Manager to crack down on freebooting as mere side bonuses.
“Because we’re able to deliver a guaranteed audience against the content we create specifically for each channel on Facebook, our largest growth in pure revenue is coming out of our studios and our sales efforts around branded content,” Stephanopoulos said.
But because NowThis doesn’t own the sites that its video content lives on, it does not have total control over revenue-driving opportunities. This reality is where NowThis’ commitment to constant testing comes in handy.
“You’re beholden to the environment and how they’re introducing monetization experiences, but Facebook is continually incentivizing publishers to try and bring quality content to the platform,” Stephanopoulos said.
He expects Facebook’s new or upcoming video experiences like Live, 360-degree video and virtual reality to continue to drive audiences to the platform.
“Whenever there’s an opportunity around video, we’ll kick the tires and iterate,” Stephanopoulos said. “That’s our mantra: Test, fail fast and iterate.”
While NowThis’ core strategy revolves around creating engaging clips (i.e., usually under one minute and subtitled for muted environments) for Facebook and Snapchat audiences, it is also looking to branch out.
It is beta testing an email newsletter and is exploring new ways to integrate video into one-to-one experiences, whether through messaging apps or chatbots.
NowThis will also create a six-party video series focused on education in America with a star of HBO’s “Girls,” Allison Williams, as well as an episodic music series called Jam Sesh, both of which will live cross-platform, according to Christian Tom, NowThis VP of sales.
Despite its dive into series-based programming, NowThis will stick to the short-form script.
“We will probably never break two minutes even if we did long-form,” Stephanopoulos added. “We want to be the source of short-form, quick, digestible pieces of content you get throughout the day.”