On the digital side, Scripps Networks hired a data scientist “to parse that data so we can make it available to advertisers, and also through the exchange,” said Beth Lawrence, EVP of digital ad sales. Those data insights will add on to existing Scripps offerings, including recently launched ingredient targeting. A CPG brand can place an ad right next to a recipe calling for the product.
Scripps Networks prides itself on the first-party data it collects. For the HGTV Dream House, it received 94 million entries (people can enter more than once), which included age, email address and gender. Those entries generate valuable leads for partners, and valuable first-party data for the media company.
“We get asked this year more than ever, ‘What kind of data do you have? What can you apply? How can I use it to help my brand’s business?’ They perk up about the first-party data sets,” Lawrence said.
When brands add data and attribution to the mix, Steinlauf said he expects it to prove out a belief Scripps Network held when he joined 15 years ago: that it delivers an engagement audience receptive to advertising.
“The gut feeling then was that because people are watching programming in their passions [and] interests,” he said, “they’re more prone to learning about products seamless to the content experience.”
The Cross-Platform Challenge
If video is video, no matter where it’s consumed, Scripps wants to make sure its video content and brand are everywhere.
“The evolution of media consumption has made it more difficult to reach customers,” CRO Steve Gigliotti said.
“Creating and owning premium content for every platform is more important than ever,” Lawrence said. “That’s why we’ve done deals with Dish and Snapchat and Sling and with our desktop offering.”
Scripps Networks’ distribution includes not only TV, but apps (where a user authenticates via cable provider), digital video network Ulive and the sites themselves, where it often creates after-show content.
For the time being, Scripps Networks divides its sellers between those that sell linear television and digital. Digital includes everything that doesn’t count as linear: websites, apps and Ulive, as well as recorded television or app views after C3, or three days of time-shifted viewing.
While some networks might bundle digital together during upfronts, that’s not the case for Scripps Networks. “Digital video is so valuable in the scatter market, we don’t push it out through the upfront,” Lawrence said.