Why Short-Form Video Content Is the Best Way To Tap Into Consumer Emotions: Q&A With Loop Media
“The content must be short-form and very engaging…music videos are the original form of premium short-form content that work well in almost any venue.”
Early in his career, Jon Niermann, CEO and co-founder, Loop Media, saw the rise of out-of-home (OOH) to digital out-of-home (DOOH). He founded this short-form video platform in 2016 to meet the growing consumer appetite for short-form video content from music videos and films to games and TV trailers, streamlining the public-to-private viewing experience.
In this edition of MarTalk Buzz, Niermann shares how popular hospitality, dining, and retail venues can keep consumers engaged while adhering to the social distancing rules. He discusses the new opportunities short-form video streaming platforms provide small and medium sized retailers for targeting ads. Niermann also talks about how Loop TV differentiates its offerings from the premium charging competitors such as Quibi vs free platforms such as YouTube.
Key takeaways on how short-form video content is a great way to engage customers:
- The key thing is to customize and personalize your venue with a mood that is engaging and relevant to the experience.
- Playing the right music is a terrific way to create the right atmosphere when engaging your customers and getting them to come back.
- As 40% of YouTube views are for music videos, it is a very relevant form of content for engaging audience.
Here’s the edited transcript from our exclusive interview with Jon Niermann:
1. From capacity limits to masks and curfews, retailers and restaurants are faced with new challenges when the economy is about to reopen. In your opinion, how can reopened businesses keep consumers engaged while adhering to the social distancing rules?
By helping them leave their worries behind. It is always what I loved about Disney theme parks – once you enter one of their parks, you forget any of your real life worries for a few hours. These days more than ever, people need that sense of escape. We appreciate more what we always took for granted like simply being able to go to a restaurant. So, when we are there, we want to feel better. Venues using entertainment on their screens and playing the right music is a terrific way to create the right atmosphere when engaging your customers and getting them to come back. Who wants to see CNN or some boring show or doomsday reporting on TV screens when out and about? That is not escaping! But being immersed in great music, beautiful landscape or travel drone footage or seeing people do wacky thing via goofy bloopers sets the perfect tone for a nice evening out where you can just chill and have fun trying to feel normal again.
2. In the new digital retail paradigm, customer experience will be paramount to scale businesses. Which are the specific types of streaming content that retailers can leverage to improve customer experience?
The content must be short-form and very engaging. No one wants to be bored or must pay too much attention. Streaming a Netflix documentary or movie is not good at a public venue. First, it is all about the proper music. And then, if you can see the music, that is even better! People love to watch their favorite artists or any colorful music video. Music videos are the original form of premium short-form content that work well in almost any venue. Especially when sporting events are not happening. But if you aren’t able to play music, say like in a doctor’s office or parking garage or other public screens, you can still use atmospheric content such as drone footage of landmarks, countries, cities, and landscapes. The key thing is to customize and personalize your venue with a mood that is engaging and relevant to the experience.
3. With the launch of HBO Max, the streaming landscape has become quite crowded. In what tangible ways, Loop TV differentiates its offerings from the premium charging competitors, such as Quibi vs free platforms such as YouTube?
Loop is all about premium short-form content 5 minutes or less. No one else does that. Quibi is investing a ton of money into original content created by big names. Our approach is the polar opposite. We have built a video library of over 500,000 licensed short videos that are a perfect fit for any public venues. Think of it as a video Spotify. As 40% of YouTube views are for music videos, it is a very relevant form of content to curate on a consumer app in a social and engaging way. The rest of YouTube is largely user generated content, so it is not premium but it’s fun to watch in short bites. So, Loop stands out in this sense as we have content for both OOH by bringing a streaming model to public venues and in-home by providing both a consumer app as well as linear channels.
4. In a study, Deloitte reported that short-form video online content cannot usurp long-form traditional television. “It is a future, but not the future, and it is unlikely ever to be the predominant video format, as measured by hours watched or revenues.” What new opportunities short-form video streaming platforms provide small and medium sized retailers for targeting ads that generate revenue, while their deep-pocketed competitors are emerging?
Public venues generate billions of impressions of viewership per year combined in the U.S. That is valuable captive audience screen time for advertisers who can very clearly target certain audiences and demographics depending on the venue, whether you are a bar, retail stores, bowling alley, airport, etc. Of course, long form will never go away – we like to sit home or go out (when we can again) and watch movies or TV shows. But our society will only get busier and offer more ways to watch content, and people have shorter attention spans and look for pockets of time each day to take a break or get a distraction from work even if it’s 5-10 minutes. That is why short form will always be key and have a place in the ecosystem. And for small and medium sized retailers, content on their screens along with the ability to promote in-store via digital signage just gets more important by the day to draw and retain customers.
5. Considering the diversity and cultural nuances across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions, the live streaming market is highly fragmented and cluttered. While, streaming platforms expect a premium, which content consumption metrics can retailers put their ad dollars on as per the region wise split?
It is more about the vibe and atmosphere they are trying to create. Surf shops are entirely different than health stores or nail salons. An Indian restaurant clearly has a different feel than an Italian restaurant. So, you must let venue owners become program directors for their venues. Just turning on cable or satellite channels does not offer them that ability to customize. So, services like Loop are emerging to allow them to customize the entertainment in their venues for all opening hours.
6. In 2020, media experts predict that streaming media services that started as ad-free will move to an advertising model (more or less). With this, NBCUniversal’s Peacock adopted an advertising model to generate revenue. How do you view this change in narrative impacting the streaming media services industry? Which levers will Loop TV apply in the future to build its revenue model?
Loop does both advertising video on demand (AVOD) and subscription video on demand (SVOD). Advertising versions or apps are always the most popular because they are usually free to consumers. But they typically have more limited content or features than subscription. For us, we want to offer both to be able to fit a consumer or venue’s desires and budgets. It also allows us to have multiple revenue streams both in and out of home. But it is about providing a solution for the end user that is engaging and they are happy using.
7. In your conversations with advertisers and retailers, what trends are emerging as they enter the phased reopening of the economies?
Advertisers and retailers have taken big hits during COVID-19. It will take awhile to re-build, but they will get there. Costs are a big concern. So why would a public venue pay 3-4 times the price for cable or satellite when they don’t really use it often on their screens properly, and they could get more relevant content and signage that they control for way less cost? Advertisers need to be able to target more directly now as well, so they are looking for smart digital plays that more directly reach the consumer as opposed to throwing the net wide. People should be more prudent with their budgets, but they still need to reach the consumers. Using targeted short-form content and advertising around that is a trend that we believe will continue to grow.
About Jon Niermann:
Jon Niermann is CEO and co-founder of Loop Media, Inc. With over 30 years of media and technology industry experience working with teams at both the corporate and startup level, he is uniquely and consistently able to bring vision, expertise, and innovation to every endeavor. Niermann’s 15 years with The Walt Disney Company (TWC) saw his rise from a marketing representative for the Disney Channel to Managing Director & President, Walt Disney Asia, where he managed teams and offices across 16 countries and oversaw the fastest growing sector of Disney’s global empire. Following a successful run with TWC, Niermann spent seven years as President, Electronic Arts Asia, where he helped convert the company’s business from a packaged goods to digital model. After sitting at the helm of two of the largest corporate entities in Asia, Niermann left the corporate world to start FarWest Entertainment. He later co-founded Loop Media in 2016, shortly after moving back to CA after 15 years in Asia.
About Loop Media:
Loop Media, Inc., is an innovative premium streaming media company building products and solutions for both businesses and consumers. Loop improves the entire viewing experience for premium short-form content by focusing on venues and consumers in the evolving frontier of digital out-of-home. Loop’s growing library can be viewed on leading branded media and entertainment sites and on over-the-top TV platforms and IPTV devices.
About MarTalk Buzz:
MarTalk Buzz is an interview series where marketing leaders and marketing technology companies that are making a difference, connect with us and share their stories. Join us as we talk to them about their product journeys, insights on the categories they serve, what works for them, and some bonus pro-tips.