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Content Publication and Sharing: The Importance of Distribution Channels and Protecting Your Brand

Content distribution

Day 2 of ad:tech NY was all about content. One of the top sessions from the day, Revolving Distribution Channels: Where Are You Publishing Content?, was led by Adam Hirsch, the Global EVP for Edelman Digital and featured panelists Emily Gray, VP of Revenue Products at Refinery29, Adam Weinroth, the CMO of OneSpot, Brian Hunt, the EVP and Head of Development at Believe Entertainment Group, and Tina Wung, the Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

These distinguished marketing executives started by sharing their best elevator pitches; one highlight includes Tina’s three strategic marketing pillars – data, the use of a content factory (“the idea that content comes from everywhere” such as co-creators and even consumers, an idea which will be touched on later), and the importance of being mobile-led.

Then we were off to the races. Adam of OneSpot insisted that his company always strives for repeat engagement, and that to deliver the most and best content brands should try content sequencing. Content sequencing “uses real-time data to deliver content to consumers by their online history, interests, etc.” He does caution that even if a lot of people are clicking your content though that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s being read, viewed, or understood. “Clicks are not relationships. They are single moments of engagement.”

Emily of Refinery29 knows that a lot of people won’t necessarily come to her website, which she referred to as “the mothership.” To appeal to a variety readers, they publish content on a wide variety of channels. Refinery29 publishes some targeted articles exclusively on the site for loyalists, and their content published to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat doesn’t appear elsewhere. This allows her and her company to reach a broader audience without repeat content.

Read More: How to improve your reach with targeted, shareable content.

On paying to test content on certain platforms, the speakers agreed that it has its place. Tina of Anheuser-Busch InBev mentioned that working for a beer company she would sometimes pay to advertise to related industries like music and sports. Anheuser-Busch InBev also occasionally uses native ads; “You blur the lines between paid exposure and owned exposure,” she said.

“Becoming a world class content-creating publisher is not easy to do,” Brian reminded the audience. “Everyone thinks that they can make stuff,” he added, but for that “stuff” to succeed, it needs to be relevant, it must connect and resonate with the audience, and good partners are needed to spread the content.

Once that “stuff” (your content) is out there, how do you keep it safe? That was the prime point of discussion at Friday morning’s first keynote called Protecting Your Protected Branded Content led by Vejay Lalla. The panel included Brian Killen, the founder and CEO of visual Internet platform Resolution Foundry, Jeremy Levine, the SVP of Digital Sales with LiveNation, and James Mazlen, Senior Counsel with AMC Networks.

Brian Killen, Jeremy Levine, and James Mazlen discuss protecting your branded content at ad:tech NY.
Brian Killen, Jeremy Levine, and James Mazlen discuss how to protect your branded content at ad:tech NY.

Although it would seem like copyright law is on the side of these professionals, Jeremy said that that’s just not so. “The number one thing is there is no one structure right now… media companies are all figuring it out.” At Live Nation he seProtecting your contentes legal issues all the time, such as torrenting music and people bringing live recording devices to concerts. He mentioned how some artists, like Katy Perry, are completely accepting of technology’s ability to capture all nuances of a live show, but other bands and artists strictly prohibit recording devices.

James spoke exclusively of how fans have treated one of AMC’s big shows, The Walking Dead. He recalled a recent early season premiere event hosted at New York’s Madison Square Garden. He obviously didn’t want people recording the premiere and sharing it online. “That created a kind of tightrope principle in that we want our fans to have fun and we want them to come see our premiere… we had 18,000 people at the Garden for this premiere.” but he did say that people did bring out their smartphones to try to record a clip or two. Security acted accordingly.

Brian’s brand Resolution Foundry combs the Internet for fraudulent images of his client’s products. He noted how easy it is for someone to post a picture of a fake Coach bag on Pinterest, for example, with a link to a site that looks like a legit Coach site but is also fraudulent; this content can spread like wildfire.

“When you move away from fraud, you really give marketers a choice of how content is being used. Marketing content is something that we want to help brands. 8 out of 10 images have no brand…. There are so many unbranded images where consumers don’t even know what it is,” he said.

So, just how do these professionals suggest keeping your content safe on the Internet, where most people think they can take almost anything and try to make it their own?

James says that he uses licensing to determine if a fan can sell a Walking Dead t-shirt with fan art on it. Cease-and-desists may be sent out to the offending ISP, which could result in civil penalties or citations if ignored. He pushes for educating the younger demographic about what’s okay and not okay in terms of using someone else’s content. “You have to point them in the right direction and say, ‘we’re not gonna sue you, but we’re gonna show you how you can obtain the content legally.'”


Nicole M Nicole M is a professional writer who is passionate about entertainment, food, marketing, and relationship writing. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her turtle and plugging in and old school video game console.  

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