‘We can be agile and evolve’: News UK is quickly growing a 7-figure incremental revenue stream from social video
At News UK, branded social video content is pulling its own weight. The news group has grown a seven-figure incremental revenue stream over the last eight months, thanks to the increasing appetite for campaigns delivered via social video.
Last November, the publisher launched a social video branded content product, Social Studio, for its tabloid title The Sun that sits within its suite of products under its branded content studio, The Bridge. Following that success, it’s offering the same product for its other title, The Times of London under the same Social Studio name.
The product was launched with three goals in mind: To build a sustainable revenue stream, to change the mindset of agencies and clients that the publisher can be agile and to build a product that aligns News UK with a different competitive set, such as social-first publishers like LadBible and Jungle Creations, said Joanna Carrigan, head of commercial content for News UK. The publisher claims a social audience of 2.5 million viewers across The Times and Sunday Times and 18 million across all its titles.
“We have audiences to compete with [social-first publishers],” she said. “We’re also proud of our heritage but we can be agile and evolve, and we have. This gives [Social Studio] a clear identity and lands that message with clients: Come to us if you’ve got a brief for social.”
All branded content briefs come through News UK’s branded content studio The Bridge, which has previously created campaigns that are distributed on social platforms, mostly starting out on its own site before being edited for social. While these campaigns will have the tone of The Times, the execution is different, all publishers now, for instance, have to use programs like Zoom while remote working. News UK wouldn’t share the headcount for The Bridge Studio, but the Social Studio product has one dedicated sales lead. The number of briefs containing Social Studio has grown but the publisher wouldn’t share by how much.
The first campaign from The Times Social Studio features a seven-minute makeup tutorial video where Estée Lauder makeup artist Emma Tillman offers advice via Zoom for Sunday Times’ Style magazine beauty director Sarah Jossel, shopping the brand’s new moisturizer product. The one-off video was first launched on The Sunday Times Style YouTube channel and pushed across its Facebook and Instagram channels. The video had 3,400 YouTube video views at the time of writing. In a good week, The Sunday Times Style YouTube channel reaches between 100,000 and 150,000 video views across all videos, according to SocialBlade analytics.
During the pandemic when marketing budgets have frozen, publishers have experienced an uptick in shorter-form, quickly completed social branded content campaigns, with lower production costs and multimedia flourishes. While quicker to produce, they naturally fetch lower prices tags, typically below $25,000, according to sources. News UK would not say how much it’s charging.
“All client spend is under a microscope,” said Charlotte Taylor, senior group trading director (publishing & audio) at Publicis agency Spark Foundry. “We need to ensure budgets are spent as best they can, [budgets] are all over the place at the moment, clients don’t seem to be looking the long term.”
The goal for Social Studio is a 10-day turnaround from campaign booking to going live, although Estée Lauder took 14 days due to delays caused by remote working. “The shorter the lead time, the better because budgets are so reactive for branded content,” said Taylor, adding News UK’s offer seems a good opportunity for the agency’s clients. “Ten days for sign off approval feels pretty fair.”
“When we have led with Social Studio as a response to a reactive or proactive proposal it’s landed really well with clients,” said Charlie Celino, sales lead for The Times Social Studio. “Across every campaign, it’s led to incremental revenue driven by further distribution, print execution or further existing on our digital platforms. It’s been a real door opener with clients we haven’t worked with in the past.”
Over 50% of the campaigns since launch have been with clients it hasn’t previously worked with. Campaigns that come in just for social video expand into other distribution. As such, it views this revenue stream as incremental to the existing branded content offering. Via The Sun, it’s run 14 videos. Going forward, it has three campaigns booked and two in the pipeline.
“As brands are starting to find their feet again we are seeing confidence return and briefs increasing,” said Carrigan. “The uncertainty absolutely resulted in a couple of months that were difficult across the entire industry, but we’re seeing clients recognizing the importance of continuing to invest in their brand at a time when people need reassurance from the brands they know and trust.”
Magna 2023 forecast paints a resilient U.S. market, thanks to retail media and streaming
In its latest ad forecast, Magna is expecting a resilient U.S. market this year – boosted by retail, streaming and the auto industry’s bounceback.
How agencies are shaping the future of DEI beyond their own walls
Agencies are acknowledging that diversity efforts don’t stop with their companies. In addition to improving employee representation, now agency efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion are aimed at supporting clients and external partners.
Newsletter publishers say they continue to see uptick in revenue despite advertising slowdown
At a time when larger media companies are feeling the pressure of the economic downturn and advertising slowdown, newsletter businesses continue to be in a period of revenue growth.
SponsoredHow advertisers are leveraging omnichannel attribution and measurement to power CTV
Sponsored by MNTN Connected TV advertising has joined and expanded the larger ecosystem of campaigns that advertisers deploy. As such, omnichannel marketing strategies now encompass television and mobile devices, tablets and other screens such as out-of-home. And as customers engage across these different touchpoints, brands are seeking and moving their measurement and analytics efforts to […]
TikTok’s CEO faces bipartisan skepticism in first Congressional hearing on security concerns
The hearing comes amid calls to remove TikTok from government devices and in some cases even ban it entirely.
Media Briefing: What to expect at the Digiday Publishing Summit
As DPS draws nearer, top pain points for publishers are coming to light.