The panelists were:
Rick Kurnit (Moderator/RK) - Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
Glenn Hall (GH) - Managing Editor, TheBlaze.com; Fmr. SVP and Editor-in-Chief, TheStreet.com; Fmr. Chief Innovation Officer, The Orange County Register; Fmr. Managing Editor (Washington) Bloomberg News
Eason Jordan (EJ) - General Manager, NowThisNews; Fmr. Exec in Charge of Newsgathering, CNN
Robert Rasmussen (RR) - Chief Creative Officer, Story Worldwide
Rebecca Sanhueza (RS) - Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Director of Business Affairs, TV and Video at Time Inc.
1. What's next in the movement to finance content through brand support?
2. Response to Andrew Sullivan, launched a subscription-only website, being aghast at brands sponsoring stories?
3. Will major content creators survive? If so, what will be the role of advertisers? Will it be based on original content or content aggregation?
Glenn Hall (GH) pointed out that the original business model of media depended on scarcity, generated by monopolies and exclusivity. Now there is an abundance and ubiquity of media.
Eason Jordan (EJ):
NowThisNews.com is positioned as the video news destination for the social mobile generation. In contrast, the average viewer on CNN is 63 years old.
The business model is primarily syndication and ad revenue. There is, however, no preroll ads because the consumer experience comes first, and preroll violates that approach. His feeling: you can't force feed consumers advertising.
Re: the question about Andrew Sullivan, EJ felt that Andrew Sullivan is not against sponsored content entirely, but feels that it has to be appropriately flagged.
He is also looking to his audience as the final arbiter and distributor of his content. Regarding social advertising – If the content is not worth sharing, then it shouldn't be shown to the NowThisNews audience in the first place.
Robert Rasmussen (RR) took a marketer’s approach to the question of content, commerce and brands. He felt that Nike provided inspirational content to differentiate products. The result was a two-way relationship between the brands and consumers: "Brands do something for consumers and consumers do something for brands"
Scott Kurnit (SK) feels that everyone wants to obfuscate the line between content and advertising. Regardless, the effort by advertisers to view advertising as content will backfire. He expects that the backlash will be so severe that the effort will self-regulate itself because people will shy away from it.
GH pointed out that media companies that Hall that have credibility with their audiences can partner with advertisers. For example, people who serve as the voice of the content can include credible advertiser messages without necessarily sacrificing credibility, an approach which is certain common on radio.
RK pointed out that branded entertainment is a large business. For example, fashion advertising is generally viewed as content – it tells consumers what's in style. Furthermore, brands can get credibility as a trusted contented provider – the examples cited were Dove and Nike.