NYT’s T Brand Studio focused on big ideas, not frequency

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two people drawing t brand studio logo on wall

Cheif Revenue Officer explains lessons learned at T Brand Studio

Can branded content – aka Sponsored Content, Paid Posts etc. – stop the declines happening at The New York Times? Meredith Kopit Levien, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at the Times talked about innovative ideas at T Brand Studio. “So much of our work now is also driven by the work that goes into the space they buy from us” she said, in an interview with Drew Neisser.  According to Levien, T Brand Studio’s branded content enterprise solutions “can essentially solve any problem a marketer has”.

According to The New York Times Company 2016 Annual Report,despite an $11.7 million increase in digital advertising revenues, the Times was down $69.6 million in print advertising revenue compared to 2015.

The same report states lower profit margin on newer advertising forms such as branded content and video advertising.

“The margin on revenues from some of these newer advertising forms tends to be lower than the margin on revenues we generate from our print advertising and traditional digital display advertising.” – The New York Times Company 2016 Annual Report

Reach and frequency have been key ingredients in successful marketing campaigns. Meredith said things have changed “content is so ubiquitous… to break through it’s not that you have to do more, it’s that you have to do something really really great”. She predicts “you’ll see more ‘GREAT’ over ‘often’ defining branded content.”

The challenge with customized content solutions is it’s hard to scale. And it needs a lot of resources to execute. The important question will be whether the ‘big ideas’ can achieve the ROI marketers are looking for.