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Audiences watch less TV as they grow younger, says Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz

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CANNES: Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz is noticing the emergence of short format content. “This side of business is growing at double digits,” he said during his keynote at the ongoing MIPCOM 2014.

According to Kreiz, consumption habits are changing. “There is a massive shift from linear to online,” he added. Citing a survey, he said that while 12-24 year olds watch one third less linear TV than adults aged between 25 and 49, it is less than half of what adults aged 50-65 watch.“It’s not that they watch more as they grow older, but that they watch less as they grow younger,” said Kreiz.

Talking about Maker’s acquisition by Disney he said, “Disney being the number one company of the world and Maker being the largest short form company, we both had to do something to remain relevant. So for Disney, this gives an opportunity to extend their business to short form, while for us, this gives the opportunity to move to traditional media.”

The reach of Maker Studios and Disney taken together is third only to Google and Facebook.

“The current generation of kids hasn’t grown up with TV, the way we did. Kids control what they want to watch, where, why and how. Against this, there is a demographic which is hard to find,” he added.

Millennial kids watch 50 per cent more video online as compared to others. So the big question is how do they reach them? Said Kreiz, “When we say short form, it is a different medium in which you make, monetise, consume and market content. There is a difference in movies and TV and TV and short form.”

Talking about the duration of the short formats he said, “If you take the top 100 properties in the US, right from Google to Netflix to Amazon etc, the average duration of content is 4 minutes. And this doesn’t include mobile, this is just desktop.”

According to a study conducted by Netflix, almost 90 per cent of Netflix content consumed on mobile is 10 minutes of duration. “Maker specialises in the genre, which started off as a group that wanted to build the DNA of a media company that understood content in short form and that’s what separates the company from the rest,” he opined.

Kreiz feels that Maker inspires expressions, while also entertaining global audiences. “We enable global brands to engage with the millennial audience,” he added.   

Maker currently has 55,000 creators in more than 100 countries. “It’s a large network of people creating content. But we put great emphasis on quality of content. We get 10,000 to 15,000 people who want to join the network, of which we take 100 people every day,” he said.

According to Kreiz, what makes their work exciting is that they are inventing a new medium. “Everyone in the company is a Maker. With Disney we can accelerate growth and become mainstream,” he expressed hopefully.

Talking about advertisement, he said, “In some cases the CPM we get is higher than TV. But this is a nascent industry. We are in the business of monetising advertising inventory. The growth is in double digits and a lot of credit for this goes to YouTube.”

As per Kreiz, advertisers are now moving 10-25 per cent of the TV advertising budgets to digital. “We can monetise in several ways which could be through ad integration, branded entertainment amongst others. We have created our own platform to bring a market place which brings the advertisers and makers together.”

While everyone is running behind the millennials, they are running behind content. The challenge for most of the platforms is to remain relevant. “With Disney, we feel we are at a good place to achieve it,” concluded Kreiz.  

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