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Big Questions: Juliet Corsinita on Media Partnerships & Streaming TV

4 MINUTE READ | February 28, 2024

Big Questions: Juliet Corsinita on Media Partnerships & Streaming TV

Big Questions: Juliet Corsinita on Media Partnerships & Streaming TV

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Just after the Super Bowl saw record-breaking viewership, we connected with PMG Head of Convergent Video & Audio Juliet Corsinita about what's recently captured her attention amid the streaming wars and 'great re-bundling' and how the future of TV is taking shape across media providers and platforms. With more than 25 years of experience in client- and agency-side media and marketing, Juliet is one of the industry’s leading voices on the importance of innovative partnership strategies, thanks to her expertise in leading brands through the ever-evolving maze of screen-agnostic, premium video. 

Before joining PMG via our acquisition of Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media, she worked at Taco Bell as the Vice President of Media and Brand Partnerships, where she secured Taco Bell’s coveted spot as the official quick-serve restaurant (QSR) for the NBA and MLB, transforming the brand and driving its sales across locations to new heights. 

This is ‌likely too coincidental, but coming off a record-breaking Super Bowl viewership (the most-watched ever!) with 123.4 million viewers, I’d say the state of the TV landscape is still strong. Granted, the Super Bowl is a one-of-a-kind cultural phenomenon, made bigger yet by the record NFL viewership in the 2023-23 season and the unique Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift storyline. 

Yet, the Super Bowl stands as the quintessential reason that live linear TV remains an important media channel in 2024. People want shared emotional viewing experiences, and the NFL has become the best vehicle for delivering that shared experience. Per Nielsen, the NFL accounted for 93 of the year’s 100 most-watched TV broadcasts, an improvement on 2022’s impressive tally of 82 programs within the top 100 and a huge leap forward compared to the 61 slots the NFL commanded just five years ago. 

There’s no doubt that brands face the enormous challenge of reaching the right audience at the right time on the best screen available. The modern media landscape is fraught with challenges like fragmentation and measurement that prove impact and ROAS while quantifying engagement and attention. 

Today’s viewers want more control over their programming choices, and on-demand viewing has upended the conventional linear TV viewing experience. Streaming (CTV) is the obvious disruptor, offering consumers a vast array of choices, from FAST (free, ad-supported TV) to premium streaming content from the likes of Disney and Paramount, digital-first companies like Apple and Amazon, or the original streaming disruptor Netflix. A natural question is if or why traditional linear TV still matters. 

I’d argue that events like the Super Bowl, the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, an upcoming presidential election, breaking news and weather events, and comfort programming like Friends and Gilmore Girls (though the list goes on) demonstrate that traditional linear TV still offers advertisers scale, reach, and impact. Linear TV will continue to be a useful, and sometimes even necessary channel, in a modern media mix. However, connected TV now offers the same, or even better quality content (inclusive of talent in front and behind the camera), great storytelling, and now, even live sports. Viewers can watch when they want, where they want, and can binge however much they want with limited restrictions on the availability of full seasons. 

Every year, we see new entrants into the streaming landscape bringing broader access and compelling choices to viewers, further fragmenting video viewing options. A complication in the consumer experience is the increase in subscription fees to access the most premium content. Subscription churn is a real obstacle for ‌streaming companies that want to reduce the number of cancellations once consumers decide to jump to another platform to view another top program release. It’s the best of times for television/video in terms of the abundance of programming options but also complicated by the lack of long-term contracts that in the past had served to lock consumers into a longer purchasing agreement. Adding to the complexity is that all these programming and platform choices can be overwhelming for the viewer. 

From a marketer’s perspective, the challenge of video fragmentation has now shifted from 300+ TV networks to numerous streaming providers with libraries full of content available on demand. The age-old challenges marketers face in understanding reach (or, in this case, unique reach), managing frequency, maximizing ROI, and understanding business impact have grown increasingly complex as the TV and media landscape evolves. 

I’m fascinated by the evolution of cord-cutting transforming into what is called “the great re-bundling.” Consumers are frustrated with the increasing number of subscriptions required to watch all of their favorite programming. Aggregation in the form of the old-school cable bundle will take on a new form, and some surprising cross-industry partnerships are forming. 

For instance, the re-bundling of services across streaming channels and telecom providers offering a combo package of Netflix and (HBO) Max. AppleTV+ and Paramount+ are considering a similar deal. In early February, Disney, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery entered a joint venture for a live sports streaming product reportedly costing viewers $45 a month when it launches in Q4 of this year. Industry scribes are calling it “SpHulu,” an offspring of Live Sports and Hulu, offering abundant access to live games and events spanning 14 different leagues in a sort of sports skinny bundle form. Additionally, ESPN hasn't been shy about its intention to launch a separate DTC sports streaming offering in 2025 that may risk cannibalizing its own cable enterprise. Marketers will need to study what consumer problems this solves and who will lose if this new proposition gains steam.

There are several challenges marketers face across an ever-changing media ecosystem, and mostly, they relate to measurement turbulence. How do we navigate a cookieless future or assess the benefits and implications of AI and somehow reach a consensus on measurement standardization? Progress can be slow, and measurement inevitably lags current consumer behavior. 

Marketers can help ‌brands through this chaos with clarity by helping to align marketing objectives with target audiences, clear and pre-aligned KPIs, and a measurement plan that’s flexible to respond to the moment and adjust accordingly. 

It used to be ‌‌‘fast beat slow’ and ‘big beat small,’ but now I think ‘easy beats hard.’ Advertisers need a straightforward and transparent relationship with sales-side partners, especially as the overall media environment becomes more complex. Be nimble in your planning and fine-tuning. Test into new partners and continue to refine. Explore new measurement options and tools like iSpot or Videoamp, implement brand studies or custom consumer surveys, or EDO to track success. I also mean ease in the way we work with our sales-side partners. Those who are hard to work with aren’t going to win as much business. Those who truly partner, help remove barriers, provide added value measurement, and are responsive will be the winners in ‌forming and growing a partnership.

One truth that will stand the test of time is that viewers embrace great content. It’s true in video, audio podcasts, TV and films, and social media. For content on the big screen in the living room, we measure it in the form of TV ratings or engagement, attentiveness, and length of streaming session. Viewers express love for their favorite content by sharing across social media, in memes, and the rare moments when content transcends the TV screen and comes to life in culture, and good ole-fashioned water-cooler conversations (at PMG, it’s in the #couch-potatoes Slack channel). 

No matter how TV evolves across platforms and providers, content will remain king. 

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More than ten years ago, marketing executive Jonathan Perelman added to the “Content is King” adage by stating that “Distribution is Queen, and she wears the pants.” Content expert Arko Chakraborti later added, “Data is the Crown Jewel, empowering you with insights and guiding your strategic moves.” I’ll add my own to the mix: The Crown (data) only matters if you also rule from the Throne (measurement).

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