“The birth of online video advertising and monetization and the emergence of excellent new brands shows there is a new moment of opportunity,” he says, adding that those brands can often come directly from advertisers like Jameson, Jaguar, Nike , and Coca-Cola , which decided to create its own “newsroom.”
“The distribution offered by these huge video and social media platforms is a unique generational shift that means it is a great opportunity for corporations to take control of their voice and really engage with their audience on a minute-by-minute basis,” he says. “It is a wonderful liberation for marketing chiefs to be able to connect directly in that way.”
That means Barcroft Media is increasingly competing with its own advertisers for content. To stay ahead of the trend, the company is focusing on content streams that it believes are more friendly to advertisers, and making sure that those streams are available on every device.
“Our competition is for eyeball time,” Barcroft says. “Our audience would see watching Mad Men as competition to watching us. You are going to expect to watch a Barcroft TV film on your TV, phone, tablet, on the wall, wherever you want.”
Though the company made its name on scale, today it is more interested in premium content, Barcroft says. “Our ambition with Barcroft TV is to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of factual content. In the medium term, that is what we are concentrating on.”