How to Maximize Your Branded Content with Meghan Kirsch
The Emmy award-winning, Meghan Kirsch is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Creative at Viceland. Before Viceland, she worked at A&E Television in their creative and marketing department for over ten years. She is a passionate and inspiring leader who encourages creative risk-taking and nurtures and motivates large teams to defy the odds on a daily basis. She has extensive experience in building brands, best-in-class marketing campaigns, persuasive and inspired creative communication, quality short-form content, and unforgettable brand experiences that drive maximum impact and results.
On this episode, we talk with Meghan about how Viceland has evolved, how to balance and diversify different platforms, and how to make the most out of branded content.
Here are the highlights:
[8:24] How do you diversify on the different social platforms so you don't put too much in one basket?
"Facebook has the scale, so we're going to be there. We're also the fastest growing network on Facebook and Instagram. But Instagram to me is the biggest opportunity platform. They've gone from 8 million to 80 million active users in the last 5 years."
[20:38] Where's the undervalued attention on social media?
“Instagram is the place to put your money. It seems to me the place that people are actually enjoying and engaging. We also use the discover feature at Snapchat, but I wouldn't even bother with that."
Ep 12 Meghan Kirsch Audio for iTunes
[00:00:05.30] David : Welcome on this side, the business of social powered by STN Digital. I am your David , David Brickley, and each and every show we work with the experts to learn and stay up-to-date on the ever changing digital and marketing industry. This next, guys, you're really going to enjoy, Meghan Kirsh is the senior vice president of marketing and creative at Vice Land. Anybody that's followed Vice and what they've been able to do in this marketplace, starting off with the magazine, then getting into digital exclusively, then becoming a linear network, they really did the opposite of what other networks I think are trying to do, right? You have some of these conglomerates that have been in place for 30, 40, 50 years that are now trying to figure out the OTT and the digital side of their company.
Vice started digital was it'll be successful with their digital inventory and their sponsorships and their branded content, and then went over to the linear route which is still a big part of their business. So I'm really excited for you guys to listen in on what she's been able to do. She's been at Vice now for a couple years. Before that she was at A&E, so again, coming from linear to Vice which is more digital first. She drops a lot of knowledge and you guys are going to enjoy this one with Megan Kirsch.
She is the SVP of marketing and creative at Vice Land, we have Megan Kirsch joins us, an Emmy award-winning marketing executive director, passionate, inspiring leader according to your LinkedIn, who nurtures and motivates large teams to kick ass on a daily basis and encourage creative risk-taking. Meghan, thanks so much hopping on the show.
[00:01:33.36] Meghan: Of course, happy to be here.
[00:01:35.25] David : So tell me a little bit, I think by Vice Land, your guys' trajectory from what it first started to where it is today, I know that's kind of a long story, but in a short format it'd be cool to kind of hear how you explain that, that rise.
[00:01:48.18] Meghan: When we first we launched?
[00:01:49.03] David : Yeah.
[00:01:49.31] Meghan: Yeah, I mean, I started at Vice Land six months after it launched, and when the channel first launched Spike Jones was very heavily involved, and the programming was a lot of traveled the world and experience culture through the lens of food or weed or fashion. And it was a really, really compelling programming, but that was like pretty much the main core of what was on. And since then we've evolved, we wanted to get more into the comedy space, so the show Desus & Mero, we introduced which was a late night talk show, two guys from the Bronx that had a podcast before. And it's the youngest, most diverse show in late-night, so definitely offers a good different take on things.
And we also ... some reality set into with just programming budgets and just being smarter about the way that we're approaching the brand. So those shows were expensive, those travel shows. And we also realized too for American audiences they like things in America.
[00:02:45.43] David : Interesting.
[00:02:46.17] Meghan: So I've had that insight also from the uni days, like we had this show called Hate Thy Neighbor, David ed by a comedian where he goes around the world and talks to different hate groups and tries to understand like what motivates them and where all this kind of racism.
[00:03:00.06] David : [Unclear] did that back in the day with religious, like his documentary like trying to figure out the different religions.
[00:03:04.36] Meghan: Totally, and so what we notice is when Jamali was in America, the American episodes did really well. And then he was going on to other places in the world they didn't rate as well. So I think it just all comes back to Americans are kind of like America first, right? So we pivoted that show to really focus on issues happening in the States. And then now we're just looking ahead, we've got some really exciting things coming up.
[00:03:29.18] David : You guys have a ton of season ones too. I looked at your website recently, and it seems like you have a lot of originals that are I guess into ... not incubator anymore, but kind of coming out. I mean, you guys launched a lot of originals the last year or so.
[00:03:40.56] Meghan: Yeah, I mean, we have about 300 hours of original program, so it's a lot. And what's great is because Vice started as a magazine and then transitioned into a suite of digital, digital channels, there's a lot of short-form series that were incubated online, that we were able to see, "Okay, like a show like Slutever," for example, which just sounds like more kind of racy or like lowbrow than it is. It's about a woman named Carly Sorrentino and she's a sexpert, so she kind of goes around and looks at just different issues and themes around sex today and trying to like break down the stigma of being weird about talking about it. And this was a short forum series online that we then developed into a longer format, half-hour show, and it's done really well on television for us.
[00:04:25.48] David : I feel like you guys you saw a niche or an opportunity where the PC cops they want to call it, for so many years has refused to touch certain subjects and wouldn't go in certain areas, and you guys were just like, "Let's do it." And people actually came to and said, "This is what I want to see." Much like maybe Barstool Sports is doing for sports talk right now.
[00:04:43.55] Meghan: Totally, I always felt, and I've been in television for a long time, but there are things that you would hear in development meetings where people would say, "Well, that just won't work in television."
[00:04:51.15] David : You can't do that, yeah.
[00:04:52.00] Meghan: That won't work, like especially things like weed and sex are two prime examples, that on Vice Land because we are challenging the way that everybody is approaching television and content. And we're for a television viewer that isn't like a heavy viewer that's watching 20 hours, a couple of days. Yeah, we're there for like a lighter viewer that they might be watching like a show on Netflix or something on HBO, but they want content that's different, therefore people that want something different on TV and are kind of bored of the same contrived stories and themes.
[00:05:23.22] David : Well, you look like at history, I Love Lucy they had separate beds, because God forbid you could watch a marriage couple sharing a bedroom type deal. So I feel like these stigmas or these PC cops, whatever you want to call it, and then someone kind of crosses the line and everybody's like cool with it, and it kind of changes the game a little bit.
[00:05:40.41] Meghan: Right, exactly. So I think what's exciting for people on Vice, and look, some people are totally offended by the stuff that we do, and it's not for everybody, we're not trying to be for everybody. But we do have a really core rabid fan base and they really are evangelical about the brand, so those who love it really love it and they love to talk about it and tell their friends about that.
[00:05:58.30] David : Well, you talk about starring the digital magazine and then going digital and then actually having a linear television network as well with the A&E merger, and everything like that, I think it's interesting because I feel like especially we're here at Promax and there's a lot of linear television networks in the house, they're trying to kind of do what Vice Land did backwards in a way, and they started as a linear network when they're trying to experiment and digital. So what would you be your recommendation to I guess these older networks that are now trying to shift based on the audience?
[00:06:24.31] Meghan: I mean, I think, look, at the end of the day content is still going to prevail like regardless of where you're going to consume it. For Vice like our audience on digital is different than the Vice Land viewer. And what's interesting for Vice Land is our awareness in two years is pretty much right up there with Vice which is a 25-year old brand, because we're now nationally distributed and we're reaching people in the middle of the country.
So I think, again, like it's the content is always going to be the most important thing. So just figuring out like what the appropriate format is or the length of that format is for the medium and digital, sometimes people are looking for things that are a little shorter in length. But with Vice it's great because we can tap into the whole ecosystem, and when we're marketing we can make sure that vice.com has something going on that we're finding ways to extend it or interpret it in the right way for Vice Land and like vice versa.
[00:07:15.49] David : I think the networks are having somewhat of an issue because the majority of their ad revenue is coming from these 30-second spots on linear. So to totally pivot and ask their ad sales team or what have you to sell a bunch of branded social content, it's a little bit of a foreign language for them. How have you guys, I mean, starting at digital obviously you kind of had to figure that out in order to monetize your content. But what is the percentage or what's the balance right now between all your different platforms?
[00:07:41.40] Meghan: I mean, still the majority of the revenue is going to come from branded content. The things are done on through vice.com for sure, and since Vice Land is new we're still not even two years old, but we were doing ... we've done a lot of really interesting branded projects. For example, we did something with Gee, called Drone Week, so Gee's had Drone Week before, they did it with Facebook in the past and then this year they did it hundred percent with us. So we had like a week of ... we have a lot of program with drone shots and so we kind of package and curated a bunch of our shows that have drone shots, so we made a ton of ... I run a short form team called Labs that makes all of our interstitials, we make 20 minutes of custom content a month. So we made all this drone themed content, had a lot of fun with it, we did like a panel show, we did their whole ad campaign, so really trying to find like unique ways of approaching it.
And another example is a show we have called Beer Land that is funded by Goldman Road, so it's a full show starring this woman Meg Gill who started Golden Road, and she did a full show with us and it's sponsor funded, but it's still entertaining at the same time and people are loving it for the entertaining content it has.
[00:08:51.50] David : Well, I own STN, it's a social media marketing company, and we started off selling vlogs 5 years ago and now we're doing Facebook Live streams with six cameras and broadcast satellite trucks. It's crazy how fast the industry has changed. But I'm interested in right now branded content is actually people are starting to understand, like you mentioned Drone Week, don't just slap a logo on a piece of content that's not genuine to the sponsor and doesn't make sense type deal.
[00:09:16.04] Meghan: Exactly, and that's the best way. And that's what Vice that's really well, and that's why in the branded space like the digital business has always done really well there, because it's like, "Hey, you guys have a really unique approach to storytelling. You're reaching the coveted ..."
[00:09:26.11] David : The demo we want.
[00:09:27.23] Meghan: Demo and how can we do something together that's going to cut through but it's not going to feel so like over here's my brand right here in your face.
[00:09:35.08] David : Talk about social a lot, obviously Facebook is constantly changing their algorithm. How do you diversify I guess your audience making sure, I know you have Vice Land, but Facebook obviously is that white billboard that you have to play in that sandbox but it is frustrating sometimes when they turn down those organic reaches. So how do you kind of diversify, making sure you don't put too much in one basket?
[00:09:57.23] Meghan: Yeah, I mean, look obviously Facebook like you said has the scale, so we're going to be there. And we're the fastest-growing network on Facebook and Instagram. But Instagram to me is really the biggest opportunity platform, because that ...
[00:10:10.29] David : I think it's got from 80 million to 800 million active users in five years.
[00:10:13.18] Meghan: And personally it's the only one that I can really stomach these days. But just on Vice Land or Instagram it's just that people are so engaged with it.
[00:10:21.33] David : Like, how many channels you guys have now, like subset channels on Instagram alone? I mean, it has to be ...
[00:10:27.12] Meghan: On Instagram we have the Vice Land main channel, we have the Vice Land Bus, it has its own Instagram account, so that's like this party bus that we take to all events over the country and it's already has like 50,000 organic followers, which is awesome. Desus & Mero has its own Instagram. And that's it, we mostly, because we're very brand first at the end of the day, we're really about aligning with the right mindset of a viewer whose a Vice Land viewer with a Vice Land kind of sensibility, so we're really ... we're pushing our shows always but we also are just putting out content that we think is going to be interesting to our viewers.
Because for me the most important thing is, "Yes, you put your marketing hat on and how I'm going to speak to them and how I want to make sure I'm going to recruit people and hopefully drive back to linear." But what I really want to always have my team think about is think about it from the perspective of the consumer, like people aren't really excited to see what brands are following on social I have to say. So for us we want them to actually like, "Wow, what is this cool thing that Vice Land is doing right now?" And the bus is one way that we're going to events, we're doing stories, people are seeing the crazy stuff that we're up to. And just really making sure the content we're putting out is always actually adding to their day.
[00:11:34.27] David : I'm always interested on that, when it comes like the mother ship account like @Vice or what have you, you guys have so many different shows, so many different initiatives you're running. And maybe someone likes the weed show but doesn't like the comedy show, and there's a bunch of different I guess subset demos inside your overall demographic. So how do you counterbalance that? Because I think a lot of brands have a tough time with that especially networks that have that comedy show, like FX for instance is a perfect example, it's always sunny the league and then you have these dramas and then you have these thrillers, not necessarily the same exact audience for those.
[00:12:07.01] Meghan: Right, yeah, I mean, I think FX still seems and like they're so well defined as far as their aesthetic and their style and I really love their approach to creative and marketing. But I still think you're just coming for shows for that channel, it's always a brand for show at Vice Land. Desus & Mero really has its own audience that's built in, that's why they have all their separate channels. But for the rest of Vice Land really there is crossover between like Fuck that's Delicious or Slutever, it's a similar type of person. So we really are about nurturing that brand because that's the most important thing we can do to cut through.
We don't have like the crazy resources; we're only two yards on the scene ordering the distribution that's on these networks have. So all we can do is have a really authentic voice connect with our viewers in a way that they're not connecting with other brands, where we're very transparent, we talk to them very directly and tell them like how the sausage is made, and we fucked something up and we say we fuck something up. And we tell them that like literally.
[00:13:03.14] David : They appreciate that, the generosity, right?
[00:13:04.38] Meghan: Yeah, they feel that it's really like human, like we can feel that there's human-like imperfections behind this, and I think that makes it more of a genuine experience.
[00:13:13.58] David : I think people they bring up Vice a lot especially in circles that I'm at as far as someone that's kind of going towards a millennial and doing it the right way. So what do you think in our space and the industry overall brands should be doing more of that just like maybe just drives you crazy, like how are you not taking this seriously type deal if something comes to mind?
[00:13:33.34] Meghan: What they should be doing more of?
[00:13:34.56] David : Yes.
[00:13:35.11] Meghan: I mean, I think in general the approach were taking with the audience is the right way, which is not to be overly bullshitting people all the time with gimmicky marketing messages. Yeah, not being so overt, because everybody knows, like we're all ... everybody's a marketer now, everyone's a creator. There's 23-year olds we work with that are making spots and shows, and just going out and creating things, and it's amazing. But they're really hip to that kind of stuff, like there's a very real resistance to over advertising.
And even when I started at Vice, like people don't want to put the channel number on any of the creative Vice is putting together, because they're like, "Such overt advertising."
[00:14:14.53] David : And I think 30-second ads too people are just like ... I guess the new generation is just not into it anymore.
[00:14:19.54] Meghan: Yeah, well, they're not as hard because they're not watching as much like linear television, they're time shifting. So you have to make something really compelling that's going to cut through. But it's like the push and pull. I had also say, "No, we had to put the channel number on, guys." Because people don't even know that this exists. So it's just ... But we can be in places that we can buy a radio spot, like I think there was a feeling, "Oh, we can never be on radio." I'm like, "We can. It's just how are we going to approach the creative of what we're saying, like that needs to feel really fresh and feel really different, and make somebody kind of stop in their tracks."
[00:14:48.21] David : So with your marketing team, how many people are on your team and how do you kind of I guess separate out the different logistics and responsibilities on that team?
[00:14:56.26] Meghan: So there's about 50 of us total, but that spans a lot. So that's social media team, media strategy partnerships promotions team, on our scheduling for the promos, and then just the creative team which is the biggest pool and that's from creative directors to editors, producers, we have a live-action team called Labs that does all of our short form, designers, we do everything in-house. So we don't go work with any agency, so that's like a blessing and a curse.
It's great because we have such a distinct voice, it's hard for other people to really crack it. But it puts a lot of pressure on us because we want everything that we do to be amazing and really stand out and cut through. But we have more ownership that way, so it's a lot but we produce so much content it's amazing.
There's also ... it's a start-up-y vibe, so there are a lot of layers. So I have my direct reports still, and then they have their teams under them and they can just make things and also just go do it, put it on air, and that's it. I'm like the last stop on the chain. I'll show some stuff to the president of the network, but he's got a lot on his plate. So having the ownership and the creative freedom allows for us to be really nimble and pump out a lot of stuff, whereas other places I think there's a lot of layers and layers and a lot of people over thinking every single creative decision and it can be a little stifling.
[00:16:15.28] David : And immediately move weekly and not wait quarterly type deal and make moves.
[00:16:18.00] Meghan: Right.
[00:16:19.40] David : So obviously is always a concern, but if you had double your budget right now like what would be the number one thing you would do in terms of that new department or maybe double up in certain areas?
[00:16:30.26] Meghan: I would just put more into the media budget, I think, because I think creative ... Or we can also do more in the creative side, and maybe partner with other filmmakers and other artists to create different like high up, more elevated work, but definitely the media I think. We just need ... well, we were making so much great stuff that people aren't seeing, because I don't have enough money to like police it, you know? So I have such small budgets but we do a lot with small budgets, but I would definitely just love to get the things out there wider in a bigger way.
[00:17:00.48] David : See, I mean, HQ trivia's kind of changed the game and kind of brought in that appointment view television back to mobile which is interesting. I remember growing up Thursday I always stayed on this program, but must-see TV on NBC with like friends and Seinfeld and all that, and you kind of had to be there in order to participate in the water cooler we talk to the next morning, and I think HQ trivia has found a way to bring that back in into this new generation. So are you looking at things like that as well at Vice and trying to find ways that you need to be here at a certain time and interact and gamify and things like that?
[00:17:29.09] Meghan: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think a lot of people at Vice wish that we came up with HQ or some version of that. I think everybody does. I think we all are thinking about obviously it's so much easier said than done, but how do you completely disrupt a format? At Vice, Vice Land especially what's interesting is we'll try to take formats that are familiar and really string them on their heads. So like a show called Bong Appétit that we had was a cooking show, it's a cooking show with all cannabis.
[00:17:56.44] David : Yeah, it's been done forever but you're doing it a different way.
[00:17:58.10] Meghan: But there has to be cannabis in it was all of a sudden, like, wow, like this is something really interesting that people haven't done before, so I think that's something too. We really like taking old-school mediums and trying to like reintroduce them in a much fresher unexpected way.
[00:18:13.19] David : What's your ... I'm interested to hear kind of what your main KPI's are because obviously with the linear channel and all the social feeds and all the digital platforms you guys have, what's the couple of things that you're always looked at for ultimate success?
[00:18:25.55] Meghan: I mean, for me I work on Vice Land, I don't work for all of Vice, but obviously the comScore on Vice is important and the traffic. But on Vice Land it's still ratings, that's the hardest part of my job is that we have such cultural relevance, like our socials are huge. I mean, we're winning all of these awards like for marketing team of the year, and like we just got so much industry cred and consumers are so evangelical about the brand. Like, I walk through an airport with a Vice Land hoodie and people are coming, "Yo, I want that." We're getting into the merch space, I'm like, "We got to get into merch."
So I'm still beholding to linear, trying to drive linear ratings but at the same time I'm trying to make a brand that's a cultural fashion brand for people and beyond, just like a provider of content. And we do that in a lot of different ways, but it's a lot.
[00:19:10.46] David : Do you wish in a way that like linear wasn't a part of it and you can just focus all in on cultural relevance and merch and brand awareness?
[00:19:16.40] Meghan: Yeah, if we could be direct to consumer it'd be so much easier. It's a lot, it's hard, programming a channel 24/7 is just ... I mean, I think we all see like it's shifting, it's not shifting, yeah, it's haunted, yeah, but it's we're like in this weird place where if it was eight years ago I think we would be killing it. And we are, we're up like 25% year and over year, like we're growing. It's just, it's just a tough business to be in, and everybody's feeling it.
[00:19:40.29] David : So what does that look like, I've talked to a lot of networks and it's like you have YouTube TV and you have Hulu and you have your linear network any of your app, and like there's a lot of conflicting CTAs to your audience of like where to go because you're making money from different areas. But you talk about like direct to consumer, like what does that look like potentially three to five years down the road if that were to end up happening?
[00:19:59.43] Meghan: I think if it were to end up happening it would probably be like all things Vice like right to consumer for some fee a month. But for now subscriber, yeah. But you're probably exposed to the other parts of Vice. But for now like we're ... Like we put every episode, we premiere episodes of our shows on YouTube for free just because we want people to sample it and talk about it. Like, Desus & Mero goes up for free the next day. So it's not really cannibalizing our linear audience, it's two different audiences, but for us we're still of the mindset that the more people kind of experiencing our content and know we're out there, then the more ... We are still trying to build the brand awareness, so like that's still an important goal of mine is to make sure everyone knows we exist.
[00:20:39.39] David : I actually will admit to you that I want to check out Jersey Shore the new family vacation, just because like it's a little bit nostalgic for me and I couldn't find it anywhere, like I have cable but I wanted to find it on YouTube, I wanted to find it on MTV.com, they just won't share it.
[00:20:52.45] Meghan: Yeah, [unclear] pretty good about, like just making sure they pull all that stuff down, you're having two goals go away.
[00:20:56.03] David : Yeah, exactly, which is kind of, I don't know, counterintuitive I think that people that want to experience the brand.
[00:21:00.13] Meghan: Yeah, well, especially for Vice which is always free, so content is always free. And we give a lot of like ... we'll do shorter versions that we'll give to vice.com. So you still have to have a cable login to really watch like the full season of something, but we're pretty good about ... we'll unlock season one right before season two premieres just to get more people like exposed to it. It's just hard to measure all that, it's like it's the aggregate of all these different places that people are consuming.
[00:21:27.06] David : Well, I talk about on the sports side I talk about the NBA a lot there, Adams Silver, their Commissioner, they always talk about ... you could ... everybody could share anything, like every fan if you want to rip off highlights and post it, they embody like just get it out there we're going to have global reach and hopefully we put snacks out there and you'll check out our meals once in a while type of deal, which has worked well for them. But I think that's probably the way to do it.
On the social media front what would you think is kind of the undervalued attention that maybe marketers or brands aren't paying enough attention to that you've seen a lot of growth or a lot of success at?
[00:21:59.53] Meghan: I mean, I think again like Instagram just to me is just the place to put your money into, and on stories. I mean, Snapchat, I'm like ... I was like, "All right, I don't even bother with that." Like, we have a discover feature in Snapchat, and that's great, apparently 80% of Snapchat users have cable subscriptions which I don't believe. But I just think like Instagram seems to me like the place where people are actually enjoying and engaging. And when I think of Facebook, I mean, my personal feeling on Facebook is it just brought out the worst in people and they spent a lot of time including like my own family members, trolling each other for like hours, and it's just like, "If you're not going anywhere, you're echo chambering. And like go in person and say these things, you wouldn't." Like, so to me I feel like that's the place where ... Instagram is a place where it has the most potential.
[00:22:49.54] David : I feel like Facebook is in an interesting stop, obviously Cambridge Analytica, but to your point, I feel the same way. I feel like high school acquaintances, friends, cousin, add, add, add, friend, cousin, add, add, add and it's just not really ... I used to use it as my RSS feed, I used to really enjoy it, but it's kind of turned into a little bit ...
[00:23:04.21] Meghan: Yeah, it's hard, I mean, with just like Trump I think, it's just really divided everybody and then just ... Their goal is to win an argument and not to actually listen to what the other person is saying, and they'll at all costs keep going and spend and waste of time. I'm feeling like this is just a waste of time, so I can't do it. I mean, and then Twitter, you know Twitter like Desus & Mero they became famous on Twitter, so that's an important platform for us to be in there. And it's good for real-time television.
[00:23:32.42] David : Yeah, there's no other really competitor in that type. I think ... I don't know about you, but I think Twitter, but also there seems like to be an opening in our industry for a new social media platform because Instagram's killing it, Facebook's kind of fading, and Twitter's always been there. Music.ly was there for a second but then kind of went away, but there's an opening there.
[00:23:49.28] Meghan: Yeah, I think there is, and it's interesting to see, because luckily the younger generation, like young kids now are not going on Facebook, like that is not part of their diet.
[00:23:55.32] David : I'd say Facebook is the white pages, like you have to prove that you're a human by having a Facebook page, but people, younger people aren't interacting there as much.
[00:24:01.42] Meghan: Yeah, when my grandma gets on, what she does, [unclear]
[00:24:04.00] David : It kind of ruins it.
[00:24:05.59] Meghan: Okay, well now it's just ... yeah, who is this for?
[00:24:08.54] David : Oh, man. Is there a tool or app that you or your team uses that you couldn't live without that kind of helps you guys do your day to day?
[00:24:16.34] Meghan: Tool or an app. I mean, we use a tool called Canvas, that's like our social listening tool. Everything else like as far as like data and research it really is to just help identify and our media agency has a lot of tools that they use to be able to put together our targets and kind of identify the best opportunity.
[00:24:37.03] David : And use that to make moves or be able to shift and evolve.
[00:24:39.24] Meghan: Yeah, when we're doing our media plans we really like use those tools to help figure out who the people are and the best and great way of reaching them.
[00:24:48.53] David : How have you seen ... just in two years, how have you seen the change and interest from sponsors and partners who want to be involved in branded content specifically on digital? Because I know for me I've seen some major change there and people obviously want those rate cards and want to know opportunities, but a lot of people don't have the tangible asset. Have you seen a lot of more of the Fortune 5's, or at least sponsors overall wanting to be more involved on digital?
[00:25:12.27] Meghan: Yeah, and I mean, for Vice.com ...
[00:25:14.00] David : It's always been that way.
[00:25:15.02] Meghan: It's always been that way, like one of leaders and just really doing really interesting branded content. So I think that's always been a healthy business for them. But on Vice Land we're definitely seeing more because we have ... like, I'm personally leading a team that's working on a lot of these solutions, because we have such a nimble talented creative team, and we have our own production camera crew. So we can go out and make stuff really easily. So we've been doing a lot in that space of really kind of ... Some things are really simple but really effective ways of getting a brand in there without even realizing you're watching an episode, a commercial.
[00:25:46.59] David : I think Complex or, I forget what it is. It's Funny or Die potentially, but the hot ones episode with like Kevin Hart where they try the different hot sauces and it's presented by hot ones. But to your point, you're kind of laughing, you don't really realize like a sponsored brand and content which is always good. Well, if we sit back here next year and have another discussion 12 months from today, what do you think ... I know there's a lot of mergers going on right now, a lot of conglomerates kind of merging, but what do you think the main thing that we're going to be talking about or the big trend that we're all going to be trying to stay ahead on?
[00:26:20.46] Meghan: Yeah, I mean, I think that's definitely one thing is the consolidations and the mergers and seeing ... I think some networks will fold or some will just join forces and be able to benefit from having other networks in their family that they can use their airtime to help promote, and like there's a lot of like even happening with discovery and scripts right now, they'll be interesting to see it's full-on redundancies of jobs everywhere. So it's a little scary, it's like who's better in each role and kind of making those decisions.
But I think there'll just be more and more of consolidation 100%, so it's crazy times. Or some places going direct to consumer, maybe we'll see it, and just finding ways that's really introducing those businesses where you can just ... people, what's the trend? That's where everyone's going. And I think it'll just be interesting to see if you abandon the whole cable operator fee situation which is a very healthy, like reliable part of everybody's business.
[00:27:21.06] David : Well, I thought I was going to be able to save money on my cable bill. You pay, whatever, it used to be 80 or 90 bucks. Netflix is only $8, Hulu's only 12. Cool, but now if you have HBO Go and you have always different paid models, you're going to be spending $90.
[00:27:32.54] Meghan: It's adding up, yeah. And what they'll do is until like Google controls the internet or ... It's just going to be fine, don't get cable. It's like the phone, the phone is $5 extra, might as well get it. Oh, yeah, cable is only $5 extra, your internet's $120.
[00:27:44.38] David : Yeah, that's true. Like, that's the thing, when you control ...
[00:27:46.38] Meghan: With all that net neutrality and all that.
[00:27:48.39] David : You're right. Net neutrality is a big deal.
[00:27:50.12] Meghan: That's a big deal, like it's ... They're going to find a way to squeeze you no matter what.
[00:27:53.23] David : They'll get your money from you for sure.
[00:27:55.38] Meghan: Yeah, exactly.
[00:27:56.13] David : Well, thank you so much. It's been an awesome conversation. I appreciate you sitting down with us. And Meghan Kirsch from Vice Land, thanks so much.
[00:28:01.13] Meghan: Thank you. Take care.
[00:28:05.38] David : All right, there it is. Once again, thank you so much, Meghan Kirsch for sitting down with me, a very informative conversation that I got a lot of value out of. Hope you guys did as well. Please check her out over a Vice Land, they're doing some really amazing things. And I think a lot of people in the industry are paying attention to them, they're nominated for a ton of award each and every year because they're really pushing the boundaries and with all the different types of content they're pushing out on a daily basis, not only at Vice Land but at Vice as a whole. They're doing some incredible things, so definitely going to keep tabs on what Meghan is up to over at Vice Land.
And as always I want to thank Sam Howard, David Ferker, Auntie Lightning for all their help producing these shows each and every week. It has been a good one. If you have some time I would highly recommend going back a little bit and checking out Brian Dolan Mayer from WGN, checking out Lee Hunt and Laurie Hall, some really good conversations. Again, people that have been in the industry for quite some time and they have some really good knowledge.
And again, I think the goal of this show, if you can come away with a couple of nuggets of information that you can apply whether it'd be in your business or apply in your marketing at your next marketing campaign, I think that's where we feel like we're providing value and all is good in the world. So once again, my name is David Brickley, the business of social podcast powered by STN Digital.