Content might be one of the industry’s biggest buzzwords, and for good reason.
According to the 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report, the average American adult spends over 11 hours per day consuming some sort of media.
Born out of this content frenzy are companies like Whistle Sports, which has been able to capitalize on the desire for higher-quality content on feeds of both creators and brands.
Having now raised over $100 million, Whistle Sports is taking an even deeper look at long-form content — as the willingness for platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and even Facebook to pay for content has increased.
“One of the ways we are evolving as a business is through long-form content,” said John West, founder and CEO of Whistle Sports. “We are creating this content, owning it, and then licensing it to both digital and OTT platforms.”
One of the ways the company has done this is through a new partnership with CAA. A deal four months in the making, the goal of is to leverage CAA’s ability to “up-level” the packaging surrounding its long-form content, as well as the relationships the team has with its roster of athletes. This is something that West sees as the perfect one-two punch for Whistle Sports.
“We think there is a really exciting intersection there, where we can be a media partner for a lot of top athletes and help them be relevant on social and with younger audiences while still being able to work with CAA to take our long-form content to the next level through the packaging of it.”
With over 200 OTT services already in the U.S. market alone according to Parks Associates, in West and Whistle’s mind there is an “if you build it, they will come” opportunity when it comes to high-quality, long-form content.
Seeing a consolidation of the digital media landscape ahead, West is looking to be active when it comes to acquiring companies that are complementary to the capabilities Whistle has developed over the last 10 years — chief among them being data and analytics and international growth.
“Building a great media company of today and tomorrow is a combination of great production capabilities and great insights. Much of what we do when it comes to the creation of our original content is based on what the data is telling us.”
With the struggle of some digital media companies widely covered, West is still bullish on being able to build a successful company in today’s landscape, even with algorithms shifting almost daily.
“In my opinion, there’s no better way or more influential way to reach that younger demographic than the creator with a social media presence. Their audience is not looking at billboards, watching TV, or watching pre-roll ads. They really want a story that is entertaining in the video that they’re watching. I continue to believe that’s where brand dollars will migrate.”
Whether it’s a news show on Snapchat, a long-form video sold to Netflix, or a four-part docuseries distributed via YouTube, one thing is for certain: quality never goes out of style.