Legacy Brands Can Drive Streaming Success

Panelists say strong linear brands bring credibility, subscribers to streaming services
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Legacy linear brands bring a sense of credibility and gravitas that will help drive viewers and subscribers to new streaming offerings, a panel of TV executives said at the Future-produced Virtual Next TV Summit event on April 27.

Jonathan Barzilay

Jonathan Barzilay

“Fundamentally, the value of a legacy brand or a well-known brand is simply trust,” PBS chief operating officer Jonathan Barzilay said during a panel session moderated by Broadcasting+Cable contributing editor Paige Albiniak. Barzilay added that when the broadcaster started making short-form content for the web, it collectively did so via the PBS Digital Studio name. “By putting the PBS name on all of these independently produced short form series, that conveys something to the audience. ... The trust that people have in the PBS brand and the awareness that people have in the PBS brand, maybe gave us a little head start.”

At The Weather Group, parent of The Weather Channel network, president Tom O’Brien said its streaming offering Local Now benefits from the more-established Weather Channel brand.

Tom O'Brien

Tom O'Brien

“The ability, the opportunity, is what you do with that brand. If you use it as an anchor, you use it as a basis of innovation,” O’Brien said.

At BritBox, a joint venture between British television icons the BBC and ITV, the focus has been trying to balance those two brands to establish a new digital identity in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

“It’s an interesting balance because we want to build our own brand equity, but do so leveraging that of our parents,” BritBox senior VP and commercial head Emily Powers said.

Ampersand senior VP, agency strategy Marion Hargett said legacy brands matter when launching OTT services because it gives potential viewers and customers a base on which to set their expectations.