THE BLOG
11/27/2016 09:49 pm ET Updated Nov 28, 2017

(VIDEO) CNN, TBS And TNT Following Viewers To Emerging Distribution Outlets: Turner's Johnson

MIAMI - While CNN mines new and younger-skewing distribution outlets to future proof itself, TBS and TNT want to re-aggregate audiences at some of the very same nascent channels. To Turner's Nick Johnson, it pays to view the media landscape on a continuum.

"We have sort of these mature off channel distribution points that scale very nicely that represent sort of immediate short term opportunity. And some of them are new and nascent and beginning to build up," Johnson, who is SVP of Digital Ad Sales & Strategy, says in an interview with Beet.TV.

The always-on CNN has been very aggressive in leveraging distribution to all available end points, including social and messaging platforms, according to Johnson. "That distribution is happening because the consumer wants it. It's an important brand. Certainly this election demonstrated that."

It's all about age and devices, with television audiences being the oldest for CNN. "As we go to the desktop the audience gets younger. As we go to mobile, the audience gets even younger," he adds. "We are now building this really young audience up as well, in environments that are native to them, so they see CNN as a brand they can relate to."

On the TBS/TNT side, it's also a journey to new and emerging distribution vehicles beyond MVPD's and set-top boxes. "We're in a premium environment there and eyeballs are going to many places," Johnson notes. "As consumers migrate to these new distribution outlets, we want to be able to sort of re-aggregate those audiences."

Asked by interviewer Matt Spiegel, Managing Director of MediaLink, about the company's goal to sell 50% of its inventory on an audience basis by 2020, as Advertising Age reports, Johnson sketches a bigger picture.

"I believe what's happening is that there is broad acknowledgment that consumer consumption of media is changing," says Johnson.

Survival depends not only on things like addressable advertising and media currencies, but how well programmers take lessons from the digital world and apply them to their programming strategies, according to Johnson.

"When we launch on a Kik or a Messenger, for example, the primary objective is let's introduce our content to consumers on these new platforms and figure out how to program to them," says Johnson. "This is not about simulcasting our content everywhere. It's about programming for these distinct distribution channels."

This interview was conducted at Beet Retreat 2016: The Transformation of Television Advertising, an executive retreat presented by Videology with AT&T AdWorks and the 605. Please find more videos from the event here.

You can find this post on Beet.TV.