We met with Nicole Haman, Global Sales Director at United Screens, the largest Multi-Platform Network in the Nordics. Nicole has been with United Screens since early 2013. She and her global sales team have carried out more than 700 advertising campaigns through online video productions and influencer marketing campaigns on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitch and blogs.
At the start of 2018, RTL Group, the leading European media company in online video, acquired United Screens to be a part of its extensive list of MPNs, together with StyleHaul, Divimove, BroadbandTV and FremantleMedia.
United Screens was founded in 2013, and you were one of the first to join. What was the initial idea behind United Screens ?
When I left Google for United Screens, I had been working as Head of Sales for Google and YouTube for five years. During that time I noticed how rapidly viewer numbers on YouTube grew, and that its audience was dedicated and engaged with the content in a completely different way to linear TV content. The core idea behind United Screens is to empower YouTubers in the Nordics by connecting them with advertisers and brands. We make it easier for brands to connect with target groups not reached by traditional advertising, and in a brand safe and premium video environment. We’re really happy with the result: not only have we carried out many great influencer marketing campaigns over the years, but we have also gained the trust of many of the largest Nordic online video creators and stars, who now work exclusively with us.
Today United Screens works with hundreds of online video creators, with more than 600 million views per month on its YouTube network. What kind of genres and content do you represent, and how do you choose your creators?
We are proud to represent every genre on our premium network. The creators we work with have content that ranges from lifestyle, beauty and family, to fitness, gaming, music and humour. This gives advertisers a broad spectrum to choose from when it comes to finding the right content to engage their target groups. It also gives them impactful campaigns with great results. We measure more or less everything. Since the start we have been very careful with the kind of video content that we represent. We have a dedicated team who verify that all the content published within our premium network is brand safe. This is win-win, both for advertisers and our stars. Our goal is to ensure that all brand advertising is visible in a safe context.
RTL Group acquired United Screens in January 2018. What has happened within the company since the acquisition?
We are so happy for the engagement and support we have received from RTL Group and its companies since we became a member! We have started several successful joint operations and projects, for example with FremantleMedia, RTL AdConnect and BMG, and we are sure that RTL Group has the knowledge and strength to help us become an even bigger MPN market leader in the Nordics over the coming years.
You and a couple of your colleagues worked at Google or YouTube before starting United Screens. How is your relationship with them today?
We have a great relationship with our friends at Google and YouTube; the largest part of our network is uploaded on their platforms. We have regular meetings and projects with several teams within Google or YouTube. In order for our creators to be even better content providers to the largest online video platform, it is important to understand the YouTube search engine and continuously provide our advertisers with strategic recommendations. We’re excited to see what the future has in store with other online video platforms such as Amazon Prime Video. For instance, Facebook and Instagram are both developing their platforms to become more driven by online video. We strongly appreciate our relationship: for example we hosted a much-enjoyed launch party for IGTV (Instagram’s new online video app) together with Instagram earlier this summer.
In spring, you conducted a third-party study together with OMD about measuring the effects of online video advertising within the United Screens premium network. Could you tell us about the study and the results?
Together with an independent research company within OMD we carried out a study measuring the marketing effects of five different brands and their online video commercial ads placed on a United Screen premium network on YouTube, compared to widely on YouTube and external online video catchup players. The results are extremely positive, showing that target groups who saw commercial ads on a United Screens premium network not only had a more positive attitude towards the brands, but also had much higher purchase intent than those who had been exposed to the commercial ads widely on YouTube. We now know that our advertisers get better marketing results when their ads are shown within our brand safe premium video environment. Our YouTubers have extremely loyal and forward-leaning audiences, a phenomenon we recognised from start. This confirmation of the strong relationship between YouTubers and their huge fan base target groups is extremely valuable for advertisers. Going forward, the study gives us positive insight into the Nordic advertising market when it comes to delivering a commercial video inventory: not only is it brand safe and actively consumed, but it also delivers strong commercial added value.
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