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Bauer's Joe Evea on branded content

Joseph Evea
Joe Evea, Creative Director and Head of Branded Content at Bauer Access will feature at AOP’s next event, ‘Maintaining editorial integrity and making partnerships pay’ on 17 February.

The aim of Bauer Access is 'to provide clients and agencies with increased access to editors, programmers and the key creators of its content - and a route to build deeper connections with audiences.'

Joining Joe on 17th: a top line-up of speakers from
Aol, CBSi UK, Dunhill, Starcom &

Attendance at AOP Forums is now free for Publisher (Board and Affiliate) Members – full details below.

1. Do you think that editorial content is becoming more commercially driven across the publishing sector as a whole?

Publishers and media owners are beginning to appreciate the value in embracing commercial partners to create new content for their consumers.

Providing there is a clear strategy in place for delivering editorially endorsed, commercially funded partnerships, and that measurements for success have been agreed upfront by all parties, then there is every chance that such a collaboration can add value to the publisher, the client and most importantly the consumer.

2. What approach is Bauer in particular adopting?

The launch of Bauer Access last year was a step change in our approach to brand funded content. We believe that by leveraging our most valuable assets; namely editors and their insight into their audience and the heritage of our market-leading brands, we can create content which is compelling for the audience, fits with our editorial strategy and delivers a message for our partner brand.

In their most effective form, these deals will also provide a residual benefit to our brands, opening new platforms and new audiences beyond our current reach.

3. What impact do you think that more commercialised content will have on publishers' credibility as independent trustworthy information providers down the line?

Of course there are different ways of providing commercialised content and some work better than others, but providing the content is well thought out and created with the consumer’s interest at heart, then the above should not be an issue.

4. Have audiences actually noticed a shift and how are they responding?

It’s a difficult question to answer specifically, but I would go back to my earlier point that, providing the content is relevant and engaging for its target audience then I don’t think consumers are hugely interested in who has funded it.

5. As brands move towards content creation themselves, what impact is this having on their relationship with publishers.

I suppose one way of looking at this is to consider which brand has the right to be operating in any particular space.

For example, many brands, especially in the mobile and technology category, have made it their goal to become synonymous with music, with varying degrees of success. Our goal, as a media owner with heritage music brands, is finding a solution where we can help add value to a commercial partner looking to engage in that space, while giving them the space to add their own stamp on the partnership, without damaging our credibility.

It’s not always easy, but when it’s done well it can provide an extremely effective way of helping a partner brand have a degree of ‘ownership’ without taking all of the risk.

6. Is the relationship between publisher and brand ultimately sustainable and if so, how can it best be achieved?

Yes, I think we will continue to see more examples of really engaging commercially-funded content as more brands and publishers grasp its potential.

To best achieve success, publishers need to work with clients at a very early stage of the planning process, both parties need to gain an intimate appreciation of each other’s objectives and both must agree on the defining principle - that it is the consumer who will define the success or failure of the content.

Joe is speaking at AOP’s next event, ‘Maintaining editorial integrity and making partnerships pay’ on 17 February.

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