As the supply of movies and drama surges, competition for viewers’ attention and subscriptions will increase. Broadcasters and streaming platforms will invest heavily in building top-of-mind awareness for their content in the next few years. The question is where and how this money is best spent?

If you ask the content marketing community, the answer is clear: great storytelling is far more convincing than intrusive banners or pre-rolls. This is good news to the entertainment companies because they already have the stories. It is their product! But one big challenge remains: people must be able to find it.

Successful digital content is increasingly dependent on searchability. And good search rankings are given to those who provide an abundance of relevant information. With this in mind, it is surprising to see how little effort many entertainment companies have made to render themselves findable online.

Try to search for your favourite movie star, musician or author. Chances are that you will be recommended the person’s own homepage on top, then the Wikipedia site (both these results make sense) and after that various news articles. But you will rarely find direct links to the platforms where their work can be consumed.

Also read: 5 reasons nobody finds your OTT channel

It is a pity because it means that entertainment platforms have to rely on consumers’ persistence in their hunt for content. There is a saying that ‘consumers will find great content’, and this may be true, but we should also consider the following:

According to Ericsson Consumer Lab people already spend more than two years of their lives choosing what movie/drama to watch. Can we really ask them to spend more time searching?

Not all content is great according to general opinion. 28% of Netflix original movies scored lower than 25% (not worth watching) on Rotten Tomatoes, the world’s most trusted recommendation source. Such content must be easy to find to stand a chance to be watched.

The conclusion is that broadcasters and streaming platforms must take metadata more seriously. In order to get more generic traffic (earned media) they should:

1. Produce more metadata – the more relevant information you can provide the better are your chances of ranking high in search engines and recommendation platforms. Just offering genre, cast and parental rating will not help you much. But make sure you keep the quality: This kind of metadata makes viewers hate you

2. Include video and images – by offering a combination of text, images and video, you will improve search ranking, because Google likes comprehensive resources.

3. Distribute and control your data – In addition to optimizing your own platforms for Search Engines, you should identify external partners and resources that can drive consumers to your content. It can be tv-listings sites or streaming guides such as Playpilot and Reelgood. Make sure to feed relevant and correct information to them and they will present your content in the best possible way.

Clipsource has been hired to manage metadata/marketing projects by some of the industry’s finest entertainment brands. Contact us today to learn more about how you can unleash the power of your programming.

Dan Willstrand, CEO Clipsource