It’s one thing to own a successful brand. It’s a different thing entirely to be able to successfully leverage that brand across multiple different products and media. I spoke with Christian Meyer, Senior Vice President and General Manager of GSN.com, about how he was able to pull it off and where he was planning to go from here.
How were you able to successfully leverage your television brands across the digital sector?
Well, a lot of time is spent in activating a brand strategy where we license a third party brand, like Wheel of Fortune or Deal or No Deal or Family Feud for example, and ideally, they have both an acquisition value and a retention value. We’ve been pretty lucky in that regard. Sometimes you’ll get a branded IP that has a great acquisition value, but the conversion value as a casual game or any kind of game experience for that matter is a bit of a long shot. You end up with an under-leveraged investment because you spend a lot in licensing.
And you don’t make anything off of it?
You potentially don’t make anything off of it, yeah. But we as a company have an understanding that if we can acquire based on the brand IP and then migrate those consumers to a higher retention experience, then that works pretty well too. But certainly the home run is when you establish a great relationship with a brand and you can unlock the acquisition value of that brand as well as the retention value. Then you have the makings of something huge.
Which of your IPs demonstrated this investment strategy most successfully?
Wheel of Fortune is definitely the stand-out. It’s been the number one syndicated brand for probably thirty-five years. It amazes me still that it has such longevity, and that can be traced back to its accessibility. The brand does a lot of work. It acquires well, consumers love the game, and they can also envision themselves competing in it. You get this trifecta of properties that make it a very powerful asset.
You guys have been doing some interesting things with leaderboards in your games. Any plans to integrate them into the television show itself?
We’ve done a lot of research and development around cross platform play between the television and the web specifically. And we’re starting to do a bit more on mobile. Absolutely to your point. Consumers want to participate. Technology has been a little behind consumer desire in terms of allowing us to create something simple and compelling, but we’ll get there.