Edinburgh TV Festival panels show TV creatives are keen to learn from other sectors

Edinburgh TV Festival - 24-26 August 2022

From social media to audio, there were several (very well-attended) panels at this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival that explored how TV creatives can learn from and collaborate with creators on other content platforms.

In Digital Media Killed the TV Guide, the panel explicitly discussed what TV could learn from online content, with ITV’s Chief Marketing Officer Jane Stiller pointing out that digital content creators get feedback in real time, meaning they can ask “has this thing I’ve created connected with the viewer, and which part has connected?” 

The importance of community to online content consumers was also flagged, with TikTok’s General Manager Rich Waterworth telling the audience: “As long as your show is adding something that is interesting to that community then they will embrace it.”  

In Sonic Boom: The Secrets of TV’s ‘Audio First’ Hits, the panel discussed how moving from pitching for television to creating podcasts allowed them to escape the expected “buckets” of content and work outside traditional formats – but also highlighted how the huge numbers of people now listening to podcasts meant that there were opportunities to move stories originally told via audio back to the small screen once commissioners saw that there was an audience for them.  

Another boom, this time the Brand Entertainment Boom session, took a look at content creation through the eyes of marketers and had some surprising takeaways about ways that brands are innovating in their own content creation. Joe Sammels, Creative Writing Manager at FootAsylum, described how the brand built their own platform on YouTube by understanding that their audience want to see creators doing what they do on their own channels, not what the brand wants them to do. He describes their formats as “playpens” for talent, and said they never labour the format points if the chemistry on screen is good and the content will resonate with audiences.  

And away from screens and devices altogether, at When Vogue Meets Elle UK: What Can Television Learn From Fashion Publishing Titans?, Vogue’s Vanessa Kingori talked about the importance of creating moments with positive impact – whether that’s through a television show or an image in a fashion title. As Chief Business Officer for Condé Nast Britain, Vanessa has to balance commercial decisions with purpose, but was clear that ‘flipping the script on all of that impact stuff is not separate to your other KPIs, it will power it.’  

‘You can be mindful of the impact that your shows or magazines have without it diminishing your profits – but actually increasing them,’ she said.