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CTAM Showcases Diversity in Cable Content

1/30/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

The Cable & Telecommunications Association
for Marketing’s Advanced Cable Solutions Consortium will
shine a light on diverse content on cable video-on-demand
lineups as part of a year-long, social media-based initiative.

The CTAM consortium, along with pay-per-view and
VOD content purveyor In Demand, will tout cable’s diversity-
themed Hollywood movies and cable-network shows
targeted to African-American and Hispanic audiences via
a new Facebook page and other social media platforms, according
to executives from both organizations.

FACEBOOK FEATURES

The initiative will launch during the consortium’s third annual
and largest Black History Month promotion launching
this February, according to Doug Ohlandt, In Demand’s
vice president of programming promotion.

“We’ve known that [CTAM’s] Black History Month and
Hispanic Heritage Month [initiatives] have been very successful,
and that success has pushed us to focus on diversity
as a message that there is on-demand product available
for diverse audiences,” Ohlandt said.

The new Diversity on Demand Facebook page will offer
promotional materials about diversity-themed movies and
cable shows available on-demand each month. The page
will also include media bloggers, contests and giveaways
to help draw more attention to the various VOD offerings,
according to Ohlandt.

The organization’s Black History month and Hispanic
Heritage Month efforts have helped increase on-demand
views among minority audiences compared to non-promotional
months, he said, although he would not disclose
specific figures.

“Our MSO partners have seen a lift in performance,”
Ohlandt said. “The goal is to get them focused on ondemand
as a viewing opportunity that cable provides for
them. This is a way to let people know that on demand has a
whole lot of programming for all sorts of people.”

For Hispanic Heritage Month last September, Comcast
added 20 Spanish-language independent films from Latin
America and Spain to CTAM’s on-demand offerings,
generating a 15% increase in overall on-demand buys for
the period compared to the prior September, according to
Roberto Perez, director of Hispanic marketing at the MSO.

“On-demand is one of the key differentiators among our
competitors,” he said. “One thing we have to continue to
focus on is offering quality programming that will resonate
with our subscribers.”

While audiences have found CTAM’s diversity-themed
on demand offerings during Black History Month and Hispanic
Heritage Month through traditional marketing tactics,
Ohlandt said the company is turning to social media
platforms to reach multicultural viewers, who over-index
in their use of sites like
Facebook and Twitter.

“One of the biggest
things that we’ve
learned is that some
of the traditional marketing
tactics are outdated,”
he said. “We’re
taking on the social
aspects this year …
they’re really not going
quite as much to places
where they used to 10
to 15 years ago; they’re
more engaged in social
media and particularly
on Facebook.”

FEBRUARY FOCUS

For Black History
Month, the consortium
will offer nearly
70 movies and
cable series in February,
a record for the initiative. Titles include new on-demand
selections such as Smithsonian Channel’s MLK: The
Assassination Tapes
; Showtime’s House of Lies; We TV’s The
Braxtons
; and movies such as The Help, Shaft, Purple Rain
and The Book of Eli, said CTAM.

Once Black History Month is over, Ohlandt said he’s
not concerned about having enough diverse on-demand
content to fill out the rest of the year.

“There’s a lot of content available for diverse audiences
all the time, so it’s a matter of thematically looking at the
rest of the calendar to determine where the focus will be,”
he said.

September