Audience Engagement Strategy with WarnerMedia’s Dan Cho

“One of the things that we figured out with Tagboard is, let’s make this show interactive. Let’s give them a reason to tune at a specific time,” said Dan Cho, VP of Social & Digital Marketing at TNT, TBS, and TruTV. “It’s a little bit of a task, but we want people to give their opinions and feel like they have a voice in the show.”

This focus on making the audience a part of the show is one of the driving forces behind the success of programming across WarnerMedia properties TNT, TBS, and TruTV, which Dan Cho has spearheaded. 

Live from the #Storyteller Experience stage, Cho joined us to walk through some of the most effective audience engagement strategies, keys to successfully launching a new show, and what the future of the media industry looks like.

On maintaining audience attention:

One of the challenges we have in linear cable television is maintaining viewer attention whether it’s through commercial breaks, or whether it’s actually through watching the show. It’s all about giving people a compelling reason to watch at a specific time.


On audience engagement strategies during the Go Big Show:

We wanted the ability for viewers to participate. So we gave people a couple of choices. They vote on Twitter, we pull it in and we show them the results. So it gives the viewer at home an ability to be part of the show. And I think that’s really the goal. And I think with a lot of the programming that’s coming down we always have to think of innovative ways to keep a viewer engaged and give them a compelling reason to tune into the show.


On making pre-taped shows feel live:

I think it’s really about that water cooler element. And I think it’s become a little bit more relevant during COVID just because we’re so separated, and people were yearning for that kind of communal viewing experience that we’ve lost. So, what we try to do is whether it’s with talent, or whether it’s our brand, engage viewers live while the show is on air. Cause I think viewers really want to give their opinions, really want to give takes on what they’re feeling. So that’s really the strategy there.


On the approach to launching a new show:

Whenever we get a new show, I think one of the first things we do is, we dive deep into it strategically think about who the audience is.

Obviously, when you have a show with existing equity and existing brand that never really went away, as someone who works in social, we also think about the audience that they’ve already developed. So it starts with the audience. It starts with the creative too, of course.


On the launch of the AEW (All Elite Wrestling):

The history of it actually started as a YouTube channel. It was very digital-first, which was an amazing part of AEW origin story. And it really was a lot of side stories of the wrestlers. The talent themselves were telling a lot of stories directly to the camera and to the audience if you will. So that’s where it started.

We really wanted to position the league as this kind of underdog scrappy league, that was going up against Vince McMahon and the very established WWE. And I think we were successful in doing that.


On the future of the media industry:

One mantra that we use very much at the company is putting the consumer first. So what do consumers want? They want to watch things when they want, where they want, and on whatever device they want. So we make sure that they can do that. When a movie or television show is produced, whether it’s by Warner brothers or a different network or a production studio, we make it available. We make it accessible, whether you want to watch it on cable, whether you want to watch it on your phone or in the theater, however you want to watch it.


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