MarketCast Supercharges its Research Leadership Team

MarketCast’s Zoë Friend takes on new role to expand MarketCast’s Content Insights practice as Hall and Partners leader, Jenna Lauer, joins MarketCast to lead Research and Insights

Los Angeles, Calif. – February 16, 2022 – MarketCast today announced Jenna Lauer is joining its leadership team as its new Head of Brand and Custom Research, while current MarketCast research leader, Zoë Friend, will head up a newly formed MarketCast Content Insights practice.

Jenna joins MarketCast from Hall & Partners, an Omnicom research business, where she served as Managing Partner for nearly a decade. While there, she led Hall and Partners’ West Coast (U.S) teams, which counted top consumer brands, video games publishers, and automakers as research clients. With a career spanning qualitative, quantitative, social, and mobile research, as well as agency advertising, Jenna has deep experience managing large research programs and teams. In her new role, Jenna will be responsible for growing MarketCast’s research practice, innovating its methodologies, and expanding its team of world-class researchers.

“Jenna is a research powerhouse, having led research and insights for some of the world’s biggest consumer brands,” said John Batter, CEO of MarketCast. “Jenna’s addition to our team will help MarketCast continue to innovate its research and insights practice, bringing proven consumer research methodologies together with advanced data science and analytics to help our clients better understand who their fans are and how they engage with their products, brands, and content.”

MarketCast’s recent acquisition of real-time research platform, Invoke, expands the company’s content research and testing capabilities into longer-form media, including pre-released streaming and TV series (pilots and episodes), movies, and podcasts. MarketCast’s Zoë Friend has decades of experience in entertainment research, which includes leading research for groundbreaking original series and movies for Netflix and Paramount, making her the ideal person to lead this new MarketCast team.

“Having spent years on the studio side of content creation, I can think of no better person to partner with on media testing and research than Zoë Friend,” said Batter. “Zoë understands the pressure facing today’s content creators and programmers, and can deliver them smarter, more strategic audience insights to guide their biggest content development and distribution decisions.”


The Rise of the Music Docuseries

Filmmakers have long been telling stories about musicians and big musical milestones, but, it goes without saying that last year could easily be considered the year of the music docuseries as streaming services poured millions of investment dollars into the genre.

To get a better understanding of the docuseries landscape and identify any audience trends, we used the MarketCast monthly Streaming Tracker to analyze millions of social media conversations, as well as fan surveys, to understand their thoughts and feelings about 2021 releases. Our research found common story themes that drove the most intense advocacy and engagement among fans, including: 1) artist vulnerability and redemption, 2) dissecting the creative process, 3) historical significance and nostalgia, and 4) showcasing the power of music in popular culture. Here are the series and films that stood out most in 2021 according to our research:

1. Hulu and the New York Times’ Framing Britney Spears sparks a worldwide movement.

The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears (on Hulu) brought the “Free Britney” movement mainstream, and promotion of the film was helped along by ongoing, high-profile media coverage (in the NY Times and beyond) of her fight to win back control of her life and finances from her conservator father. Fan engagement on social media resulted in more than 500,000 posts and the film was MarketCast’s highest performing music documentary of the year according to our 2021 Streaming Tracker.

2. Demi Lovato gets real about their sobriety in a YouTube Original Series.

The YouTube Original, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, garnered more than 661,440 social media posts from fans and a staggering 5-15 million views per episode on YouTube. The series documents the aftermath of Lovato’s 2018 Tell Me You Love Me world tour, during which the singer suffers a near-death drug overdose.Fan reactions to the series was overwhelmingly positive, with one Twitter fan saying: “Everyone needs to watch this Demi Lovato documentary on YouTube. I’m utterly speechless and it has me sobbing in tears watching it.”

3. Billie Eilish and The Beatles score with fans.

The Beatles: Get Back on Disney+ and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry on Apple TV+ succeeded in going deep behind-the-scenes to understand the making of new albums and tracks. Both highlight how the artists’ process impacts their lives and the lives of those around them. Fans loved how these series/films pushed past the gossip and glitz and got to the heart of creating great music. Combined, Get Back and Billie Eilish generated more than 500,000 social media mentions and held Top 3 rankings on MarketCast’s Streaming Tracker in 2021.

 4. Questlove’s Summer of Soul showcases the power of Black cultureand music.

Hulu’s and Searchlight’s Summer of Soul is a music doc that speaks to the importance of music to a broader cultural movement. Summer of Soul follows 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival, which took place just 100 hundred miles from Woodstock, but remains largely ignored by historians and the media. Like The Beatles: Get Back, Summer of Soul shows incredible, never before-seen footage, celebrating Black music and the power of community during very turbulent times.Reaching #2 for Fan Evangelism in the MarketCast Streaming Tracker, Summer Soul was a fan favorite despite being overshadowed by bigger, well-promoted content in the genre. According to one social media fan: “Everybody should watch ‘Summer of Soul’ on Hulu. It’s a beautiful, raw depiction of Black culture.”

5. The life of Tina Turner is celebrated by HBO Max.

In 2021, several films were released to celebrate the lives of some of the most beloved (and sometimes controversial) artists and producers. To coincide with Tina Turner’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, HBO Max released Tina, which offered a detailed look at the life and career of the now 82-year singer and actress. Fans across social media thought it was simply the best.

To learn more about how MarketCast is analyzing millions of social media conversations and monitoring sentiment, contact us.

*This article was originally published via Music Ally.