Live from #TMRE13: Curious + Connected = Curve Surfers: Sundance Channel Audience

Daniel Marcu, VP, Research and Insights and Monica Valenti Bloom, Senior Vice President, Marketing, at the Sundance Channel spoke today at the Market Research Event about how in four fast years the brand has changed.

What they knew about the audience was that they were affluent, creatives, intelligent, optimists but then Sundance changed their programming adding more ads and movies so they began studying their potential audience. They didn’t want to be perceived as artsy and boring.

 (Photo: Wikipedia)

People want content now more than ever regardless of screen. They began studying who there audience was and who were they missing.

They began doing deep viewing studies and competitive intelligence.

Non viewers were unfamiliar with the brand and over all outside of the films most people were unfamiliar with the channel. Yet most people thought highly of the Sundance brand.

What they found was that space was wide open and rich with opportunity to build exciting, intelligent and provocative programming. The relationship between the core audience and expansion was referred to as Curve Surfers both curious and connected TV viewers who influenced one another.

The key was to find common areas of overlapping interests: unpredictable, off beat, independent, cutting edge, daring, provocative programming.

This year they invested heavily in critical dramas like The Return and Red Road, Restless… They also have their unscripted shows. It’s not just storytelling but how the story is told.

Their core audience likes to discover so the marketing teams use Reddit and social media to allow the audience to engage and share.


  Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at or @Literanista.