5Qs with… CAA’s Sarah Passe

/ Jul 1, 2013

Sarah Passe (1)

Sarah Passe is a business development executive at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Based in LA, Passe is responsible for identifying and packaging deals for clients within the digital space. During her time, she has worked with top-name talent like Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, The Jonas Brothers, and Zooey Deschanel, among others. Prior to CAA, she was the digital content development manager at Digitas. Speaking of which, she also emceed the CAA event during the 2013 Newfronts.

In other words: Sarah Passe has a lot to say about the online video space. For this week’s 5Qs, we decided to give her a platform to do so.

1. This year it feels like we’re starting to see a lot more major distributors get in the digital game — from CNBC, to Conde Nast and Meredith, and of course Amazon, Netflix, Scripps Networks, Yahoo!, AOL, and Dailymotion, among others. What has been the platform that’s most appealing and promising for your talent, from celebrity to YouTube stars, and brands? Basically who is getting it right?

Every buyer has its selling points that may make it more appealing for a specific client or project. The platforms that are true partners in marketing and audience growth are especially appealing. Technology platforms and traditional companies each have different strengths when it comes to telling stories and building audiences and brands. It is our job to source the best combination of these strengths to bring a client project to life in the most strategic way possible.

2. Windowing seems to be a hot button topic at the moment. What are you seeing on the deals front with first and second window runs?

Everyone is doing everything they can to bring their projects to life in the most premium manner so windowing is exciting because it brings a greater pool of financing to the table. Much like the independent film space, the dollars are being pieced together through various windows and territories. The maturation of that marketplace is great for creators because they have even more resources with which to be creative in this medium.

3. CAA packages a variety of deals — from brand integrations and sponsorships to financing and traditional-like production deals. What is the biggest education curve you hit on the dealmaking side for digital, with talent and with programmers/networks/digital studios?

CAA has been working at the center of the digital revolution for years. We are not only inventing new models but taking parts of other industries that work, such as television and motion picture, and bringing them into this new space in new and innovative ways. It’s been a process for us to educate our partners, serving as translators for those that have not worked together in the past. For example, a movie producer is now learning how YouTube works and how they can engage with it, and vice-versa.

4. In terms of brand appetite for video, it seems we’re hearing less and less about “branded entertainment.” What are some innovative ways you’re seeing brands integrate with online programming?

Brands have been extremely innovative through partnerships with YouTube talent. By partnering with target-right talent, it’s a win-win for everyone. The brands are able to create access for talent — access to events, to celebrity, to production resources; providing avenues for them to create meaningful content and programming. In return, brands are able to become a part of an existing relationship between talent and his/her community in a way that adds value. Consumers are excited to see their favorite talent getting to work with big brands and be a part of big experiences.

5. What was your online video “aha moment” — when you first got excited about the digital entertainment space and online video as a real business opportunity?

My “aha moment” came years ago when I was working on the Starburst/NextNewNetworks/Nite Fite program at Digitas. During this campaign, Starburst funded the creation of additional episodes of the successful Nite Fite animated online series and included seamless brand integrations. This was when I truly saw that a brand should not just try to attract an audience but should engage with a built-in audience.

It was exciting to see a brand enable the creation of meaningful content that resonated with its target market. How we were able to creatively activate the Nite Fite audience around the Starbust brand made me realize the great opportunities that awaited in the digital space.

Tags: , , , , ,


Vevo Reorg: Head of Content Doug McVehil, CPO David Rice Out +...

Charter Communications

Charter Communications Brings Spectrum TV to Roku

Copa90 Bigballs Media

Bigballs Gets $10.6 Million from Liberty Global and e.ventures


YouTube Further Expands Global Footprint

Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!

WME Signs British Vine Prankster Ben Phillips

Merrel Twins

Social Network We Heart It Signs Merrell Twins as Creative Directors


Joey Graceffa Teams with The Ad Council for National Coming Out Day


5Qs With AOL’s David Miller On go90, Ad blocking, and the...


SyFy Leverages Mobile VR to Promote ‘The Expanse’

Freddie Wong Mans Camera RocketJump

Hulu Pushes Back Premiere of ‘RocketJump: The Show’

Dance Showdown

DanceOn’s ‘Dance Showdown’ Enters its Fourth Season


Twitter Amplify Chief Glenn Brown Decamps for Betaworks


All Def Digital Pits Music Stars Against Kids in a New Digital Series


Lionsgate Pacts with Chinese Video Giant iQIYI for Digital...

Wiz Khalifa See You Again

YouTube’s Fast-Growing Billion View Club Adds Wiz Khalifa

Twitter Amplify Brands

Twitter Makes Pre-Roll Video Ads Easier


What the Rugby World Cup Tells Us About Branded Sports Content


HBO Now Comes To Roku

Big Knockout Boxing

DirecTV Steps into Virtual Ring with Big Knockout Boxing App


Geek & Sundry Debuts Season 2 Of LARPs on YouTube and Vessel

Netflix acquires three new indie flicks

Netflix Ups Price of Streaming Service in U.S.


What’s Up Moms Adds New Talent and New Shows


Blink Twice if You Like Our Ad


Digital Series MsLabelled Comes To TV With Help From Tetley


Go90 Orders 50-Episode FailArmy Series from Jukin Media


Muvi Studio Brings Streaming Solutions To Roku

Esports Weekly with Coca-Cola IGN

Esports Weekly Show Coming from IGN and Coca-Cola


Vimeo Rolls Out Fresh Slate of Indie Originals

CES 2016

CES Doubles C Space for 2016


Video News Services Newsy Comes To PlutoTV

Legends of Gaming Toby Turner

Toby Turner and Fatal1ty Crack ‘Legends of Gaming’

Al Roker

Al Roker and The Weather Channel Launch Mobile Morning Show


Web Series Wednesday: Five Shows From Geek & Sundry


The Sierra Club Dives Into VR For Their Latest Climate Change Campaign

YouTube Money

What Do Creators Really Think of YouTube’s Subscription Service?


Streaming Device Owners Consumer More Web Video, Less Broadcast...


Joey Graceffa Gets ‘Storytellers’ Season 2 from...


Red Bull Media and Shutterstock Capture Extreme Environments in...

Victorious launches mobile apps with The Young Turks, Ryan Higa

Victorious Plants Flag in Global Marketplace


The BBC Enters Short-form Video News Pact with Yahoo