So what is important is that we maintain the relevance that we built." "What has changed is there a lot more brands out here who are following the same path," said Meier on the latest episode of the Variety podcast "Strictly Business." "What we're seeing now is we're not alone in a space that probably 20-30 years ago we still had a much much stronger voice in.
Listen to the podcast below for the full interview, or check out previous "Strictly Business" episodes featuring Discovery CEO David Zaslav, ICM Partners agent Esther Newberg, and HBO chairman/CEO Richard Plepler. "Strictly Business" is Variety's weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. A new episode debuts each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.” />
The company is even venturing as far afield as mind-control games, which are intended to the help the hundreds of athletes with ties to Red Bull improve their mental acuity. Meier recounts the many ways the brand has evolved its media strategy in the action sports space and beyond.
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Red Bull isn't entirely focused on branded entertainment, however. After getting traction on the festival circuit in recent years with documentaries, Meier disclosed he is know exploring his options in scripted entertainment as well–a first for Red Bull. Asked to describe the kind of content he'd be looking to script, he said certain stories Red Bull has come across on the documentary side, where the company will continue to develop projects, have broader commercial potential.
"For us, anything that's aspirational, anything that lifts your heart, lifts yours spirits," said Meier. "I think there are stories that we can get ourselves behind that are extremely in the spirit of what we believe as Red Bull."
While known best for its line of energy drinks, the beverage maker has eschewed traditional marketing for content that blurred the boundaries between advertising and programming. But that didn't mean Gerrit Meier could simply keep doing business as Red Bull Media Network always had when he joined as CEO of the division two years ago.
With memorable moves like sponsoring Felix Baumgartner's jump from outer space in 2012 to achieve the world's farthest ever-parachute drop, Red Bull has been a pioneering force in branded entertainment.

"Part of the secret sauce of the Ellen Digital Network is tied to the show itself, that’s a real strength for us," said Riley in the latest episode of the Variety podcast "Strictly Business."
It's the place where the authenticity important to her persona truly shines, according to Riley. "Two-way communication brings the authenticity much closer to the consumer, and clearly social media has been a very successful tool in order to do that," he said. The linchpin of EDN is the social reach of DeGeneres-related brands, which totals over 200 million across platforms.


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A new episode debuts each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud. "Strictly Business" is Variety‘s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Listen to the podcast below for the full interview, or check out previous “Strictly Business” episodes featuring Discovery CEO David Zaslav, ICM Partners agent Esther Newberg, and HBO chairman/CEO Richard Plepler.
Discovering new talent has also been key, such as digital-native Kalen Allen, star of "OMKalen." A big part of DeGeneres' digital play has been bringing in other talent to topline content of their own, particularly with sponsorships attached, including Kristen Bell, who returns for a third season of "Momsplaining" along with marketer Johnson & Johnson.
When Ellen DeGeneres returns to primetime on Jan. 8 with another season of NBC's "Ellen's Game of Games," it won't be just in a TV-series format; a new companion app equipped with an augmented reality feature will allow users to play even when the show is off the air.
Since coming over from the top job at Disney's ABC Family (now known as Freeform) cable channel over a year ago, he's mastered the balance between DeGeneres' TV and digital footprints. It's a reflection of the dual mindset of Michael Riley, general manager of Ellen Digital Ventures, a vast array of online properties generating over 1 billion monthly views.