We talked to Anna Juliana Jaenner, TV professional, expert in online marketing and showrunner of Germany’s first soap opera for Instagram and TikTok: Hashtag Daily.
Hey Anna Juliana, how does your desk look like after weeks of working at the home office?
I don’t have a desk. Actually right now it’s an ironing board and a pink chair. People may think now that I can’t be a CEO but I can! (laughing)
Tell us what your baby “Hashtag Daily” is all about.
Hashtag Daily is the best mix between two worlds: the online video world that is growing so fast right now and the old TV world that is slowly dying. We actually took the best of both and combined it into a TV series. Hashtag Daily is the first German soap opera that’s made for a young audience that watches TV on their phones.
@hashtagdailyWarum muss ich ständig warten! ##hashtagdaily ##serie ##tiktok ##instagram ##foryou ##fd ##fürdich ##münchen ##deutsch♬ Originalton – hashtagdaily
What is the main advantage of airing online?
We can exactly see who is watching our videos, who is clicking which links, and what our audience likes best. Basically, we are not doing anything else than shows like “GZSZ”, which is one of the most famous German soap operas. They also check a lot what people like. But for us it’s a little bit easier, because we have our audience on two platforms only and Instagram and TikTok give us everything we need. When we do product placement for example, we know how often the affiliate links are clicked. We can tell our partners what was most successful in which age group. We just use basic online marketing tools.
Do you remember the moment when you knew that you had to do it?
I was moderating a panel discussion at the Berlinale last year with film students and people from the movie industry. Usually, if you are a film student your best short movie maybe helps you to get funding for your first feature film and maybe it’s shown in a few cinemas. Sitting in front of 240 film students, I thought: “So many ‘maybes’. This is so 1950s.” Nowadays there are tons of better ways to bring your content to the audience.
So you ran out of the panel and created the show?
Actually, the person sitting next to me was Floris Asche who was Senior Producer und Headautor at UFA X back then. He always said we have to do a soap opera on Instagram. And suddenly the algorithm of Instagram changed: IGTV was shown in between the posts suddenly. It wasn’t a separate platform anymore but a real part of Instagram. At that moment I was sure: We have to do it now.
How was founding a startup for you?
I knew from the beginning it would be a roller coaster. Founding a startup means ups and downs. And every time I’m in one of these downs I am thinking: okay great, that’s part of the deal, I signed up for this!
How is your team dealing with this?
When we started I asked my team: are you ready for the ride of your life? Most of them are from TV production and the advertisement or they are influencers – like I am. But there is a big difference between me and my team: I can’t take them with me on the full roller coaster ride. I have a lot of responsibilities.
What are the most important skills you bring along as a CEO?
I know a lot about online marketing from my previous jobs. I worked on scaling YouTube channels for example. After that I was lucky enough to work for one of the biggest Venture Capitals in Germany. But at the same time, I have been an actress ever since I was 15. I think there are not many people out there that combine these two worlds.
After you hang up on this call, what will you do next?
I have a few more interviews today. But I will also publish videos and we will have a team call about the storyline for season 4. We will change a lot, so there will be a big break from season 3. Be curious!
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