Tag Archives: online

How Online Video Is Creating the Movie Hits of Tomorrow — Today

11 Oct

Few experiences are more gripping for an audience than cinema. Throughout the past century or so of motion picture history, technology has constantly enhanced the movie-going experience, from the advent of “talkies” (when sound was introduced) to the cutting-edge, big-budget 3D releases of today.

But the marketing experience for filmed entertainment simply has not kept pace with the constant transitions and advancements of filmmaking. The audience that saw the trailer for “Casablanca” would be entirely comfortable watching the trailer for this season’s “The Town.” Marketers still employ this “one-way” promotional technique – directly from the producer to the audience – offering film highlights but not much else. Until now, studios still unroll the traditional and dated film trailer for every new cinematic release.

With the launches of the interactive trailers for 20th Century Fox’s “Machete” and “Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps”, Coincident TV (CTV) is changing things — bringing its interactive, immersive video technology experiences to a new audience – the film-going public.

The Coincident TV bet (I am on the board; please look below for a disclaimer) is that movie marketing and promotion will never be the same. Rather than simply providing an internet-distributed video of edited film highlights – as in an online trailer – CTV is partnering with 20th Century Fox to create an interactive experience designed to promote the film well before the ticket-buying window opens, and to carry that immersive experience well beyond the actual cinema viewing of the film.

How is it done? Basically, the idea is to use the interactive power of CTV’s programming language to create relevant links, or cue-points, for the audience that go well beyond the linear highlights of the film. These can include:

• Links to the online “social-grid” involving stars and their characters, as a way of including producers and talent and allowing the audience to interact.

• Links to the merchandising opportunities created by the film, including access to ancillary products ranging from soundtrack albums to logo-merchandise.

• E-ticketing. This one is obvious but CTV provides a direct way for interested audience members to pre-book their seats with all the various popular ticketing platforms.

• Brand extensions and franchise development. This is a major enhancement of the film marketing experience. Through the CTV online platform, film-goers can continue to engage with the characters, stars and brands that are created in the magic of the movie theater well after the lights have come back up.

Indeed, the interactive film trailers hold the prospect of becoming ongoing destinations in and of themselves, with a lifecycle that could continue until a sequel or a new franchise is underway.

These two titles also underscore the ability of CTV technology to “write once, run anywhere” as they function seamlessly on Apple, Android or Flash technology. With the combination of new technology and interactivity, CTV is helping Hollywood and movie-marketeers worldwide take that big next step to the future.

To be sure, not everything is currently appearing in our apps for these two trailers. Some of the above features are still “world-of-tomorrow” enhancements that CTV’s team of creative minds and engineers are diligently working to create.

Still, as Humphrey Bogart says in “Casablanca,” CTV believes its partnership with Hollywood marks “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

(Note — This is a slightly expanded version of my post on the CoincidentTV blog. I am on the board at CTV, whose new video technology (which basically does for video what HTML did for text) is currently powering interactive sites for Fox, MTV, Audi and several other media and consumer companies).

It is perhaps, as a great leader once said, ‘The End of the Beginning’

18 Feb

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, we have reached “the end of the beginning” of the online revolution.

A recent week in Europe, including the wonderful Burda DLD Conference, followed by subsequent meetings in SF, LA and NY provides an intriguing glimpse of what comes next:

To me, the omnipresence of broadband in the developed world, coupled with ubiquity of mobile computing (over smartphones, iPads or other portable devices), a generational shift towards e-engagement and the growing power of massive data in the “cloud” are changing every business assumption in the media, telecom and internet economy. These powerful forces are all coming together to create conditions for a huge new wave of innovation that will forever disrupt the information, entertainment, communications and technology economy.

While challenging to navigate, this is an unprecedented opportunity for better products for consumers. There should also be very interesting new business models. And finally, all this should mean intriguing opportunities for investors.

A couple of focus areas – for me:

1.Platforms: The next generation of technology is now being developed that enables media companies to mesh diverse programming assets (video, social media, commerce and communications) into radically new engaging products (For shorthand, think ‘Avatar’ Meets ‘Bloomberg’). Also, technologies will also enable the same media owners to distribute these valuable new programming assets over the bundle of distribution channels (broadband internet, wireless, television and telecom). More on this to come.

2.In the Enterprise and Professional Media sectors, a new generation of opportunities is arriving as the social and real-time web (Twitter, Facebook) meet the Enterprise. This will revolutionize marketing, advertising, and much of the content business. It will also lead to business process reengineering in sectors ranging from content creation and product development to procurement and HR and Training/Talent Development Retention. Mark Benioff’s SalesForce Chatter which went private beta yesterday is a timely example.

3.Business model opportunities: Mobile and Location-specific targeting and monetization. Think lead generation and couponing with increased effectiveness at the point of purchase.

4.Product-Line Opportunities: Hyper-Verticalized Initiatives. Both hyper-local (geographic) and hyper-targeted (Demographic/Psychographic).

It is somewhat early days with all of these themes. But my prediction is they – and others – will keep us all busy for some time to come.

PS: Let’s all watch with great interest as the US FCC unveils the results of its multi-quarter analysis of the broadband opportunity in America. That, too, will surely have some interesting after-effects.