Zeebox is available both as iPad and web app and it really brings a whole new social level to watching telly. This free app allows you to see what your Facebook friends are watching whilst simultaneously enabling you to chat with them. It also provides Twitter feeds, Google search results, Wikipedia articles etc. to anything related to the show, as well as iTunes links to music and films. Here’s a really good clip explaining what Zeebox is about:
Check out the promo:
It’s quite an exciting way of enabling the users to consume content. Zeebox is tagged as television’s new best friend. This companion viewing application has content at your finger tips and although there are still some features to fix / add, there is definitely a lot of potential for some cool second screen propositions that could create two-way experiences and contextual experiences around live television. What I particularly find impressive about Zeebox is its eCommerce element in which products on telly are not only recognised, reviewed and purchasable but it also allows synchronised first and second screen advertising. I feel that this is the beginning of being able to monetise this untamed landscape.
Rose said: “My goal is to create a win-win between technology and editorial.”
Zeebox is currently only available in the UK but there are firm plans to make it available globally.
Some interesting links:
- Zeebox website
- Huffington Post: Janis Curry – Will Zeebox revolutionise the way we watch TV?
- The Register: Natalie Apostolou – iPlayer founder launches next big TV thing-Zeebox
It would be very interesting to hear what the future of content production is going to be coming from an array of excellent speakers from various disciplines and backgrounds.
RTS Futures says:
Join our expert panel as we explore the evolving digital landscape and the new opportunities it has created for content producers. Find out how David Mitchell and Richard Hammond launched their digital careers, learn about YouTube’s latest content plans, and get top tips from the likes of Hat Trick and the BBC.
Heat’s TV Editor, Boyd Hilton, will be quizzing key industry experts including: Jon Davenport, (Head of Digital, Hat Trick Productions) Wil Harris (Managing Director, ChannelFlip), Ben McOwen Wilson (Content Partnerships Director, YouTube) and Martin Trickey (Head of Cross-Platform Production, BBC) to sound out their views, advice and insight on the future of content production. They’ll also be sharing some of their latest and most successful content and answering your questions.
Do the best ideas start online or spin off from TV? Which genres and formats are proving most successful cross-platform? What new funding and distribution opportunities have emerged? Are brand partnerships the future?
Interested? Don’t miss it:
Wednesday 1 June 2011
7.00pm for a 7.15pm start
Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London, W1W 6JJ
This event is open to all RTS Futures members but is designed for those with no more than two years’ television experience. The cost is £10.00. To book a place you (and any guest/s you book a place for) MUST be a member of RTS Futures. If you are an existing member please ring Callum Stott on 020 7822 2822 with your Credit/Debit Card ready or email email@example.com providing your name, postal address, email address and phone number (we will then contact you to request credit card details), otherwise please register as a member at www.rtsfutures.org.uk before attempting to book.
After two good keynotes, the morning carried on with the keynote panel chaired by Channel 4′s Acting Head of Cross Platform Matt Locke. The panel consisted of: Sally Potter, Director, Adventure Pictures; Paula le Dieu, Digital Director, BFI; Duncan Bird, Consultant; Eren Ozagir, Founder, The Founding Twenty and Hasan Bakshi, Research Director, NESTA.
They covered the following questions:
- How can the public cultural sector collaborate and partner with the digital media industry to unlock its cultural assets?
- How can maximum value be achieved in the age of ‘free’?
- How do you make choices about public access to publicly-funded data, and entrepreneurial commercial exploitation?
Then it was time for Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport). His session aimed to probe the thinking behind the Government’s strategy on its calls for a new age of philanthropy and major cuts to public funding of the arts.
The afternoon was divided into three parts or streams:
Old Money New Commissioning
Even in an age of austerity there is still some money available to make arts, film and cultural content. This session gathered some of the broadcasting arts commissioners who shared their commissioning strategies. It was good to hear about how to fund cross-platform arts content for broadcast and distribution as well.
The panel featured: Tabitha Jackson, Arts Commissioner, Channel 4; James Hunt, Head of Programming, Sky Arts; Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, BBC Arts; Laurence Billiet, General Manager, UK Film Council; Gareth Evans, Producer; Tanya Seghatchian, Head of the Film Fund, UK Film Council. This was chaired by: Roy Ackerman, Managing Director, Fresh One Productions.
We cannot afford another bubble: how to make a sustainable digital culture?
Some would argue that the digital culture has burst its banks. Digital impacts everywhere – organisations, communities and sectors, and this is opening doors for digital creatives. Speakers shared their vision of the future of art and innovation emerging from digital culture, where artists and creative organisations are working in a more robust and entrepreneurial way across culture, RND, business and other sectors.
They also aimed to answer the following questions:
- How can arts and film organisations create flexible, sustainable businesses?
- How do cultural organisations become more entrepreneurial?
- What new funding models are available?
- Who and where are the new cultural philanthropists?
This panel was chaired by: Andrew Missingham and was joined by Toby Barnes, Founder, Mudlark; Drew Hemment, Founder, Future Everything; Amanda McDonald Crowley, Director, Eyebeam; and Marleen Stikker, Founder, Waag Society.
Archive session 1: What if?
If, tomorrow morning, the public were able to access their moving image heritage online, for free and in its totality (for any non-commercial use), what might happen? This session featured a collection of influential thinkers and sector representatives that imagined the impact, drawing on their own experiences/expertise. Chaired by Roly Keating, Head of Archive, BBC; JP Rangaswami, Founder, Confused of Calcutta; Paul Gerhardt, Director, Archives for Creativity; Matthew Postgate, Controller BBC Research & Development, BBC; and Chris Wild, aka The Retronaut.
Channel 4 pitching competition
Shortlisted delegates were given 5 minutes and 9 pictures to bag themselves a couple of grand of Channel 4 development money for a state of the art digital project. This was hosted by Stuart Cosgrove, Director of Nations and Regions, Channel 4 and was joined by Adam Gee, Cross-Platform Commissioner, Channel 4.
Know your audience: Presentations of media data analytics
Richard Ellis, Co-Founder, MTM London; Hasan Bakhshi, Research Director, NESTA; Martin Talks, Big Fish, Blue Barracuda.com and chair Jane Finnis, Director, Culture 24 covered the following questions:
- What are audiences doing online? What do we know about arts and film consumers and how can we capitalise on our insights?
- How do audiences engage, communicate and – crucially – transact online?
Doing business with the new gatekeepers – featuring digital giants Microsoft, You Tube and O2
This provided a unique insight into the evolving world of digital and where it is headed. It highlighted digital’s increasing relevance for engaging arts and entertainment audiences. It was interesting to hear how you can source partners that can enhance and extend your own content as well as managing audience relationships plus, how to interact effectively with digital audiences. Quite positive to hear of the digital opportunities for arts and entertainment in 2010 and beyond.
The panel were: Alex Woodford, Head of Digital; Jon Oliver, International Branded Entertainment Director, MSN; Ariane van de Ven, Future & Trend Insights, O2; and Donagh O’Malley, Head of Content Partnerships, YouTube UK and Tom Ollerton, Internet Advertising Bureau.
The open data debate
This session aimed to answer the following questions:
- What happens when the public are given access to data?
- How do you plan for the unpredictable? How have organisations that allow unfettered access to data managed the outcomes and what have the benefits – and drawbacks – been?
Chaired by: Matt Locke, Acting Head of Cross Platform, Channel 4 and he was joined by Matthew Somerville, Web Developer, Dracos; Chris Thorpe, Technologist, Jaggeree; and Paula le Dieu, Digital Director, BFI.
Architecture of collaboration 1: New media partnerships between arts and industry
- What are the principles of successful collaboration?
- How do arts and media organisations marry public service requirements with private sector commercial pressures?
These warts and all case studies covered the successes – and failures – of cross platform new media partnerships, from the creative to the practical to the commercial. Chaired by Arts Consultant Sally Luton. Speakers were:
Stream 3 had more practical elements featuring Bill Thompson and Simon Terrington on Cultural Engagement in an Online World; Crowd Funding Workshop with Salette Gressett; Mint Digital; The Newspaper Club with Ben Terret and HackData Worskshop with Matthew Somerville.
It has been a packed but very inspiring Day 1… roll on Day 2.
I’m here at the Media Festival Arts in London and it’s all about making digital collaboration happen across arts, film and media. The Festival aims to bring these industries together to discuss potential for commercial and creative collaboration in the digital sphere. This evening, delegates from different disciplines across film, arts and media, heard from Festival Director Louise Benson and Festival Chairman Peter Bazalgette.
The opening night panel entitled Cuts, closures, reorganisation… what does it mean for the Arts? invited the audience to question the panel on how arts and commercial organisations might need to adapt in order to overcome the current environment of massive change and uncertainty, and what part digital will play.
The panel consisted of BBC Arts Correspondent Will Gompertz, who was chair; Sir Nicholas Kenyon (MD, Barbican Centre); Iwana Blazwick (Director, Whitechapel Gallery); Paddy Earnshaw (CRM Director, Travelex Global Business Payments); and Marcus Davey (Chief Executive, The Roundhouse).
Don’t forget there is the FutureEverything Online Forum. You can propose and debate questions here, and vote to decide which questions are presented to the panelists. The FutureEverything Online Forum will also host discussion and debate on the themes of the conference led by speakers and key figures from the digital scene.
Here’s the overview of The Media Festival Arts:
The Media Festival Arts in partnership with Arts Council England and the UK Film Council will offer cutting edge content fusing the digital agendas of the arts, film, media and technology. The festival was conceived to provide an environment in which media and arts professionals can meet, share and discuss new opportunities created a rapidly evolving digital media landscape.
The festival content will reflect the relationship between creative innovation, digital revenue streams and adding value to existing core activities. It will demonstrate how digital innovation can lead to mutually beneficial cross industry partnerships and new creative and commercial opportunities.
This festival aims to work towards a new settlement for public access to culture, to build a new public digital cultural space for the UK. The arts and the media industries need to talk and learn about shared possibilities, shared standards, shared technical solutions, and shared visions for what public service media can look like in the digital age.
Attending this three-day event (September 8-10, Roundhouse, London) means that you have the opportunity to network with hundreds of arts, media and technology bosses. The delegate list already has some of the big names in the industry. Also, this is your chance to find out how arts can collaborate with the media and broadcast industries to deliver 360-degree public service content as well as hearing about what available funding and investment opportunities are available for creative research and development.
I really cannot wait. I will be blogging during the conference, but I strongly encourage you to be part of the conversation especially if you are passionate about the arts, film and media. So if you can make it there, why not? Martian Landing readers get a 25% VIP discount. Just quote MARS25 when you register and hopefully see you there.
I’m so excited to be going to The Media Arts Festival this 8-10 September at The Roundhouse in London. And you lucky Martian Landing readers can get a 25% VIP discount by quoting MARS25 when you register.
This is your chance to be part of ongoing conversations on making digital collaboration happen in the arts, media and film. TMFA 2010 is the only event bringing together the arts and media sectors to outline the potential for collaboration, skills exchange and partnership.
Peter Bazalgette, Deputy Chairman, English National Opera & Media Festival Arts Chair said: “At the Media Festival Arts you’ll hear from some of the most imaginative pioneers in the online world.”
The Media Festival Arts promises to address the critical questions facing arts, film and media businesses at a time of widespread change. As the new government beds in, and announces cuts, restructuring and economising of public funding mechanisms, and disruptive technologies continue to radically alter the way in which audiences consume, engage with and share content, the festival will bring together stakeholders from across the industries to discuss and debate the pressing issues faced by all, and find practical solutions to the challenges that lie ahead.
Key themes that will be discussed at the Festival:
- Monetising digital content
- Creative applications of digital content
- Creating compelling online brand experiences
- Social gaming
- Developing interactive arts engagement
- Apps and the arts
- Meet TV and multiplatform arts commissioners
- Public service arts content
- Digital content sponsorship
- Digital rights negotiation and management
- Project Canvas
- Transforming digital audiences into live audiences
- Driving innovation through technology
- Getting to grips with Search Engine Optimisation, CRM and e-tailing
For more information, have a look at TMFA2010. Remember to take advantage of your VIP Martian Landing discount! Hope to see you there.
The glitzy 2010 RTS Midlands Centre Awards is coming this November and they are now accepting entries.
You are invited to submit programmes or other content which were, or will be broadcast and/or published between 1st July 2009 & 1st July 2010 for consideration for the Midlands Centre Awards for 2010. Closing date for entries is Monday, 12 July 2010.
Please download the application form here: RTS Awards Entry Form 2010.
Brilliant start to the day thanks to UKTI, who gave the West Midlands delegates a chance to visit the Texan State Capitol. Learned a lot about Texas’ fight for independence, its forefathers and the inside workings of the Texan government.
After this, it was a stroll back to the Convention Centre to just catch up on some folk. Lunch was in order and went with a few WM friends at a beer garden and I had tacos. A post-lunch Key Note from Twitter CEO Evan Williams was in order, so headed to one of the Ballrooms to listen to him speak.
He talked about the interesting use of Twitter – e.g. after Chilean earthquake. Twitter was improving communication as people are able to get in touch with one another during disaster time. This, he said, was very gratifying for Twitter. He mentioned that they always held it important for Twitter to reach the ‘weaker signals’. SMS still important to them because it can reach people, especially those who are on the other side of the digital divide.
He said that getting a short message as long as a Tweet can be very important. So, they’re really working on making a difference in people’s lives.
Evans said that it “comes back to someone getting value out of Twitter, which can include those who don’t have an account and encounter a Tweet via public display or a link. It’s a two-way medium – can be as simple as a RT or a reply – doesn’t have to be a straight broadcast.
He added: “It’s about democraitisation of information that actually changes the world. And we haven’t really realised the full effects of that.”
The CEO said that they have a bit of dichotomy. The goal is not to maximise the things people want to follow. Twitter wants to help direct people’s attention that best interests them. It’s not about spending a long time on Twitter. They actually want to reduce that. Want to be a force for good.
Twitter’s big picture vision/ambition comes down to fostering information. Evan said that they want to give people control over what they want to pay attention to or help them find out what’s happening in the world and what they care about without costing them time or money and this ultimately as Evans puts it “powerful”.
He said that they only do and want to do win-win deals.
“Anyone having to lose out means it’s not sustainable and this is why there aren’t a lot of revenue streams put in place on Twitter at the moment,” he said.
It was good to hear Twitter’s principles: pay attention // make things happen // build trust
He ended with a couple of tips. Firstly, focus – he said it was “ok to do five things at the same time”, but really one still needs to start with one. And finally, think bigger, which is also one of Twitter’s core principles. That night, I met the Twitter bird.
From there, it was a mad dash to the next panel session, which was Packaging, Pitching and Presenting Your Digital Content (#packagepitchpresent on Twitter search).
- Barret Garese
- Max Benator, C10, writer/director/producer – helps figure out content to go online
- Nathan Coyle, digital content practice / develop propositions and secure funding
- Keith Richman, Break Media
- George Ruiz, head of new media (represent a lot of people who are massively popular in the online world)
The first thing they talked about was what is the proper way of approaching a digital agent. Ruiz said usually by referral. He was introduced to internet sensation Felicia Day, however, there have been examples where he’s found the talent online himself. Note that he doesn’t accept unsolicited material.
In terms of who they work with Coyle said that the reality of this medium is truly the “wild, wild west”. It really varies case by case. He worked with platforms like Hulu most of the time and other times he works with an advertiser. He has mentioned this new web series he’s working on – Private – here he worked with Johnson and Johnson.
He mentioned having guidelines – questions asked – to determine whether something will work online:
- Tell me why this wouldn’t work on TV? If there is no answer, then it’s not a good idea. There has to be a good answer about user engagement and a reason why it can’t be achieved on TV.
- How could the idea work and benefit the advertiser.
Benator made a point that you can hit a broad audience online just as much as TV and propositions don’t need to have an overthought web content.
They tackled the current state of digital business in the US. Benator said that there are a few big studios that want to figure out how to get the money to make it work through their digital arms and to be brand friendly. The state is about creating own content as an individual and growing that name and moving to the larger circles and this because there isn’t money in online at the moment.
Ruiz added that if one a first time creator, then it will be “tough” because the established brands will do well. He said that the hardest working producers are going to do well too like Felicia Day and Alex Albright. This is because they’re talking everyday to fans and bloggers and spreading the word. It’s the two-way connectiveness that gets them the attention.
Really enjoyed that and thanks to NATPE for organising the event. Another session they put together was Multiplatform Storytelling with Heroes creator Tim Kring (search #multiplatformstorytelling for conversations).
He started off by showing a clip from the 1950s featuring Prof Marsahll McLuhan. He talked about further audience engagement, which was quite avante gard at the time.
The general message was gone are the days of just pushing content to your audience. Audience participation = higher engagement.
Tim showed a video of the 360 elements of Heroes. He spoke about the notion of “transmedia”, which essentially is about sweating / exploiting the assets and making content available from one platform to another.
He said that the Heroes new media budget comes from NBC. Heroes going multiplatform shows a desire from a big corporation to push new media that met with a TV show that suited their aims, so it created a fantastic collaboration between the show and NBC.
The growth of the $4m per episode show’s multiplatform elements made content important to marketing. But Kring highlighted that you must have a creative force driving this.
He said: “People have to start getting out of the mindset of this one way street of pushing content to people. The audience wants to participiate and connect to a show and want to feel they have some influence and some participation. Participation is a must now for building fandom.”
After a brief chat with him, we may be working together on something when he visits the UK this year, so watch this space.
A margarita or two with some friends at the Radisson started the evening well. I unfortunately had to leave early to get to the world premiere of MacGruber (based on a Saturday Night Live character). Good thing I did leave when I did, because the queue was huge. We all got in 2 hours later and was glad to have got in the packed 1200-seater Paramount cinema. The main cast members were there including Val Kilmer and Ryan Philippe. It had such a great atmosphere thanks to the fans, which made the viewing experience quite memorable. Lots of clapping and laughter, which was a good end to the evening.
I end this post with the movie trailer.
Mad Men is one of my favourite TV dramas of all time and it is interesting to find out that its characters are ‘Tweeting’… speakers Helen Klein Ross and Michael Bissell aka @BettyDraper and @Roger_Stirling stepped out of the Twitterverse to talk about “transforming traditional advertising communication into entertainment” that results to real time conversations integral to building brand share.
Ross said that entetrainment is in the surface of the brand and so it is important to encourage a “participatory entertainment environment” in a service of a brand. She went on to say that the brand used to tell stories that ended when the commercial was over, but now the new advertising is the invitation to participate (e.g. Mad Men Yourself, done by Deep Focus, which is simply about advertars advertising the Mad Men brand).
Something like Made Men Yourself inspires consumers to extend the brand. They use the advertars on their Twitter or Facebook accounts, which their friends and their friends’ friends can see.
Ross said pariticpation is the new metric and that convegence of entertainment and technology gives everybody a chance to participate. Hence, it is important that creative works have a creative technologist – and this is how it should be. Creatives need to think multiplatform today.
So, what kind of results is Mad Men Yourself getting? Well…
- 1m unique visits
- 600,000 avatars created
- 3.3m tuned in season premiere of the actual show
These figures go to show that brand fiction is a new way of advertising.
Another form of brand fiction is Mad Men on Twitter. The TV characters began leading parallel lives in the Twitterverse, giving the audience a new way to connect with the show.
The audience accept the fact that it’s 1963… Ross and Bissell said that it’s interesting to see how characters answer the story. They deal in real time with questions about real time.
Mad Men on Twitter builds engagement. There’s a whole new way of engaging audiences between episodes and between seasons as well as keeping up excitement betweeen episodes and seasons.
Going online via Twitter means they are also attrating new audience among potential fans around the world.
They did say that it is important that they remained rigourously consistent with the characters.
And what about “deeper audience interaction”? Ross said: “We began to create opportunities for deeper audience interaction – instead of Tweeting back to fans – we actually invited them to party – to a virtual tea party (Tea at The Drapers). They’ve also invited others to become part of the fictional universe – like the fictional Carla. Since AMC hasn’t really got full control of this, Ross and Bissell are very much open to getting everyone involved. They are enabling the audience to create stories of their own. Therefore, there is the added dimension to the universe of fan-invented characters ( for example, Perfectsec, @FrankAdman and Bud Melman). Extending it beyond the life of the show = deepr audience engagement.
“We went on to play with the time-space continuum – Tweeting from 1960s to 2010 and invited to live tweet the Clios. Matt Weiner was being given an honorary Clio and some Mad Men characters were Tweeting, in character of course. It was a fun convergence of time,” said Ross.
This led to a “Tweaser”, which was timed for the Season 3 premiere, shown an hour before S3 came on.
Ross and Bissell talked about Mad Worlds Collides. The story is all about Mad Men on Twitter. They prepared the venue, set the stage, promoted the event with Tweets and blog posts, and even ‘sold’ tickets on Eventbrite. Bissell added that peole were just willing to sign up for this and it meant that they are able to track data – they were able to collect names and e-mails of ardent fans, which therefore are good for metrics. This ultimately shows that information can be gathered via brand fiction. Both speakers said that they ensured the event endured beyond the fleeting life of search.twitter.com. They are now more alert to data collection, so they collect hash tags so they can go back and look at the conversations.
The payoff according to them is deepening audeince engagement in the show. It means that they build a new audience base, which in effect leads to goodwill for the brand. The level of deep engagement keeps the show alive between episodes and provides deeper profiles. Mad Men on Twitter was the first fan-based campaign recognised for branding power.
Ross said “just think if Nescafe spots ran today… it would be called branded entertainment these days – it was just called a good commercial then…” And yes, these days Anthony Head’s Nescafe adverts could be working in conjunction with foursquare, match.com, Facebook, Twitter and craiglist. For those of you who don’t know the adverts, here’s a taster:
They tackled the rules of brand fiction:
1 Content is king – success depnds on the quality of the creative
Appoint a dedicacted brand fiction manager
Design a brand fiction canon – highliy detailed account of characters, settings, vernacular rising from central story – most of the stuff in the canon will never see the light of day but still need to have that.
2 Maintain contuinity across the platforms – it’s not an alternative universe – it’s a story told in many different places, but its the same story.
3 Be authentic – content must embody brand values, e.g. Old Spice whistle ringtone – when going cross platform, think about consistency.
4 Be relavant and know your brand fans.
5 Share – respond, retweet, relationship – remember participation is the new metric
6 Don’t trust a bot to do the job of a human, because you can’t automate good content and wit.
7 Dont dilute your brand – if you want to do some cross-promotion, make sure you integrate other brands carefully
8 Campaign assessment of the Scheherezarade factor.
Monitoring = metrics // engagement // redirecting/harnessing // tracking // archiving
9 Don’t underestimate time/effort necessary for success. Digital media is actually quite labour intensive,
10 Have fun.
They left with some words of wisdom: brand fiction has to be part of the overall campaign… it has to be part of the strategy. Also, remember that the issue is about convincing the entertainment brands / making the client understand that something “beautiful” is being created.