Tag Archives: Entertainment

Media Companies (and Execs) in the Driver’s Seat for a Prosperous New Year

Media Companies (and Executives) on the Hot Seat in 2015 – NYTimes.com.

I respectfully disagree with the NYT article.   Media content providers, especially those who are trying to adapt to this brave new world, have significant opportunities moving into this new year.

Media needs a large cash infusion to their R&D to experiment with:

  1. Delivery paradigms.  Significant diversification in delivery mediums are still in their infancy.  Motion picture brands are, by and large, using media distribution brokers who bundle a large diversification of brand assets collectively to provide great depth of media choices.   Media brands/networks are distributed through a grouping of ‘channels’  delivered through the intermediary, e.g.  cable company.  Media content creators are competing with a crowded group of similar and dissimilar brands all within the same portal used by media bundled providers.   There are quite a few opportunities for delivery in lieu of the older paradigm, such as a distribution of brands around a genre would make it easier for the consumer to find and enjoy their media content.  For example, comedy.com, a portal for all media brands comedy, could be a great partnership across media companies.   This collective portal, an alignment of brands within the same genre,  living across media companies, may not only provide an easier, entertaining, and more enjoyable experience, it helps to innovate all those within this media partnership.   In addition to motion pictures, other formats such as text, photos and graphics, may be delivered through the same medium.  Several companies are already broaching this space such as Amazon, Google,  Microsoft Video, Netflix,Yahoo!, and AOL.  If media content creators don’t experiment with creative distribution initiatives, they may find themselves bargaining with 3rd party distribution for the cost of IP digital distribution.
  2. Creative reuse of existing assets.  This is one of my favorite opportunities media content creators can do.  Many brands are already capitalizing on the reuse of assets, which then spawn to be assets on their own.  Everything from one off episodes, or Webisodes, cast interviews, outtakes, interaction with live audiences through tweets (cast, director narration, and Q&A), mobile text contests,  mobile app for streaming, apps for audience real-time interaction, e.g. games, and actors retweeting fan favorite clip links .  Another one of my favorites are user created ‘favorite’ clips.  The media creator may limit the enthusiast / fan of the content to create e.g. 60 second clips to share on social networks.  The distributor needs to allow in and out points, and then the consumer can share through an email or social media.   These extra assets have great potential, but brands attempting  to socialize these   assets may have difficulty exposing them to viewership.  An integrated video  and dynamic , interactive media content may surface through clickable images, either through object recognition, or a simple image overlay, like a network ‘bug’.  Users may click through to the content, and instantly get a media teaser that will keep hold of the consumer, and manage the media experience.   The click through interactive experience is a whole world unto itself, which requires leaps and bounds of consumer experience usability studies, backed by wireframe prototypes.  The reuse of assets suffers from delivery paradigms, which fail due to a consumer content delivery void.
  3. New content driven by the consumer appetite for your brand will grow your revenue and audience affinity. This is an area which some organizations go ‘all in’, or have smaller budgets.  It seems that these new productions are hit or miss.  A single pilot should be exposed to several test markets, and if there is positive feedback, the brand or distributor could order more episodes.  On a tangent, there is opportunity for media production companies to go to colleges, and universities, provide budgets to, e.g. film classes to produce a trailer, or short . The best clips may turn into pilots for a show, which may be a one off distributed by web only, broadcasted, or both.

The lack of exposure to the brand, or network, is a huge issue which is deepened by leveraging the bundled content distributor as your primary source of distribution.   How to draw consumers to a brand in a saturated world of content is a daunting task.

Are media content creators looking to make large investments to innovate, or are they looking to stabilize their reduction of profit from falling ad sales, with methods such as stagnant or reduction in headcount, and slowing the breaks on CapEx.  It seems like even a temporary retreat to see who is the new trailblazer, and follow that model can be a costly mistake for the brand running into obscurity.  Companies are already following some of the leaders in the marketplace today, but their success is not guarantee for tomorrow’s performance.

Bundled content providers may also take a page from the proposed model where we have STB customized portals, e.g. based on user’s previously viewed content,  a jump page for your viewing experience.  A new STB may incorporate a Wii type sensor, and a new remote,  interacting with the sensor to provide a more fluid experience.  A lot of opportunities,  for talented people, as well as the investors who believe in them.

Fast Pitch: Potential Media Projects Compete for Production Company $$

in an age where and are creating unique content for their portal, it would be interesting and potentially profitable to have a TV show like Shark Tank for writers and producers to pitch their stories to production companies, and executive producers.

In a TV show called ‘Fast Pitch’, writers and producers who have rights to the IP,  would try to sell their TV shows and movies using any medium possible, such as story boards, theatrical trailers, teaser clips, etc., Competing production companies, financiers, and executive producers, if they are interested, would bid against each other, to fund, and/or participate as an executive producer.

Hybrid TV and Game Integration

The article I read on Defiance says it’s a TV Show Game Hybrid, great media vertical to test it out.  I’m not sure if they are talking about one of these opportunities, regardless interesting:

  • it’s an on line multiplayer game where a hashtag appears on the screen, the user has to decipher it, and then take action in the game, e.g. find an object,  kill an opponent or game character.   The clues would appear during the show and users may get distracted.
  • And/Or just like the classic movie Clue, multiplayer gamers could influence the story line    There would have to be many takes of multiple scenes, OR computer generated characters, like the Final Fantasy movie, this way the show and the multiplayer game are synced in real-time    There might be an SOA tier that both the software rendering the TV show, and the third party hosting gaming software may input user events.
  • A Microsoft, or Sony, could use their game platforms, Xbox or PlayStation to host the multiplayer game, and in a picture in picture format, show Sony Television.
  • The multiplayer games could run on any platform from PC, Tablet, or smartphone, and broadcast through the Television or streaming though Internet.

Maybe even through the new Google street rendering for gaming, and the Television show can take advantage of this technology.  See previous post.

The game and streaming may even be hosted on your sight, collecting ad revenues, but you would have to build the platform.

Upbeat Music Sales Increases with Innovation & Cross Selling

History Shadows an Upbeat Music Sales Forecast – NYTimes.com.

There is even more to come.  It would be great if we would see more integration of Music Streaming Shops with Music magazines for example.  I use Amazon MP3 on my Samsung S3, and the store is fairly decent, but I would like to click on an artist in the store, and not only see what they have for sale, but am able to see more, such as:

  • when and where are there next concerts, and partner or become a ticket retailer and sell tickets to that concert
  • allow the user to see an array of recent articles from music periodicals, and based on the business model of the periodical allow the user to read the first 10 articles for free, but after that they need to subscribe to that periodicals music news, or have a collective fee, and disperse the margin for the collating of the music news
  • This can happen on the current phones, phablets, or tablets, and you may see a lot more cross pollination of ‘music sales’ as an industry as a whole, which will allow this particular sector to grow.
  • Hey, even partner with Ebay, if a certain artist has put up their guitar for auction, for charity or otherwise, auction tickets, backstage passes, or more.

The list seems endless.

Reaping the Dividends of not produced Advertisements, Television, and Movie Scripts

In an article from the New York Times, Dickens, Austen and Twain, Through a Digital Lens, they discussed may forms of Big Data analysis, including the popular studies from Google’s Book scanning project, which according to the article scanned 20 million books, and the site is used 50 times a minute.  Other studies sited in the article stated movie quotes from the Internet Movie Database, IMDb, as well as looking at advertising slogans raised questions regarding the search algorithms and the people who create them.

Quantitative tools in the humanities and the social sciences, as in other fields, are most powerful when they are controlled by an intelligent human. Experts with deep knowledge of a subject are needed to ask the right questions and to recognize the shortcomings of statistical models.

“You’ll always need both,” says Mr. Jockers, the literary quant. “But we’re at a moment now when there is much greater acceptance of these methods than in the past. There will come a time when this kind of analysis is just part of the tool kit in the humanities, as in every other discipline.”

In the article, it surfaces as a ‘tread lightly’ warning; however, it sounds like an inevitable, troubling, and tantalizing forbidden fruit.  Part of me would recommend scanning in all types of scripts, from Television Shows, Advertisements, and Movie Scripts, produced and also not aired.  There could even be a profitable model to this, and at the same time, make the person asking the questions think real hard on the question before asking, because every answer has a price.  If you put in all of the above scripts into an indexable data warehouse, associate a cost assigned per production company to charge back to the user and provide the fee to the production company if a) the abbreviated content shows up in a search as a line item and b) if the full content is selected by the user to be displayed with the indexable content selected and shown in it’s context.  Two separate pricing models are used for each type, so each action comes with a price.  On the positive side, there are creative talents that went into the creation of the script, and the production company that was able to acquire the script if produced or not, will still reap dividends from the creative artist that produced the script. There are already sites that contain script libraries, so a transformation would be required to utilize the scattered site libraries for analytical processing. Each feed would be allowed to have charge back for the library access, and a fee margin per hit.

CES Highlights: Artist? Buy My Card. NFC Business Card Storage for Music, Movies

Here is an Entertainment Industry Game Changer from Art, Books, Music, and Movies

At the show, I was talking to someone about a concept car coming out of Korea, and I happen to hear about this interesting Near Field Communications (NFC) Music Card that not only can store a song, or album of music, but if you use it to touch your Samsung S3 phone, for example, you will be able to transfer and play the music.  The concept car was about music, and happen to have an NFC on the dashboard.  The person demonstrated the business card which contained a music note, and the demonstrator told me they were popular in Korea, wild.  So from there, it should be practical to potentially store movies, and I couldn’t afford to get a Blu-ray player anyway, oh well.  I still am bummed.

Here are a few scenarios:

  • I am an artist, and I want to give you a demo of my art, music, or movies, so I had the art gallery dealer, music or movie distributor my card.
  • If these cards are so inexpensive, I don’t need the overhead (headcount, warehouse, production of the expensive medium such as a DVD or Blue-ray disk).  Presto, I just use a customized printer, cost effective, I am sure, to print out my own cards that are filled with my art, music or movies.  More jobs out the window, so where is Steve Jobs when you need him?  At least he was a job creator for retail, and an entire society driven to produce a product, the world got together and did something, wow, who would have thought people would work toward a common goal.
Entertainment NFC Card
Entertainment NFC Card

This is a close up of the card, that can fit in my credit card holder.

Yeah, that’s it for me from the show.  I could go into a whole host of other technology applications, but, I just won’t. All the best from Las Vegas at the CES International show.  Just like Lenka, “Enjoy” The Show…

Predicted Trends for the Coming Year 2013

Here are some possible new trends to take hold in the marketplace in the new year. Best wishes on a good year.

Business

1. The companies that enable advertising users to send text messages, and the option to cover the receivers charges, e.g. the following is a free text message from [your co.].  Recent NY Times article covering some aspect, Is Paying to Message Strangers a New Texting Business?

Consumer

2. The year of the new visual paradigm for smart devices, such as new shaped input devices like Google Project Glass, Glasses, or Microsoft’s competitive approach.

3. New shaped mobile phones, phones that bend, like the announced Nokia phone, or apparel phones, maybe even a Star Trek like comm link phone worn on the wrist or lapel. The bendable phones may fall flat, but I can see arm band phones, if they can be miniaturized, and flat enough to be non obtrusive to the clothing, may become quite popular, from a fashion trend, and eventually spanning to law and military use. If they are fitted with a ‘pull out’ bendable screen, pulling out the screen for video communications, and once pulled out and locked, they become rigid, and then snap right back in like a tape measure, might be very hot.  Of course, this may be an alternate to the Google type Glasses.

Business

4. Recall in the late 80s and 90s when biofeedback glasses with LEDs and music were the in thing to calm one’s self, as well as mood audio books are also a current theme for a specific market segment.  We’ve all also bear witness to these Planetarium, Pink Floyd shows of laser lights and music.  These concepts may transform themselves into the trend mainstream with 3D screens, music channels that coincide with 3D fractal images, and other cosmic displays of lights for parties or easy listening.  We may also see this approach the Google Glass mediums, as well as partial transformations of knock off Google Glasses, with this effect for the traveler and their commutes to their destinations.

Clubs, Codes, and Kids

5. A fashion trend I see coming about with teens and older, are do it yourself tattoos that use a paper that you can print and stick seamlessly on your skin, a combination of transparent paper, and an adhesive.  A program runs on any computer, and there will be all different types of programs that use their own PR type codes, or other coded Engrams, that would allow teens to encode messages on their tattoos, and the encrypted message can be read using a smartphone app and a camera. Post with your friends the decryption codes on a blog that you need to log in, and there is a new fashionable way to share secrets with your friends, or a club.  We’ve all seen kids with lick and stick tattoos.  The inhibitor to getting a real tattoo is parent permission, but these new stick on tattoos are just as cool, and you can change the codes of the tattoos.  If you have gifted programmers, they can programs that encode messages in a wide variety of images.  This may become main stream to main street.  Also, if you want to pledge a fraternity or sorority, you might get their encoded tattoos. I can see this easily morphing as an amusement park ticket entrance annual pass, where people don’t want to carry wallets, as an example, and can make them water resistant (days) for water park passes.

A note of caution: any idea can morph into something with a dark purpose,  but technology can be used for societies’ betterment or decrement. As we have wittnessed, ideas eventually surface and are implemented regardless of inhibitors. It’s not that ideas that are damaging, it’s what we choose to do with the idea.

Input Alternatives for the Gaming

6. Remember in Stargate, the T.V. show, where the Ancients would sit in a chair and touch this funky, jell like pad, on the chair console?  It was like the chair was reading the neural impulses from the hand to bring up maps, and your hand had the ability to be the Near Field Communications (NFC) device.  Anyway, look it up.  I don’t think that technology will be available with a large set of functions. Basic applications and devices are already in the field as a novelty gifts with minimal set of applications, e.g. move a ball with your mind.  However, it is possible the gaming industry can take this minimal set of inputs and transform them into a gaming console pad with little additional research, so the person which is playing has a more rapid input response, and therefore, it’s almost as if the game is one step ahead of your visual acuity processing the commands already sent to your hand. The gamer would see an obstruction on the screen and want to jump over it. A neurological impulse would be sent from the brain to react, that response today can be read by these type of novelty items we see in catalogs. What I am promoting is pushing these out and allow the public access to this more integrated experience, in a controlled, regulated way to the mainstream.

Hybrid Netbook and Laptop, Chromebook or other?

7. I was hoping the Cromebooks were a hybrid between a Netbook and a Laptop.  I have had very little experience with Cromebooks, and they may be like the following:  The user has a small local footprint of the latest operating system, as of the last time they logged onto the Virtual Machine OS Farm, that covers basic off-line operations, such as word processing, and a relatively small storage capacity, which may be a small to mid sized solid state drive, so when they are offline they have the capacity to work, e.g. a person goes out of range, or starts up where there is no WiFi. Once they are back in range of WiFi, the files and OS syncs up seamlessly to the user’s machine and the VM OS farm.

Advertisements, Entertainment, Hardware Partners, Netbooks, and 3D

8. Coming into the mainstream, 3D personal streaming entertainment to video distribution networks, using 3D Web Cameras like Minoru, which claim to be the World’s first 3D webcam. Aggressively using 3D as a medium by potentially partnering with hardware vendors on a few basic netbooks and enable integrateion of this 3D technology.  This Minoru 3D web camera is only 89 USD, and if someone initially commits to an advertising budget of 200 USD for an initial spend, for example, why not send them a totally integrated Netbook with this or a similar type of camera.  Netbooks base price are very inexpensive.

Advertising, Partnering, Video Editors, and Streaming

9. I did a post about this one, but I cannot believe no one grabbed at it and ran with it.  A business paradigm could be to take a program such as VLC from Video LAN Organization, create a plug in to a video editor, and a robust player, and modify or create a new video streaming platform with an interactive video. This technology will allow users to use this to apply new educational methods, or be used to advertise products.

Create a video editing plugin allowing a video editor to ‘rope around, and identify an object’ in one frame, and the plug in will recognize the movement of the object and mark and follow the object for 30 seconds x 60 FPS (Frames Per Second), and the user inserts a popup bubble containing a clickable link, and some Ad text. In playback mode, when a viewer hovers over the object in the video at a particular time index code, the popup ad will appear, is clickable and will launch an application and pass information, such as a browser and a URL.

This should be extremely easy to rollout and implement.  At this point, it would take a small team, and financial backing, based on all the cloud computing and storage available, they should be able to establish a video streaming platform and integrate a streaming player that uses their modified streaming plugin that accepts the new encoding that is slightly modified from industry standards. This new platform would allow this team to compete with local, national, and global advertisers, and get local, national, and international brands to advertise with them using this new attractive medium.

If the platform is created, the amateur videographer can make their video as per usual, partner with some of the branded companies’ objects in the video, e.g. clothing, highlight a few advertising partner objects during editing, insert the ad popup bubble with Ad text and the link, and then upload the video to the new or modified platform that is able to playback these new videos with the slightly different encoding.  The Video Player I used as an example is from a non-profit organization, composed of volunteers, developing and promoting free, open-source multimedia solutions.

This post may be added to over the next few days.

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Secure Digital Cards to Replace DVD and Blu-ray

Some of the SD card classes, and software copyright protection offer the ability to already replace DVDs, see SD Standard Overview » Speed Classand we are at the cusp of the most performance SD card being cost effective, and one may argue based on the highest specifications of the Blu-ray disk both in capacity and performance overcome, if not, equate the performance of the Blu-ray disk.  So why not the shift?  Well, one has to make new drives to manufacturer players, produce read only cards, and so on.   Also, why have the large player device all together? Many Televisions are equipped with inputs for SD, and even if they are not, there are very small readers today, which you could, add either infrared (IR), Bluetooth, or WiFi.  There’s the next generation.  I wouldn’t get to hung up on those Blu-ray disks for long.  I did have stock in SanDisk, but had to sell it to pay the bills.

YouTube Video Streams from Google Glasses with Advertising? Behind the Scenes on DVDs?

A phenomena of reality T.V. makes me come to realize that this idea may be of interest to a wide audience. Although I am personally not interested in reality television, using an image video stabilizer, I was a bit jealous yesterday. Someone was headed to the Caribbean, and I was a bit jealous for a moment, but then I became relieved because although I like the destination, the journey annoys me, but to each his or her own.  I can imagine celebrities, musicians, and anyone can put on their Google Glasses, and stream their video feed to e.g. You Tube, either sell the stream, like a singer or drummer, or even an audience member of a concert will promote their Google Glasses Stream, and even sell advertising on the bottom as YouTube currently performs with YouTube videos.  A model walking down the ‘catwalk’, and the list goes on.  Even auction you’re stream if you are a celebrity for charity?   Man, reality T.V.   Can also give a whole new meaning to behind the scenes on movie DVDs, from a Director to whomever is in a movie, cast or crew.