Scott Brown, Director of Marketing, Cisco Media Solutions Group - quoted on Twitter at the Digital Media Conference West, San Francisco
The above quote from Cisco Media Solutions Group Director of Marketing, Scott Brown, highlights a point we make often when speaking to our media and entertainment customers about the Cisco Eos® platform. We believe that a digital strategy (e.g. how you reach and engage consumers via digital distribution channels and social media) should not be separated from an overall media business strategy.
Record labels should be applauded for recognizing that digital is not a separate strategy from an overall business strategy. As much as they are berated by the press, the labels are leaders in creating what are known as ‘direct to consumer’ or ‘D2C’ strategies and business units, focused on reaching consumers directly via online channels (artist web sites, social networks). D2C is a much wider strategy than just selling music product (physical product or digital on iTunes). Such D2C business also involves collecting data about consumption of content on social networks and digital purchase behavior to drive strategies in the real world like, “where should my portfolio of artists be touring”? Jeremy Welt, SVP of New Media at Warner Bros Records offers that D2C strategy means many different things to different people.
As we’ve discussed on this blog, Cisco Eos® is a social entertainment software platform built for Media & Entertainment companies. The platform is being used by media companies in multiple entertainment genre — from music to T.V….from sports to film. Dogwoof, a leading distributor of independent films in the UK, such as Restrepo and No Impact Man, has been running on Eos for almost a year. Today, I’d like to introduce you to a new site that’s enabled by Cisco Eos, Variety’s Screening Series Video Q&A site: http://cisco.varietyscreeningseries.com/screenings/.
The Variety Screening Series is an exclusive series of invite-only screenings of award-contending films. Each screening consists of a showing of the film, accompanied by a live Q&A with directors, producers, writers or actors associated with a particular film. The screenings take place in three cities: Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The series is in its eighth year, but this is the first year in which they are utilizing Cisco Eos to extend the experience beyond the audience at the physical screenings.
Visiting this site is your opportunity to be a VIP and see the Q&A videos with your favorite stars, directors, etc., from the comfort of your own home (or at least laptop). For example:
If you register for the site, you can become part of the virtual audience — rating the videos on the site, sharing the videos with your friends via Facebook, MySpace and Twitter; you can even upload your own photos and videos related to the films and screening series.
The screening series runs through December, so be sure to check back frequently for updates. New videos are being added weekly and we’ll definitely be seeing more from L.A., N.Y. and a handful in S.F. The videos are a great resource for you film fans to get an additional fix as we go into the award season since many of these films, actors, directors and producers are likely candidates for nomination. Happy viewing!
How do you find out about new TV shows, movies, and bands and artists?
At the Bandwidth Conference (a digital music trade show), a few months back, we captured some conversations about ‘how content finds you’, in this case, how you find new music. Jac Holzman, the visionary founder of Elektra Records(read a Cisco blog post about Holzman and the 60th anniversary of the label here), was asked if it’s a bad thing that technology has lowered the cost of recording, thereby allowing hundreds of thousand more musically inclined people to make records. With so much new music being released, isn’t so much of it just mediocre music? For instance, going online to sift through hundreds of blogs, unknown artist sites, music discovery sites like the Hype Machine and recommendation services like Pandora -- is it worth all that time to find good new music? Holzman offers that record labels themselves, like Elektra (see the Cisco Eos powered site for the label here), are one of the best platforms to discover new quality music -- he explains ..
When it comes to discovering new music, what if you don’t have a favorite record label or radio station, to be your ‘first filter’ as Jac Holzman calls it?
A little over a year ago, we introduced five new video vignettes, which helped us translate “What Cisco Eos® can do for you” through the lens of different roles in a media company, as well as for the end consumer. In the post New Videos: the Story of the Five Blind Men and an Elephant, I detailed how these videos helped us overcome the challenge of explaining what Eos is and how it can help bring value to media companies, as well as enable an engaging, interactive entertainment experience for fans.
What we discovered about these videos is that they worked. Engagement was high and we received anecdotal responses that these vignettes helped people “get” what Eos was. Presentations and collateral are great—but video can convey a lot in a pretty succinct and compelling way. These vignettes really served as conversation starters.
Since the release of the original video vignettes, the Cisco Media Solutions Group has been busy. In FY10, the team acquired five additional Eos customers who have already built 75+ Eos-powered sites. There were also almost 400 features and enhancements made to the platform within that time frame.
Today, we’re launching a new set of videos with our favorite characters, carrying the story into the new features that our customers are excited about. We also wanted to show that Eos can be used by any number of entertainment related companies. In these new stories, we follow a company that manages a sports site (Ole Ole) and a fan of that site.
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to: