May 02

What determines the success of an online video campaign has been debated not only by us here at Preview Networks, but by industry experts alike. Although there is no one secret ingredient which makes a video go viral (check out this Ted talk video on why), good content spreads like a virus, whether you intended it to or not. Good content triggers are different for everyone but chances are if you make something informative as well as entertaining, it will catch on.

Relevancy of the video content to your brand helps link the cognitive side with receiver involvement (Source: Wright, P.L.). In other words, this could help determine whether a user might actively share the video or not. Not only that, but relevancy in terms of alignment of the brand need with the audience reached and context provided by the publisher, increases the chance the right person at the right time is seeing your video (Source: Gigaom).

The Evian Baby advertising campaigns are an excellent example of this. According to Evian, there is a history of its brand being connected with babies which dates back to 1935. Evian was first recommended as the perfect water for babies in France back then, and still to this day it is the number one water used by mothers for the same reason due to the pH-neutral mineral composition (Source: International Business Times).

Evian’s “Roller Babies” campaign in 2009 currently holds the official Guinness World Record for most viral video of all time (Source: Business Insider). This year, they are back with their “Baby & Me” campaign and if the views on YouTube  and mentions on Twitter are any indication of this year’s campaign success, Evian is well on their way to another viral video success.

Preview Networks is delighted to have been involved in contributing to the campaign’s audience relevancy and reach outside of YouTube on premium publisher sites in 11 different countries in addition to a dynamic image creation on top of the custom player created specifically for YouTube. A combination of on and off YouTube syndication strategy ensured the campaign received maximum exposure. However, at the end of the day sometimes great content speaks for itself.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth. Acquired by Rightster in February 2013, our combined offering strengthens video distribution, marketing, and monetisation services globally.

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Apr 10

A few months ago we discussed Digital Innovation in the Fashion Industry inspired by the record numbers the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2013 runway shows in New York received online which indicates an increasing interest in receiving fashion video content online by consumers. As was mentioned in an iStrategy blog post, “the gap between the high-end fashion houses and well-known high-street stores is beginning to lessen” which opens up an entirely new audience for consuming this content online. The Spring Summer 2013/14 runway shows are well underway down under in Sydney, Australia this week and efforts are focused on bringing the consumer even closer to the content this time around. Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 4.22.33 PM

Fashion Weeks have turned into a social event offline in many cities and Sydney is no exception. This year’s focus is on public engagement with the Spring Summer 2013/14 runway shows live-streamed on a giant screen in outdoor pedestrian mall Martin Place with a pop-up bar nearby (Source: smh.com.au). In terms of online activity, the designers are also focused on the consumer by offering live-streams of the shows on their websites for the first time, as shown here by Camilla & Marc, who opened up the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (#MBFWA) on Monday. In addition to runway show availability online, local ecommerce site JASU.com is offering pre orders of the fashions online, many of which will not be available for months in retail stores (Source: Rightster).

How long the Spring Summer 2013/14 collections will be available for pre order online is unknown, but we have seen this sort of fashion innovation before by none other than digital innovator Burberry who we have blogged about many times in the past. In the September 2012 runway shows in New York, Burberry offered guests from over 35 events to be able to purchase the runway collection exclusively for one week immediately after the show, or eight weeks before the products went on sale around the world (Source: Forbes).

Runway shows are moving from exclusive fashion events for a select audience to marketing and sales opportunities for the designers and online audience. While this is all very exciting for the average consumer and digital marketers alike, there are some fashion critics that argue that “live video could ruin fashion week and leave us with ugly clothes” (Source: The Atlantic.com). Their fear is that by allowing video of the runway shows online, there will be no more seasons or fashion weeks (Apparel Executives.com). Any time there is innovation and change there will always be resistance, but those first movers who embrace it will have the chance to reap the benefits and lessens learned, pushing them further ahead of the fashion innovation curve.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth. Acquired by Rightster in February 2013, our combined offering strengthens video distribution, marketing, and monetisation services globally.

Apr 03

Last week’s blog post and the news of Spotify’s plans to potentially begin producing their own video content has inspired me to look into other businesses who have made the move to do the same. The example that comes to mind first for online video is Netflix with the launch of their original series House of Cards. When news of the series broke in February, there were many articles written speculating whether it would be a hit or pay off given the $100 million investment for two 13 episode seasons. With monthly subscriptions for Netflix costing $7.99 and having collected data from users indicating interest in the new series with no raise in price, they would need to add 520,834 subscriptions over two years in order to break even on the House of Cards investment (Source: Slate.comThe Atlantic Wire.com). When considering that Netflix plans to produce a total of 5 new shows per year, including the already highly anticipated Arrested Development, the raise in subscriptions needed becomes less daunting. Particularly since Netflix saw a 13 percent increase in streaming viewers over a one year span in the U.S. from 24 million to 27 million prior to the new content initiatives (Source: The Atlantic Wire.com).Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 4.45.10 PM

Netflix has been said to use Big Data to predict the shows success before it even began using algorithms combining the popularity of director David Fincher and actor Kevin Spacey and using peak period and content type data streams (Source: The New York Times.com). However, it has also been argued that Big Data can only report past preferences and not predict what people will like in the future. According to John Landgraf of FX Networks, number-crunching would never have predicted the success of shows like The Sopranos, South Park, and Mad Men for example (Source: NYTimes.com).

Does the same theory apply to music? As a personal user of Spotify myself I get huge amounts of satisfaction by using their radio service based on an artist I like to find and listen to new music. Why wouldn’t Spotify then use data from their 5 million paying subscribers and 20 million active users to begin producing their own music based on consumer preferences (Source: Spotify.com)? Why the move to online video? While we know it’s a hot space to be in, the competition is tough and one could question whether this would fragment the landscape even more. Many a musical artist has been found and even discovered via YouTube (e.g. Justin Bieber) which combines both video and music, so how Spotify will distinguish themselves by creating original content remains to be seen (Source: Mashable).

While the Netflix move and Spotify news are all very exciting to speculate about, brands have been producing their own video content for some time. We all know about the emergent trend of brands becoming more like media companies, particularly with the production and distribution of online video (Source: Preview Networks Blog). Major fashion labels like Chanel and popular consumer products such as Red Bull have been producing their own content marketing for years, distinguishing themselves from advertising centric strategies. Even B2B companies are joining the ranks of online producers with Rightster Studios’ launch of their online comedy football show “Off The Ball” which can be seen on YouTube and ESPN making their model more of a B2B2C (Source: Rightster.com). Instead of physical products or subscriptions however, the break-even point lies in distribution and advertising.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth. Acquired by Rightster in February 2013, our combined offering strengthens video distribution, marketing, and monetisation services globally.

Mar 27
Yahoo-Spotify

Image courtesy of pcworld.com.mx

For a slow holiday week, there are a couple of big news stories that could potentially change the landscape of the online video space. It could all be speculation, but anyone that pays attention to what’s happening in online video or is in charge of digital marketing for their organisations should probably take note nonetheless.

The Stories:

On March 25th the Business Insider and Fast Company both released stories about major players looking to do some interesting things with video. First up is Spotify, the digital music service that allows users to play music wherever and whenever they are online, via computer, tablet, or mobile, for a monthly fee. The service also has a social element to it which allows users to create playlists, see what their friends are listening to, and share great new song discoveries. While Spotify is popular with many consumers, their margins are relatively low due to the fact that they have to pay the music labels each time a user listens to a song. Therefore, they are looking for ways to create exclusive content to increase their margins and turning to video. Whether that means they become another on-demand video service such as Netflix or HBO creating successful series such as House of Cards or Sex and the City remains to be seen (Source: Business Insider).

Another interesting development in the online video space this week revolves around Yahoo. They are in talks to buy Dailymotion, a relatively small YouTube competitor which, according to Fast Company proves “that the future of the Internet lies squarely in video” (Source: Fast Company). The article makes some pretty impressive points in terms of how the web is shifting from text to online video which makes the potential Dailymotion purchase by Yahoo all the more interesting. While YouTube is for the moment the “single point of upload and playback for web video” other major players such as Facebook, AOL, and Amazon have made an impact in the video space. Most notably for those of us in the video syndication space, is AOL’s revenue jump in part due to their 5Min acquisition.  This has allowed them to build a video network with a mix of created, curated, and live video with the ”understanding that they need to be both a destination and a distributor of video to third party sites” (Source: Fast Company).

The Trends:

The three trends the Dailymotion acquisition and/or the Spotify video business model move could validate for the growing popularity of the use of online video revolve around: audience, devices, and money. The holy trinity for lack of a better term. Video drives website traffic and the increasing use of mobile devices increases the use of video, which ultimately brings in advertising revenues. Here are a few fun facts to chew on keeping those trends in mind:

Audience: The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand [VoD], Internet, and P2P) will be approximately 86 percent of global consumer traffic by 2016. (Cisco)

Devices: 93% of smartphone users use their devices in the home, and almost 50% of users watch videos on their smartphones. 90% of smartphone searches result in an action such as a purchase or a visit to a business. (Google Blog, April 2011)

Money: Online video is the fastest growing ad format in 2012 with nearly 55% growth. (eMarketer, January 2012). The online video industry will reach $28.72 billion in 2017, soaring from the $3.79 billion recorded in 2010 and the $11.14 billion expected in 2012. (Digital TV Research). Source: Fast Company

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth. Acquired by Rightster in February 2013, our combined offering strengthens video distribution, marketing, and monetisation services globally.

Feb 05
Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 3.48.06 PM

Check out M&M’s Super Bowl teaser video

Various research and reports have indicated how consumer behaviour is becoming more multi-faceted when it comes to media consumption. Most recently a KPMG study revealed ”Consumers are increasingly using multiple media at the same time, particularly when watching television. According to a recent poll of 1,000 U.S. consumers from KPMG, 42% of the respondents said they watch TV and access the internet via a laptop or PC at the same time. Another 17% said they watch TV while using a smartphone. Just over a fifth (22%) said they were using these devices to access a social media site while watching TV” (Source: MediaPost).

Given these trends, how are brands using major events to integrate online and TV strategies? If the recent Super Bowl ad commercial hype taught us anything, it’s that brands are becoming more in-tune to consumer behaviour trends by releasing TV commercials online before the big game and keeping fans engaged during the game with social media tactics. Not only are they giving the consumers what they want, they are also increasing views online by 600%, in hopes it will create greater brand exposure and ultimately sales (Source: Mashable). Some studies have also shown that releasing ads early online shows a 20% increase in web traffic to advertiser sites (Source: MediaPost). For those that like to save the big reveal until the day of the event, releasing teaser videos are the likely compromise satisfying both consumer interest and brand goals.

While marketing strategies between the two mediums is becoming more synchronised, the budgets certainly are not. The average Super Bowl TV commercial is $4 million for 30 seconds (Source: Digiday). The digital industry is far away from those sorts of numbers for a one day 30 second spot, however that is the beauty of the internet. First of all, consumers don’t just passively stumble across the ad or watch it on a pre-determined ‘channel’, chances are they have actively searched or sought out the video in order to view it, or stumbled across it via multiple channels in a variety of ways (i.e. news sites, portals, social media, etc.). Secondly, advertising dollars can go a lot longer online. Four million dollars can equate to 50 million Forbes.com first page interstitials (the ad before the article), an 8 day YouTube homepage ad, or a Twitter trending topic every day for one month (Source: Digiday). That’s a lot of bang for the buck!

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Jan 30

Since the launch of Facebook’s Graph Search product (which has yet to reach European audiences) there has been a lot of articles written and conceptual analysis done in terms of what this means for marketers, brands and behaviour. Some say it will change the way people use the site, others say it will change search behaviour altogether. The critics and skeptics have other opinions which I find increasingly intriguing. In this post, we’ll present both sides of the argument, discuss what brands and marketers should do to prepare themselves, and reflect on what Graph Search means for photos and video. Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 3.03.34 PM

What is Graph Search?

It is a known marketing fact that word of mouth (WOM) can influence a brand, product or service. Whether or not that influence is positive or negative depends on consumer experiences and who you ask. Facebook knows that the power of a recommendation is very strong, particularly among friends and social circles. In fact, “92% of consumers believe a recommendation from a friend over marketing from a brand, according to Anna Banks, VP of strategy at Organic” (Source: MediaPost). Therefore, Facebook is counting on Graph Search to alter user behaviour on Facebook, which they hope will in turn become an advertising opportunity for brands. Whether users actually turn to Facebook for search instead of photos, videos and status updates remains to be seen.

What Does it Mean for Google?

The skeptics have analyzed whether another search tool will be able to break the Google habit so many people have come to adapt. According to an article by Eli Goodman, Habit = Confluence of Utility + Frequency (Source: Search Engine Watch). What that basically means is the more useful something is, the more frequent it becomes, which could ultimately turn into a habit. Will the average user turn to Facebook for their everyday search or only when they want to know something about their friends? The latter is more likely and the actual purpose of Graph Search according to Zuckerberg (Source: smallbusiness.yahoo.com).

How Should Brands Prepare?

Facebook has indicated that currently only 16% of brand content is seen by their fans, which means Graph Search could increase brand exposure given the appropriate content strategy is in place (ibid.). Brands ”should be aware of how crucial the information on their Pages is and that they are accurately tagged and organized so they show up in these new searches” (Source: adexchanger.com). So now is the time to start updating those company profiles and timelines with interesting content including photos and videos. Particularly given the fact that photos generate twice as many likes on Facebook and videos are shared twelve times more than links and text posts (Source: mediabistro.com)

Another perspective based on an article from Econsultancy suggests that marketers and brands should be afraid of Graph Search due to the fact that users may not like how much information they are able to see about their friends or themselves. For the first time, users will be able to see how much information they have shared with Facebook which could raise the well known privacy concern, and prompt them to change their behaviour not in Facebook’s favour. Regardless of the outcome, it’s never a bad idea to increase focus on brand profiles and make sure visual content is up front and centre.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

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Jan 17

The success of the photo application Instagram and its acquisition by Facebook is certainly no secret and has been shared and discussed among peers and friends throughout 2012. The question that came to mind for those of us in the video industry immediately was whether or not there was an equivalent for video. The answer was a resounding “no” to those I discussed it with due to the lack of video manipulation technology at the time. This is the sort of flexibility an application would need to have for video, in order to provide the same experience Instagram does for photos.

Image courtesy of techdigest.tv

People love pictures and videos which is one of the reasons Facebook has been so popular and has gone from “0 to 1 billion users in 7 years” (Source: LinkedIn.com). Add the fact that a user can customise a photo and put their personal style stamp on it with an application like Instagram is one of the top 10 rules of modern marketing in the digital age (Source: Boston.com). So how can we provide that same customised or interactive experience for video to create a little “Customer Love”?

That’s the question many of us in the industry have been tackling with, working on, and discussing with fellow digital partners alike. The good news is there is some traction in this area by some first movers which is bound to shift the industry. In a recent MediaPost article called “Making Video Truly Social” a company called Hapyak has figured out a way to personalise the video experience by adding a layer that allows users to customise the video with insights and share with whoever they like.

This is a great first step in what is soon to turn into a new way to use video for those brands and advertisers that have already figured out the value video provides, and are ready to add the interactive element to enhance the user experience. This is an area that we, at Preview Networks, believe will provide the customisation users crave, and the engagement brands can measure.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

UPDATE: The idea for this post has been brewing since the Facebook/Instagram acquisition in September, 2012. However without real progress in this space, the post would not have provided the value we strive to show in each blog update. Others in the industry also thought this was a valuable blog topic, found after this post was published. For more information, check out these guests posts on TechCrunch here and here.

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