Brand Journalism – How to Do it Right (Video)

This blog post was first published at Fourth Source.

newsBrand journalism is one of the hottest trends for online marketers. With the proliferation of high-quality and inexpensive cameras and easy distribution platforms, every company can now be a media company.

However, when thinking about your marketing strategy it’s important not to focus solely on heavily branded materials like product overviews and PR collateral. Sure, it’s important to have content that explains what your products are all about, but these would most likely appeal to a small group of current and prospective customers. In order to reach a wider audience you need to zoom out from your company and create content that would interest others in your space. The goal here is not more qualified opportunities and leads. Forget about that. With brand journalism, the goal is to make people aware of your brand by creating engaging content. If done correctly, you could find new audiences and strengthen the brand’s relationship with exiting customers.

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5 Videos, 5 Trends in Online Video for 2013 (Video)

UntitledSo what does 2013 hold for online video? As someone who is immersed in this area 24/7, I thought it would be fun to compile my list of the top five trends that I’m seeing the this booming market-  and back up each of these predictions with a link to a relevant, engaging video.

 

#1 Productions like Netflix’s House of Cards will fuel OTT growth

Content will remain king and in 2013 a ruthless politician will make sure of that. Last Friday, Netflix premiered its highly anticipated production, House of Cards. The show, which stars Kevin Spacey and is produced and directed by David Fincher,  is Netflix’s biggest production to date and has been widely promoted to the mass market.  It positions the streaming service exactly where Netflix wants to be – as a direct competitor to premium cable channels. The big question is whether House of Cards will help Netflix to achieve its goal of gaining more subscribers. We predict that it will do just that and that House of Cards will be the first show to truly level the playing field for the long list of over-the-top TV providers (Hulu, Apple, Google Play, Amazon Prime etc.).

Watch: House of Cards – the official trailer

 

#2 Tablets will drive creativity

2012 was the prologue, with more and more giants releasing their own inexpensive tablets. The Jelly Bean OS finally brought consumers an iPad-like user experience – and Google and Amazon complemented this with great devices that were much cheaper than Apple’s. With tablet sales on the rise, PC sales declined. While the post PC-world isn’t here just yet, the trend is clear. In the near future, many consumers will likely choose to buy a tablet before upgrading their current PC. The new tablets are also stronger than ever before and have more storage so they can be used to create content and not just consume it. The result will surely be more creative and productive apps like Adobe Ideas, iMockups for iPad, Cinefly and iMovie. Soon enough, the post-PC world will no longer be a trend. It will be a reality.

Watch: tablets are used for so much more these days – here’s one cool example

#3 Smart TV adoption could kick-start the rise of the ‘cord never’ households

According to Informa’s latest Smart TV device forecasts (November 2012), more than 220 million Smart TV sets will be sold worldwide in 2017, up from the 54 million that were estimated to have been sold during 2012. Informa forecasts that 31% of households worldwide will own at least one Smart TV by 2017, with household penetration much higher in North America (63%) and Western Europe (64%).

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Video is a Golden Ticket to the Knowledge Economy

We know that today we are living in the age of the so-called knowledge economy. This is a natural shift from the (previous) industrial economy that ruled our world before terms like microprocessors, dot.com and Facebook were born.

So today the knowledge economy is all about innovation… and in the realm of enterprises that means two things:

Knowledge – inside “learning organisations”

“Firms must become learning organisations, continuously adapting management and skills to accommodate to new technologies. They will be increasingly connected via networks, where interactive learning involving creators, producers and users in experimentation and exchange of information drives innovation.”

Collaboration –

“A knowledge economy is, in effect, a hierarchy of networks, driven by the acceleration of the rate of change and the rate of learning, where the opportunity and capability to get access to and join knowledge-intensive and learning-intensive relations determines the socio-economic position of individuals and firms.”
(Source: The Knowledge-based Economy, Organization For Economy Co-operation and Development, 1996)

Here is a visual representation of the same ideas:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are important factors but we should also keep in mind the most important one – the human factor. By 2018, “digital natives” will transform the workplace. The use of IT will intensify in financial institutions as well as education and media companies that wish to stay competitive.

… and this is where video becomes vital.

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Digitas NewFronts – The New TV Ecosystem is Here (Video)

Earlier this week, I read an interesting piece by Jeremy Toeman on TechCrunch. In this article, Toeman goes over some of the most hyped buzzwords of 2012. Clearly, “social TV” is there along with “voice gestures”, “TV apps” and “cord cutters”. While I have found some of his ideas debatable, I definitely agree that the future of TV does NOT mean the death of the TV industry as we know it. The industry will evolve but it is hard to see how a $500 billion business will just drop dead in the face of gaming consoles and cheap broadband. As Toeman mentions, traditional TV players were quick to adjust to disruptive technologies like VCRs, DVDs and even long form streaming so we should not expect them to go bankrupt so quickly.

Judging by what we heard from some of the speakers at our recent Kaltura Connect conference, we are more likely to see a new ecosystem that combines TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. Click below to see why Brian Lisi from Qello, believes we will see  major changes in 2 years.

Lisi’s vision is one step closer to a new TV ecosystem in which all of our screens (at home, in the car, in a random hotel room, etc.) will be synced to offer a personalized experience of TV shows, movies, games and apps regardless of one’s location. In this new world, the TV industry will include players like ABC, NBC, FOX along with Netflix, hulu, Microsoft and others. For some consumers, this world is very close. If you stream TV via your gaming console, or purchase TV shows online, or if you have ever used UltraViolet – you are almost there. One way to significantly accelerate this process is getting advertisers to spend more of their big $$$ online. CNET is one example of a company that has been trying to offer new ways to advertise on the web. Justin Eckhouse, Video Product Manager at CBSi/Cnet, said in Connect that it is all about educating Madison Avenue.

Some might read/watch this and feel they have heard much of it before (and they probably have, if they have been following any tech blog for more than a week). But this doesn’t mean the times aren’t changing. They are. Today, for example, hulu, AOL, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and others will kickoff the first Digitas NewFronts. Over two weeks, these emerging TV players will gather leading brands and offer them to buy ad time/words/banners around their new original shows. Following these presentations, the major TV broadcasters will have the traditional upfronts, which is basically the same process. However, the $ figures in discussion are quite different.

While online video ad spend is projected to reach $3 billion this year, TV advertising still accounts for about 20 times that number –  $60.7 billion.

Don’t let the numbers confuse you – the shift is real – and the new upfronts is a sign of that. Eventually, as original digital content and distributive technologies become ubiquitous – the advertising budgets will change. As a result, the ecosystem will support a vast array of companies; buzzwords like “digital”, “cord cutters” and “disruptive” will mean very little and words like “TV providers” and “content providers” will dominate our professional discourse.

The original post was published on Kaltura’s Community Blog

Why You Should Start Learning HTML5 – A Beginners Guide

Take a look at this graph and try to guess what it represents:

It could be Apple’s stock price (which has been steadily growing for the past eight years). But no, these are actually search inquiries for “html5” on Google. It is clear that HTML5 is one of the hottest buzz words in the business.

Now take a look at this graph:

This is again a Google Trends report of search queries. The blue is still “html5” and the red is “Adobe Flash”. This helps to put things in perspective: even with all the buzz around it, most of us still use flash websites about 99% of the time. However, this is about to change and it will have major effects on anyone in the digital video space.

There has been a lot of talk about HTML5 in the last two years. First, Steve Jobs decided not use Flash in Apple’s mobile devices, then Adobe had tried to hold its ground until it recently gave up. In all this chatter, I kept asking myself if I should start learning HTML5. So eventually I decided to ask Andrew Davis, one of our HTML5 experts here at Kaltura and he helped me to answer this question once and for all:

 

“You shouldn’t learn anything but HTML5.”

 

Without getting too deep into the professional jargon, here are some good reasons (along with some beautiful examples) that demonstrate why HTML5 is the future of the web:

 

– No 3rd party API – this is a crucial issue. In order to explain this, try to think about the web as an ocean in which we, the users, surf. In the current HTML waters we keep changing surfboards. If we want to view a movie on Netflix we need Silverlight, for YouTube we require Flash, other sites may use QuickTime. These surfboards only allow specific types of surfing (is surfing on a tablet really that different?) and they also occasionally break. In the HTML5 world  surfboards are obsolete. Here, the browser is the only surfboard one needs and it offers all the surfing maneuvers imaginable

– Better Browsers – now that the browser makers are freed from 3rd part constraints, they can create what Steve Jobs would call “insanely great” products. At the end of the day, the growing competition between browser vendors creates innovation that benefits users.

– Better Video Streaming – as more and more people watch television online, we want our web browsers to be able to stream it as quickly and smoothly as possible. With HTML5 we will get a seamless video experience across all devices. Another plus is the ability to create rich video experiences like in Arcade Fire’s fantastic clip.

– Better Mobile Support – with HTML5 you are able to stream any video on all mobile devices and it also allows multiple streams. Apple is currently limiting its devices to stream one video at a time, but with stronger processors and HTML5, tablets will be able to stream two videos side-by-side. HTML5 also makes it easier to view websites on mobile devices and use all their functionalities.

– Better Interactivity and Graphics – HTML5 allows users to modify web changes very easily. This creates endless possibilities for games and web design. Here is a good example.

– Geolocation – HTML5 can pinpoint your location without relying on GPS. In other words, locating the nearest post office or cinema is going to become much easier but that is just beginning.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get real-time offers from businesses based on your location?

 

However, there are some (minor) challenges for HTML5. Most importantly, the industry is trying to agree on a DRM standard that will enable big companies to upgrade their video experience knowing that the content is protected. Microsoft, Google and Netflix have recently suggested a way to add encrypted media extensions to the spec. Other challenges include mobile device support and browser support, but overall there has been much improvement in these two areas.

 

If  want to know more, the best thing would be to speak with a HTML5 professional. Come to our monthly HTML5 meet up and you will meet many interesting folks. The next event is this evening (Monday, March 5th). More details – here.

 

You might also want to take a look at these sites:

HTML5 Resources: http://html5doctor.com/

HTML5 Video: http://html5video.org/

HTML5 Browser Readiness: http://html5readiness.com/

Try it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/html5

A nice HTML5 player: http://sublimevideo.net/demo

 

The original post was published on Kaltura’s Community Blog

Netflix and YouTube Believe: Bill Gates Was Only Partially Right

16 years ago Microsoft CEO Bill Gates wrote a long article about the future on the Internet. He titled it: Content is King. This was 1996 and the digital world was in its infancy: only 20 million Americans went online regularly (compared to 245 million today) and the most popular websites were AOL (41%), Webcrawler.com (33%) and Netscape (31%). And so said Gates:

“The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.

When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.

But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.”

Fast forward to 2012. Starting this month, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon will be rolling out a steady stream of original programming. Netflix will have five original shows by mid-2013, including the highly anticipated “House of Cards” (Producer: David Fincher, Starring: Kevin Spacey) and the new season of “Arrested Development”; Hulu has launched one series and has at least one more in the works; Amazon will follow closely in its steps with content from the Amazon Studios project; By then, YouTube will invest $100 million in launching tens of exclusive channels.

What should we make of this? That Gates was only partially right. Yes, content is important but user-generated-content and TV reruns can only get you so far. The real king is originalcontent. This is true across the board: media companies, educational institutes and enterprises.

Gates was completely right about another statement: “no company is too small to participate.” Take Netflix for example. With exclusive hits like “House of Cards” and “Arrested Development”, the streaming service can expect to grow its customer base beyond the current 23 million subscribers and may even edge out HBO, which has about 28 million subscribers. Who would have thought that was possible only a few years ago?

(Originally publish on Kaltura’s community blog. Photo by: World Economic Forum)