‘Like’ this Movie.

9 Mar

Yesterday Facebook and Warner Brothers Entertainment announced the social media platform will be offering movies for sale and rent through its website. Yet another arm one of the biggest websites in recent years will be growing. The first movie is Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” which will go for $3 or 30 Facebook credits that can be purchased from the website and renters will have unlimited access to the movie for 48 hours.

One can only imagine where this new service will take Facebook as it is slowly becoming your go to new media company. It offers games, social networking through chats, photos and videos, personalized profiles, paid inclusion advertisements, storefronts for merchants and more. With the company adding movie rental it could put competing services on edge. Some of the other services require subscriptions, charge higher fees or require special technology.

Although Facebook has rapidly grown and occasionally the spam in my timeline becomes a nuisance, I think the company has the popularity and following to execute this experiment well. It will open up opportunities for other entertainment companies to provide legal content for Facebook and already go to where the fans are, content can even be promoted on fan sites for movies.  It’s clear this is a business strategy for the company to generate revenue. The site has nearly 600 million worldwide users and Facebook wants to drive those users to its website to foster as much social activity as possible in one area. Including the movie on Facebook allows users to discuss the content and marketers to push exclusive content to renters. I look forward to seeing if this experiment is a success and if other companies jump on board.

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Watch-it-too #SXSW

3 Mar

This month marks one of the top music conferences in the country, South by Southwest, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. For the first time in its 25-year history, you will not have to be in attendance to experience the action. Thanks to technological advances, the conference will be live-streaming all of the interviews, panels and performances at one of its stages. Watchitoo (as in you can watch it too), will provide the service to viewers worldwide as well as launching their mobile version of their live stream player and mobile app for iPhones. Unlike other technology such as videoconferencing, Watchitoo allows any size group to connect, share any type of media (including word documents, songs), see each other and talk and text/chat in real time via a web browser as opposed to program downloads. Although I am only driving distance from the festival, I’m unsure if I will be in attendance as of now. Watchitoo’s technology has the potential to work for anything from corporations seeking to video conference to family members across the country needing to plan an event.  Unlike programs such as Skype or Ovoo, which offer similar functions, Watchitoo can be used straight from a web browser which can save users memory space on their computer units as well a reduce the possibility of program’s not working or the need for software updates.

Are consumers ready for QR Codes?

24 Feb

Over the last few months I’ve began noticing these weird barcodes in magazines and on the cover of some albums I have purchased and many didn’t include instructions or an explanation as to what it was. After a few creative searches, I have finally found out what these things are and can stop referring to them as barcodes. I’ll take you to the world of QR (Quick Response) Codes a new media effort to offer digital content to consumers and it is and has already began helping advertisers and others market and send information in a way that has yet to be done by scanning something that looks like the image below:

This image is scanned by smart phones, equipped with cameras and code readers, and immediately transmits information and media to the device. Here is a video on how the codes are scanned in WIRED magazine from Tappinn.com:

But the question is…are consumers ready? Nielsen Media predicts that by the end of this year 1 in 2 Americans will be smartphone owners. Given that majority of these phones have the capability to scan the code, I think consumers are ready. I just think QR code public education is important. As I stated, I have noticed these images for a few months now however, I was not aware of the world of media they offered by simply scanning with my phone. This technology has already begun to surface in the music industry and I’m excited. With a simple scan of the code, I can receive videos, exclusive photos and even behind the scenes into the making of the album on my favorite artist. Even in light of digital album purchases, QR codes can still be made available to consumers through the album booklets received with purchase. This is a great way for the rattled industry to drive consumers to purchasing albums again through the exclusivity of the digital content found after the scan. Scans can even drive consumers to sign up for e-mail listings which will also be another way for them to drive messages to consumers.

Would exclusive content drive you to purchasing an album?

GRAMMY re-cap.

23 Feb

I forgot I would share my experience with the GRAMMY awards efforts at becoming interactive this year. On the night of the awards show, I watched from beginning to end. However, I was very disappointed that there was no mention of the campaign. I logged into the interactive map, which required me to create an account. Once I logged in I shared some of my favorite songs in my favorite places. The geo-tagging technology was slightly strange, experiencing it for the first time. (I have yet to sign up for FourSquare or ‘Check-In’ to various locations on Facebook) This was my first encounter. Below is a screen capture of what the map looked like and one of my tags.

To begin, had the academy actually promoted this map during the show perhaps I would see a benefit for this campaign. However, I think the ball was dropped on this one to make the show interactive. Users did log-in but I was hoping to see more. Taking Houston for example, the fourth largest city, when I went to tag my favorite songs their were not that many other dots for a city with a strong arts and music community (you can see in the pic below).  This sort of map would be fun for major sports events such as the SuperBowl and other championship games when people from all over are watching and attending. Maybe the sports leagues will adopt it and show the academy how they dropped the ball.


 

It’s GRAMMY time!

11 Feb

Music lovers unite! It’s our favorite time of the year, the GRAMMY Awards :). The big show is set to air on Sunday night aside from the performances and fashions that we all look forward to each year, this year the Academy is making the annual show interactive!

Last year was the Academy’s first time jumping into a social-media strategy to create excitement for the show using geolocation technology for the campaign “Music Is Life Is Music.” Geolocation allows users who are logged-in to identify their location in a real-time, real-world map. Think the technology used in Foursquare.  According to the New York Times, the GRAMMY’s campaign will be a map developed with Rdio a music screaming service. It will allow fans to tag places with videos, photos and messages to tell their personal story of their favorite music.

Over the last decade with the boom of the Internet, different technologies and piracy skyrocketing, the music industry has been one industry negatively impacted. Although these things have introduced some to new artists, allowed us to interact with our favorite artists and more, the industry has suffered financially when it comes to turning a profit.

When it comes to the GRAMMY’s ratings are important especially for convincing advertisers to shell out big bucks for ads whether during the televised newscast or online/new media platforms. If this campaign is properly promoted it could be a money maker that could extend past this Sunday’s show. Advertisers, concert promoters and merchants can use the posts of fans to determine what is popular in that area, what concert shows need to be brought, and other trends without the extended time needed to conduct market research. I’ll be tuned into the show on Sunday and plan to give the map a try and see how successful this interactive experience will be.

Job creation…the emerging media way!

8 Feb

You’ve probably heard of Pandora, the internet radio service that basically lets you control what you listen to. Well if you’ve been living under a rock, you should definitely try this service especially if you are a music lover like I am. Pandora has decided to take their social, mobile and emerging media to the next level and recently hired its first director of mobile and emerging media. The company wants to focus on its growing mobile platforms.

The director, Kim Luegers, will be responsible for finding ways to generate revenue from Pandora’s mobile and emerging media as well as working with clients to develop mobile programs. Pretty cool! Emerging media is not only allowing  companies to connect with consumers in new ways but it’s also creating jobs within companies who understand that this platform is not going anywhere anytime soon.

 Through various initiatives, Pandora has been launching new ways for companies to advertise on their platforms and even adding advertising service on their apps for new technologies such as the iPad. Pandora understands the need to adapt its practices to meet the growing (and staying) trend. Fishing through the press rooms of similar services, it seems as if none of them have carved out a position solely dedicated to increasing their social and emerging media presence and revenue.

Two thumbs up to Pandora!

True to its brand!

2 Feb

Two weeks ago my favorite airline, Southwest Airlines, announced they had redesigned their corporate blog. The blog appropriately titled ‘Nuts About Southwest’ (if you don’t like their peanuts you’re missing out!), received a facelift to enhance Southwest’s online profile and ways they are constantly working to establish and build relationships with customers.

In an effort to enhance their two-way dialogue with customers, Southwest added multimedia tools such as the Southwest Social Stream, updated profile system, fun downloads and streamlined their content. Here’s a shot of the Southwest Social Stream:

 

I think this is a great feature! More companies need to take note of what Southwest has done here on their blog update. When selecting an airline to use for travel, it’s always a plus to see how/what they are doing and how customers are being treated. With this stream you are able to see, in real-time, those interactions. Visiting the updated site, I feel the Southwest brand personality…friendly and fun. They provide you with links to all of their social media accounts and it’s a nice feature to have actual employees writing the blog postings. This provides me, the customer, with a sense that Southwest is truly a family oriented business which carries over from their employees to their online interactions and marketing.