Adding New Revenue Streams With a Dynamic Archive

The majority of rightsholders create content and use it once before sending it to an archive. Historically those archives have been “cold” archives, intended simply to preserve and protect the content and not to make it accessible for further use – hence the term cold.

Industry trends are shifting away from cold archives toward not just active archives, but dynamic archives, meant not just for preservation, but for multiuse. Preservation is certainly critical, yet more and more archives are becoming a destination for licensing, reselling, and distributing assets to various third parties — from broadcasters and filmmakers to advertising agencies and beyond. Anyone with high-value video content, such as iconic moments in history, sports, or pop culture, can use a dynamic archive to generate a new source of revenue.

Archiving for Monetization

There are some things for a content creator and/or rightsholder looking to create a new revenue stream for their organization to consider when implementing a dynamic archive:

1. Start in the cloud. Traditional archives and MAM systems store content behind a firewall, likely on LTO tape, where it is inaccessible to anyone outside your organization (i.e., the ones who might want to buy it). A cloud-based MAM application that is also tied to licensing will turn what was once just a storage expense into revenue.

Therefore, the first step is to store your assets in a cloud-based platform, where they are more easily searchable and distributable according to strict security policies. Putting content in the cloud might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually the key to a successful workflow.

2. Maximize your metadata to monetize. In the cloud, enriched metadata makes otherwise stagnant or lost assets searchable, discoverable, and shareable. Most assets enter an archive with a full load of technical metadata and sometimes even basic descriptive metadata, but that metadata isn’t enough for monetization. You really need a thorough description of the content so that you can find it and turn it into clips that people request.

3. Have a monetization strategy. It’s not just about having metadata and being able to search your content. You must be able to sell and distribute that content to a third party. That means you need a partner who not only has a background in media asset management, but expertise in licensing content as well.

4. Create the right workflow. The right workflow starts in the cloud, with a cloud-enabled MAM system built not just for management, but for monetization. Putting the right software in place makes it easy to build a specific workflow for any given request — a workflow that includes finding and tagging assets, creating clips, and making those clips accessible to third parties.

Concept in Action: American College Football and the Pro Football Draft

The broadcast network for professional American football needed footage of college players in order to create shoulder programming around the most recent annual pro football draft. Because Wazee Digital has the licensing rights to resell footage on behalf of major college conferences, the broadcaster commissioned Wazee Digital to collect all the video clips, as it has every year since 2014. Here’s how it worked:

When the broadcaster sent Wazee Digital a list of about 450 draftable players at the beginning of the 2015 college football season, researchers scoured Wazee Digital’s MAM system, which was born and raised in the cloud, to find video highlights of all those players.

Researchers created multiple clips for each player and attached detailed descriptive metadata, such as the player’s name, school, age, and position; the move that happens in the clip (sack, touchdown throw, reception, etc.); and the game date and opponent. Clips then went into the appropriate bins created for each player. Researchers then granted the broadcaster selective access to the bins to get feedback.

In the end, researchers created roughly 11,000 clips in a labor-intensive process that took about six months. When the research was complete, the broadcaster logged in to the MAM system, viewed the bins, and downloaded the assets. The broadcaster then used the clips to create promos and features to run before, during, and after the televised draft.

Because the broadcaster paid for that highly curated set of clips, Wazee Digital can now make any of those clips available to the broadcaster’s affiliates or franchisees for further use.

The Takeaway

Content sitting in an archive potentially has tremendous value. To unlock that value, one needs to work with a partner rooted in licensing and rights management, and implement a cloud-enabled MAM system designed not just to manage assets, but to sell them.

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We Live in an Age of Disruption

Gone is the familiar status quo, warm and cozy, that has always been there, standing by us through thick and thin.

A disruption, by definition, is a radical change, necessitating an adjustment of course or strategy, often caused by the launch of a new product or service.

In the growing realm of media and content, disruption has penetrated every area of the industry, causing a rapid acceleration in learning, tinkering and planning. It’s also led to a new age of mergers and acquisitions, as content providers look to team up with distributors to better position themselves in the world of Netflix.

Disruption can be good for an industry, depending on who you ask. Sometimes the change can bring about new competition and engagement, as well as lowering barriers to entry and helping foster future players.

According to part of the Digital Pulse survey by Russell Reynolds Associates, media and telecom represent the two industries expecting the most disruption, with finance and retail close behind. This notion is echoed by the Digital Vortex Report from the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, which shows media and entertainment companies as the most likely to face an existential crisis due to the disruption in their industries.

What does disruption really mean for media companies? How does it continue to manifest itself in the core business model?

Changes to the Distribution Model

The fragmentation of media consumption will continue to change how and where consumers view and engage with content.

OTT platforms continue to thrive, with a major rollout coming soon from Hulu and the recent launch of DirecTV Now. In addition, the second screen experience continues to be important to many program categories, especially in the world of sports.

Even at the local broadcast level, apps like NewsOn are going OTT, bringing local news to viewers without the need of a cable subscription.

The Move to Programmatic Advertising

Advertisers want precision. The key Nielsen TV demographic of 18-49 is not well defined enough for the age of increasingly segmented audiences. Broadcasters, and all advertisers for that matter, have to narrow their targets.

Just look at the recent move by Procter & Gamble (P&G) to cut 50% of its marketing spending while criticizing the advertising supply chain:

“We have an antiquated media buying and selling system that was clearly not built for this technology revolution. We serve ads to consumers through a non-transparent media supply chain with spotty compliance to common standards unreliable measurement hidden rebates and new inventions like bot and methbot fraud,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer.

The End of Peak TV?

Have we finally reached Peak TV? While the idea has been floating around for a few years, we recently saw Comcast begin to shake up its lineup, axing Esquire Network (in favor of an OTT platform) and Cloo, while planning a major relaunch for Oxygen. Other media companies are likely having similar discussions, figuring out what works in the bundle and what works best as an OTT effort.

This change in the cable bundle does have a notable winner, local broadcast television, as more station groups add digital subchannels targeting specific niches and viewers, like Comet, Decades and MeTV.

Disruption can’t be reversed, and it probably can’t be avoided.

While sometimes we yearn to go back to the way things were, we have to focus on the road ahead. For media companies, this means more consolidation and more effort is needed to attract and retain viewers in a crowded sea of content.

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The Future of Television is Now. Are You Ready?

When we think about the future of television, we often have something science fiction in mind, something fifty years down the road, something which shows a marked and radical departure from the television experience we are familiar with today.

But what if I were to say that the future of television isn’t so different from what we have today? What if I were to say that it’s not about VR headsets and holograms but more about the way we interact with video? You might think I’m not creative enough or thinking out of the box enough. On the contrary, I’d argue that the components of television’s future are already in play today and, if we look hard enough, we can see the future of television right now.

The Move to IP

At the heart of this evolution of the television experience is a fundamental movement by network operators to shift delivery of video content from QAM (which stands for quadrature amplitude modulation, the format by which digital cable channels are encoded and transmitted via cable television providers) to IP. The reasoning is simple—it’s monumentally cheaper. But there’s more to it than just cost savings. By shifting to IP, network operators (like your cable company) can enable the delivery of content to a host of different devices. Smartphones. Tablets. Computers. Rokus. And that’s important because it’s what their subscribers are clamoring for. Failing to provide them anytime, anywhere access means consumers will go elsewhere for their content which has long-reaching implications for bottom line revenue. But it also signals something else; a different way to look at video. It’s becoming less of a “signal” than it is a stream of data that can be manipulated, moved around, and ultimately shaped to meet individual needs and experiences.

It’s All About Data

Right now, many content owners and distributors still see video as discrete assets. They see a video as an immutable object, like a book, housed in a library ready for viewing. But that’s not the future. In the future, video is just a form of data, a stream of 1s and 0s that can be manipulated to fit the context into which it is being delivered—the device, the location, or the individual user. The best example of this today is Amazon. The retail and streaming giant doesn’t see video as an object, but rather, a part of a bigger data pool that provides them details about the user; details they can use to customize the video and commerce experience. What happens when you watch a video through Amazon Prime? Recommended products change. Ads change. The experience shifts to reflect the user’s taste in movies. The video itself is just another piece of data in a larger pie.

When Video Becomes Just Data

As video begins to be treated more like data, it opens the door to integration and interaction. Whether it’s clicking on an object in a video to get more information (and ultimately save for later or purchase directly) or having social experiences (just look at the NFL and Twitter; that’s only possible when video is treated as just another form of data), the consumer engagement expands monumentally, enabling new viewing behaviors and experiences. When the video is treated as a signal, joined at the hip to the delivery method, it’s much harder to implement interaction; it’s much harder to shape the viewing experience to the individual user.

The Components of the Future Television Experience

Once we start seeing video as just another form of data, the gloves are off. There are a host of things content owners, distributors, and broadcasters are beginning to do right now that give us a peek at the future of the television experience. In fact, there are six components being implemented in some fashion today that herald what this future will look like.

The first component is personalization. With video acting as just a data stream, feeding back quantified viewership information to the content owner or distributor, it will be possible to provide a much more personalized experience. Combined with other data sources (like Facebook OpenGraph or even the weather), television can be tailored with recommendations specific to the user (rather than just a generic listing of available content). Even ads can be tailored (think Minority Report). Obviously, Amazon is doing a great job of this, but so is Netflix. Both companies are utilizing information gleaned during viewership (both for completed and partially-completed views) to make recommendations about other content. The fallout when content is recommended by the provider? Better discovery. Users aren’t scouring through long lists of content assets. They gravitate towards what’s recommended and filter against their own likes and dislikes.

But for personalization to have an impact, it must consider multiple video data streams (i.e., from different providers). In the future of television, consumers won’t have to navigate from one content provider to the other (and they won’t have to switch input sources either). It will all be part of a single experience (with sign-on to the various providers happening automatically). The recent announcement between Neflix and Comcast is a precursor to this kind of experience. The OTT giant’s content will be directly integrated into the Comcast Xfinity platform enabling a single view into multiple data sources. By doing that, personalization can be extended across content sources. Only we can’t have that nirvana of multiple content sources combined into a single experience without single sign-on. This is a critical component of TV’s future. As consumers engage more with different content assets across providers (from linear broadcast to TV-E to OTT), the experience becomes fragmented. There’s no “single source” of content like what the cable operator providers. Big OTT players like Netflix are trying to solve that problem by integrating with MSO platforms. Through this integration, consumers no longer need to switch inputs and sign-in to their Netflix account. It’s all part of a single television experience that spans the content from their cable operator to their OTT subscriptions. Only this isn’t just about content, either. Single sign-on also helps with the integration of third-party services that will augment the television experience (i.e., social media). It’s not hard to imagine users navigating to their cable provider’s website, logging into their various social media accounts, and being able to the interact socially (through the video player, whether on the big screen or their mobile device) with the video content.

Only these components, no matter how mature, won’t create a very tenable future of television without the ability to deliver content better online. Consumers want “broadcast quality” for their online video—they want the experience online to be the same as watching it from the couch making this component, perhaps, the most critical for the future of television. Obviously, consumers have a very entrenched experience with broadcast television: they sit down on the couch, grab the remote, press the power button, and whamo, a perfect picture with no technical interruptions. In many cases that’s not the case with streaming video. From buffering to artifacting to jitter, the delivery of video content over IP is fraught with the same issues that plagued the pre-cable broadcast days. Can you remember smacking the side of the TV to fix the static? But we are getting closer to having broadcast quality over IP. Better codecs, better compression, better mitigation of latency, all of that helps to deliver an online experience that is more analogous to what consumers are used to with their television broadcast.

Equally important, though, to broadcast quality is anytime, anywhere access. Thankfully, most network operators, content distributors, and broadcasters have already figured out that consumers want to watch content from a variety of devices. It may be from their mobile phones. It may be from their computers. Whatever device (and wherever they are), consumers are no longer shackled to the couch and a linear programming guide to get the content they want to consume.

Finally, a future of television delivered online needs an end-to-end QoE solution. One of the amazing things that happened when network operators deployed cable boxes into the home was insight. Through Quality of Service management tools, the operator can see problems that are happening, down to the address, and troubleshoot in real-time. Technology providers in the online video space, like Nice People at Work and Conviva, are doing just that for streaming. They are enabling content distributors to see down to the player level, giving them critical insight into the experience and enabling them to route around problematic issues (like network congestion and latency) so that they have a better chance of delivering a broadcast quality experience.

State of the Union

Where are we at today with these six components? Thankfully, the future is looking bright (and right around the corner). When it comes to personalization, we are probably about 85 percent there. We have lots of examples of the video experience today being personalized. It’s just a matter of extending that to linear broadcasts and that will happen when those “broadcasts” are delivered over IP. For mixed sources, it might be safe to say that we are 50 percent there. This component is lagging because there are still too many walled gardens. The OTT providers need to open access to their video data and the network operators need to enable more integration points with their systems (like billing). There are lots of business considerations that need to be addressed to enable mixed sources to happen. Likewise, for single-sign on. That component is probably 75 percent of the way there. Frankly, there’s not enough collaboration between the network operators and the OTT providers (although operators like Telstra are doing a great job of aggregating access). The recent Netflix announcements with Comcast and Liberty Global are the start of a ball rolling downhill. Broadcast quality, on the other hand, is almost across the finish line. Although network operators and content distributors continue to build out infrastructure (for global scale), there are a lot of online video experiences which are hard to differentiate from broadcast television. Which leaves us with anytime, anywhere access and end-to-end QoE. The former is a done deal. 100 percent. With the network operator move to IP, consumers have access to both live linear and VOD content across a host of devices. What’s more, content owners are targeting consumers directly (i.e., HBO NOW, CBS All Access, etc.) providing them the opportunity to watch what they want, when they want, and where they want. And QoE? It’s probably around 90 percent. The only thing really missing from this today is real-time. Most QoE technology providers today have at least a few seconds of lag between when they collect data and when they can report on it. Unfortunately, during the five seconds it takes to display this data, consumers may have experienced multiple buffering events. By the time the QoE data is available to the network operator or content distributor, it may be too late.

The future of television isn’t years away, it’s right here in front of us. The pieces to make a personalized, interactive, engaging experience are already being implemented. It’s just a matter of bringing them all together under a single roof. Liberty Global. Comcast. Charter. Verizon? It isn’t clear just who will be the first to create the television experience of the future, but you can bet that it’s going to come sooner rather than later.

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How Broadcasters can Stand Out Amid a Sea of Content

In 2015, adults in the United States spent an average of 5.5 hours per day watching video content, according to eMarketer. As high as that sounds, I expect that average to increase even more over time.

Once confined mostly to television, video can be found almost anywhere thanks to a proliferation of platforms, devices and distributors. What used to be “appointment viewing” is now watching with no schedule at all.

Just like newspapers, broadcasters must determine how to entice audiences who suddenly have a plethora of on-demand news and information sources at their disposal – including user-generated content on social media. Today, anyone with a mobile device is effectively a content creator.

So how can broadcasters and programmers alike secure market share and compete in an increasingly crowded space?

  • Listen to and interact with your audiences. Social channels provide a quality feedback loop that informs newsgathering and, when done right, creates a loyal, “über” audience that returns to your programming.
  • Seek new distribution channels. CBS and NBC are two networks that have launched streaming video channels with original programming. HBO opened itself to à la carte pricing via HBO Now, while other subscription-only channels are sure to follow.
  • Above all, produce unique, distinctive reporting and storytelling. Given the unbundling of cable and satellite packages, the rise of streaming services and Facebook and Twitter vying for live-TV rights, high-quality content remains the most important distinguishing factor.

Take for example The Discovery Channel, which had been experiencing ratings declines when it decided to revamp its image with new series, more documentaries and fewer ratings stunts. Since then, audiences have grown.

My takeaway from all of this: Content is everywhere, and its rise in importance isn’t likely to change soon. Audiences are seeking quality storytelling based on facts, but told from a definitive point of view. It’s what keeps viewers tuning in.

So how do you develop a point of view, a personality? How would you want your viewers to describe you?

Obviously, these are difficult questions to answer. Even if a network has a direction in mind, it must align all of its content to follow that path. In this way, broadcasters need to act like brands, constantly refining what they stand for and how they serve and engage their audiences.

At AP, we work with broadcasters to develop that point of view with content that works across platforms and keeps audiences coming back for more. We provide live-streamed events around the world as well as raw, captivating footage that sets the stage and adds context to a larger story.

And because our journalists are intimately familiar with the areas they cover, we produce video and suggest story ideas no one else can find.

As additional accessibility to video offers more choices to viewers, we remain committed to helping broadcasters create their best stories – just as we’ve always done.

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Break news faster with a mobile mindset

Anybody with a smartphone can stream developments from nearly anywhere in the world – one look at your Twitter or Facebook feed shows how quickly information can be transmitted.

Facing this increasing competition from user-generated content, how can news organizations keep up?

While it’s true reporters can’t be everywhere, they can reduce the time needed to deliver breaking news updates to audiences. Here’s how:

Adopt a fully mobile workflow.

Doing so allows newsrooms to become more agile. But where can they begin?

1. Leverage the tool most, if not all, of your staff already uses.

While smartphones have changed the way the general public communicates, they can also make news operations more efficient. Mobile applications allow journalists and producers from around the world to message each other instantaneously.

These apps also increase information-sharing and collaboration, as users can easily be added to teams and assigned different permissions, all without any additional equipment required. Messages can be short or long and contain different types of media, including video, photos and text.

(As an added bonus, apps reduce your dependence on email!)

But the real beauty of smartphones is that they can connect to the Internet wherever they get service (a widening geographical area by the day). They go where broadcast trucks cannot – crowded areas, disaster zones, etc. – and prove more portable than laptops, which cannot transmit data on their own.

Having a truly mobile mindset allows you to send and edit content from virtually anywhere – shaving precious minutes and seconds off your turnaround time to audiences.

2. Streamline the workflow.

Communicating via smartphones and tablets reduces the need for additional equipment and training, and because they already receive a lot of attention from journalists, it makes sense to inject them into the news production process.

However, it’s important to remember that just because everyone is using the same tool, that doesn’t mean they’re all on the same page.

Mobile applications are great, but new ones pop up constantly and they usually have a singular purpose. You may be taking notes in Evernote, holding conversations in Slack and then sharing stories on social through Twitter and Facebook.

When you’re storing pictures in Photos, emailing in Gmail and browsing on Safari, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when you’re on deadline.

News organizations need a centralized production hub that staff both inside and outside the newsroom can access. To break news first, journalists must be able to communicate with editors from planning to post-production, while gathering multimedia content and sharing it on social media.

We’ve harnessed this feedback to develop AP ENPS Mobile, an all-in-one app that’s allowing hundreds of newsrooms and their staffs to be productive wherever they are. Reporters can now receive updates, edits and assignments from editors, monitor rundowns and access wires and contacts on the go — in one place.

Having access to resources is crucial; having lots of emails and apps is not. Be prepared and break news first with your new mobile mindset.

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The Value of Localism

The Internet and the digital world in general has made local free to air TV stations more valuable than ever. However, not for their valuable spectrum, but for their invaluable public service, especially during emergencies.

I wonder how many people who attended last October’s MIPCOM and were fully aware of the devastation caused by the storm and subsequent flood, realized the importance of local TV stations and the need of free-to-air TV outlets.

To recap the event, on Saturday night, October 3, Cannes and environs were hit by a “code red” storm instead of the predicted “orange” alert for which the town was prepared for.

The heavy, intense rain caused 21 deaths, injured numerous people and material damages. The streets turned into rivers, and floating cars piled one on top of another.

By the next day, the streets near the Congress’ Palais were cleaned up and only a few hotels remained flooded and without electricity. However, the whole town, with the exception of the Palais, was without Internet and phone services, which resulted in ATM (cash machine) not working as well as the credit cards authorization service.

Another facility that suffered was television service, Those who received it through Internet and DSL operators only got a blank screen for many days (many TVHH in France receive their TV channels via DSL service operators).

But there was another element that prevented the Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard and officials from the Civil Protection, like the prefect, from reporting on the clean up and repair process: lack of local radio and TV stations.

In 2009, 35 local TV stations were authorized in France. The authorizations grew to 48 in 2013, but soon after 10 of them closed and the rest are struggling to survive, and depend on subsidies from local governments. For this reason, those few local TV channels are perceived as politically biased and, indeed, are referred as “Television Mr. Mayor.”

This dependency on subsidies renders difficult synergy between local TV stations and the more powerful and rich local printed press. Even local newspaper groups that own local TV stations tend to limit retail advertising on TV in order not to damage their main source of local revenues.

The only local TV services that Cannes and the encompassing Cote d’Azur area receives comes from a two-hour daily broadcast from France 3 –– the state-owned second TV network, which broadcast local news from 12 noon-1 pm and 7 pm to 8 pm –– and from Azur TV, channel 31 from Nice, which most people don’t receive and many more are not even aware of its existance. For local radio news (in English), one has to tune in to Riviera Radio, an FM station from Monte Carlo.

This situation in places such as the U.S., Canada and even Italy, is unheard of. In the U.S. in particular, at every emergency, local residents tune in to their local TV stations for weather updates and safety information together with hourly reports on the clean up process.

In these emergency situations, like the Cannes example demonstrated, residents cannot rely on the national TV channels, Web channels or the Internet in general, but only their local free over-the-air television stations.

So, the next time someone tries to come up with ideas of how to “better” utilize the local TV stations spectrum by allocating it to Wi-Fi services, the “better” part should only be about think it over, twice.

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The Art of Story-Telling Isn’t Enough

Jon Stewart, as he was ending his 16-year run on “The Daily Show,” said:  “An artist I really admire once said that he thinks of his career as a long conversation with the audience, a dialogue, and I really like that metaphor.”

I’m not leaving anytime soon, but that comment really triggered my thinking. The conversation we have with each other is one of the things I most enjoy about writing this blog and my training tutorials. Because through your comments and feedback, that conversation extends far beyond me, yet includes all of us.

Variety this week reported on “Edit Fest 2015,” a gathering of editors talking about editing. The article reported that in one panel, editors Tom Cross and Wyatt Smith: “both agreed that it’s important to get assistant editors out of the technical aspects as soon as possible.” This comment, perhaps taken out of context, implies that story-telling lives on some pure plane divorced from the base under-pinnings of technology.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Story-telling today exists because of the technology we use, not in spite of it. You only need to look at the films of 30 years ago to see how the limitations of technology limited the stories that could be told – in effects, camera placement, lighting, audio, pacing, image quality…. Art lives at the boundary, the struggle, between the creative vision and the limitations of technology. Between the story and the tools needed to achieve it.

We fly because gravity exists. The lift from our wings is counter-balanced by gravity pulling us down. The balance between these two forces allows us to control our flight. Metaphorically, the soaring ideas of our stories are given shape and direction by the technology we are able to use to tell them.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff G. Rock, a well-known production designer. I asked him what the differences were between designing a set for theater and a set for film. He replied: “Theater sets are most often surreal extensions of the imagination while film sets are very realistic.”

Something as “simple” as a set changes the stories we can tell with it. Not better, not worse, but different. The technology of the set shapes the stories we can tell with it.

For a more current example, we only need to look at how the invention of the GoPro camera and image-stabilized flying drones have redefined the types of images we can get. What used to take helicopters or cranes using large crews and big budgets can now be done better, faster and far cheaper. Shots that used to awe audiences are now commonplace.

Story-telling is an art, but it is an art infused, driven and controlled by technology.

That’s why our conversation, here, is so important. By enabling us to learn from each other how to better use our current technological tools, we alter and improve our ability to tell stories, involve audiences and, each in our own way, to change the world.

That’s a conversation I’m happy to return to every week.

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How YouTubers and Viners Become Legit — And Profitable

Does YouTube or Vine fame lead to fortune? In some cases, it can.

Dozens of YouTube celebrities and, increasingly, Vine stars are pulling in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars by hawking their products, directing traffic to their blogs or offering advice. In many instances, the monetization of their traffic is tied to advertising.

YouTube’s Partner Program gives video publishers the opportunity to run ads on their videos in exchange for a slice of the ad revenue, Sprout Social says. While it’s not known precisely how much money a YouTuber can earn through the Partner Program, Sprout Social says it can range from 80 cents to $2.50 for every 1,000 views.

Vine’s monetization opportunities are less clear-cut but can include product placements and multipart stories (offering more chances for ads), according to CodeFuel.

While all of t­hat sounds enticing, you’ve got to be committed to creating great video content to attract viewers and, therefore, attract ad dollars and partnership deals.

That’s what a youngster named Evan (whose last name isn’t publicized) has accomplished by playing with toys on camera. He reportedly reels in $1.3 million a year from his YouTube channel. That’s also what 28-year-old Michelle Phan has managed to accomplish by initially offering makeup tutorials on-camera; she reportedly rakes in an estimated $3 million a year through YouTube ads and, more significantly, her beauty products business. Phan has expanded her domain by opening a studio where a network of beauty vloggers can produce videos.

What are the keys to Evan’s and Phan’s success? The first step, of course, is cranking out well-crafted, popular videos that focus on things they’re passionate about — toys for Evan and beauty for Phan. Beyond that, though, they’ve built business relationships that have bolstered their video-fueled empires. “We find value in developing relationships and partnerships with brands and helping them create better products,” Phan has said.

All of that takes work and expertise. Standing out in today’s media landscape requires the latest technology and tactics. As Evan and Phan have discovered, turning this passion into a profession requires a professional approach. The place to develop a comprehensive understanding of the different factors that go into creating those well-crafted videos and the relationships that are so crucial is  NAB Show in Las Vegas. Attendees will learn from and interact with media and entertainment industry leaders while seeing firsthand how innovation is reshaping every aspect of the landscape. Open to all NAB Show attendees, the Show Floor will feature over 1,700 exhibitors representing every sector of the industry, from cutting edge audio and video production to the latest in advertising and mobile video technology.

For an even deeper dive, as a part of NAB Show, The Online Video Conference will feature 16 conference sessions, including one on mobile video, a growing area of importance for YouTubers, Viners and other producers of video content.

“The smartphone is taking its place as the device of choice for many, as high-resolution screens, social media and mobile-first video converge to create a perfect storm of viewing,” according to a description of the mobile video session. “With advertisers quickly adopting mobile video, more content will be created. How will the mobile revolution play out in video and what are its implications?”

Another session during the Online Video Conference also will appeal to YouTubers and Viners. It will concentrate on the state of flux in video and TV advertising. Yet another session during the conference will explain how to reach millennial viewers with video.

“Millennials’ viewing habits are changing fast, making them harder to reach than ever,” according to a summary of the session. “What are millennials looking for when it comes to video and who’s cracked the code? This session explores all of the device, content, distribution and business model factors that are critical to reaching millennials with successful video services.”

As the media landscape continues to evolve, there are more and more opportunities for YouTube and other social media sensations to turn their talents and followings into legitimate careers. But to take full advantage of these opportunities, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of this fast-changing industry. Understanding how viewers are consuming content and who those viewers are, creating the highest quality content, learning how different monetization platforms work, and building networks of followers, partners and colleagues are all crucial pieces of the puzzle. There’s a lot that aspiring YouTube and Vine pros need to know, and attending NAB Show is the perfect place to start.

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How Technology Is Reinventing the Sports Fan Experience

There’s an arms race in progress, and sports fans around the world are reaping the benefits.

The rise of on-demand entertainment has revolutionized the entertainment industry. Advertisers and media companies have been forced to adjust to modern viewing habits where consumers watch what they want, when they want, where they want. But live sporting events, along with some major reality television moments, represent the last true appointment viewing. And as many lists of the highest-rated individual television broadcasts clearly indicate, live sports lead the pack in today’s fragmented media landscape.

Sports venues, leagues and individual teams recognize this unique opportunity. There is a growing, global, content-hungry audience that will consistently carve out a few hours for the big game – it’s now up to them to provide the best fan experience in order to capture that audience’s attention.

Tuning In Has Never Been Easier

It starts with streaming. Streaming packages for sports clubs at every level of competition are allowing fans and alumni to stay more connected to their beloved teams than ever before. Media companies and leagues are increasing their streaming options to make their content more accessible on more devices, and teams are leveraging their own content channels to satiate fans who can never get enough. Not only does this afford today’s sports fans a world of options and convenience, but it also creates a huge opportunity for institutions to build deeper relationships with even more supporters.

The quality of these different options is also revolutionizing how fans consume live sports. Today’s fans are treated to incredible picture quality, whether they’re in front of a mammoth screen or on a mobile device. They can watch numerous games simultaneously, and new tactics and technologies in sports broadcasting provide behind-the-scenes access and camera angles that were unimaginable just a couple of years ago.

The amazing remote viewing experience and the variety of options fans now have provide stiff competition for venues. Venue owners and operators must now work even harder to get fans off the couch and into the seats, so they are turning to technology to help create unforgettable fan experiences inside the stadium. In doing so, they hope to bring the lure of watching the game in person to new heights and give fans a glimpse into the future of live sports.

Tech’s New Role at the Ballgame

Fans no longer wait around during breaks in the action. While the pitcher is waiting for the sign or the referee is assessing a foul, fans are on their mobile devices checking out content related to the action, or sharing the action themselves. They went on their smartphones to purchase tickets before using apps to find the most convenient way to the stadium. While some argue that in-stadium Wi-Fi discourages engagement among the crowd and takes away from the actual game, stadiums and clubs are recognizing that we live in a mobile world. In order to compete with the multitude of options consumers now have, they must provide an infrastructure that enables fans to enjoy the game on their terms. In fact, cutting-edge stadiums now boast about their Wi-Fi’s bandwidth, in some cases saying it gives fans in attendance access to Internet speeds matching or surpassing what they would experience at home. But in-stadium Wi-Fi is just the beginning.

London’s legendary Wembley Stadium is giving fans one of the most tech-packed experiences of all that certainly cannot be replicated from the couch. Wi-Fi is included in the ticket, as are app downloads that connect fans to available services. But they’ve taken it even further. EE, the UK’s top digital communications firm, has partnered with Wembley to go heavy on the thrills. The famous arch across the center of the stadium now has an integrated lighting system that responds to the game’s biggest moments and a live Arch Cam running on the app to wow fans in their seats.

Similar innovations are on the menu at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, home to the Nets and first-rate musical artists playing New York. Barclays has installed digital screens throughout the venue to keep fans informed about start times and train schedules (a subway station is outside), as well as to deliver highlight video on the big screen through a splashy replay system.

Conveniences and Luxuries

Teams and venue operators know they need more than just flash to capture and hold onto sports fans’ attention. Today’s sports fans also expect the same level of convenience at the game that technology affords them in all other aspects of everyday life.

Why take the fans out of their seats when the tech can bring the services to them? At Levi’s Stadium, home to Super Bowl 50, the area’s top tech companies help deliver a higher level of fan experience. In addition to even faster Wi-Fi, fans can also get food and drinks delivered to their seats through the app, which also shows them the route to the quickest bathroom line!

Each new stadium construction project or renovation raises the bar even higher. As the media landscape continues to evolve and more options emerge both inside and outside of the stadium, venues, leagues and teams must continue creating new experiences to keep fans engaged. This requires a deep understanding of the latest technologies and trends in the media and entertainment industry.

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Education: The Next Content Channel

Technology continues to change the face of education for elementary, high school, college and graduate school students – as well as the millions of other learners around the globe who want to pick up a new trade or skill. E-learning, online courses and Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are essential new offerings in the education field.

Today’s tools make it possible for just about any institution to get into the world of online education, whether it’s a hallowed institution like Harvard or a private company like Coursera. As many universities have demonstrated, offering courses online is a way to market yourself, which in turn increases application numbers and tuition base. A Department of Education study finds that 5.5 million American students take an online course through a college or university every year. Another study finds that online course enrollment accounted for nearly all recent growth at accredited two-year institutions.

The growing narrative appears to be that if your institution wants to improve enrollment, providing online courses is the most effective method to do it in 2016.

Having great professors makes a powerful impression on prospective students and is great public relations fodder among the wider population. Nowadays, these professors can even include celebrities – e-learning hub MasterClass launched an acting class late last year taught by none other than Kevin Spacey.

MOOCs, especially, are exploding in popularity. The number of students signing up for a MOOC crossed the 35-million threshold last year, and over 4,500 courses are currently available according to data from e-learning analytics firm Class Central. The opportunities are growing at an unprecedented rate. 

If education is a gleaming new content channel, then quality and value will be the keys to success. Institutions are now competing for the attention of content-hungry audiences who can go nearly anywhere for information and education, and creating engaging, professional-quality content is fast-becoming a requirement for entry. When done expertly, live-action video adds a human element to a course, and it often better illustrates how to complete a task compared to written, drawn or animated instructions. Plus, most professors aren’t interested in teaching courses where they have to essentially write a textbook. Video has proved an incredibly effective tool for online learning, but even beyond professional production quality, extra attention needs to be spent figuring out how to stand apart from the crowd of hobby-level DIY videos on YouTube by ensuring that the video fits into a larger plan.

“While an entertaining video will draw learners in and grab their attention, it won’t offer them real value unless it is a cohesive piece of the e-learning puzzle,” e-learning blogger Christopher Pappas noted in a post last year. “Before developing your e-learning video, figure out how you can seamlessly integrate it into the content of your e-learning course in order to increase learners’ engagement and knowledge absorption.”

Institutions and companies exploring e-learning should strive to put as much thought and expertise into their videos as any film production company. Still, many seem scared off by filming and producing video, even though they are extremely helpful to students.

“Despite its advantages, many e-learning developers hesitate to use video,” e-learning expert Veronica Phillips wrote in a blog post. “Creating interesting, professional videos does take some planning and technical skill. There’s also a fear of perceived high cost. But none of these barriers are insurmountable.”

The 2016 NAB Show, April 16-21 in Las Vegas, will be exceptionally valuable to those that want to thrive in the growing world of e-learning and online courses. As this trend continues and the importance of creating quality content that stands out increases, staying in tune with every aspect of content creation and consumption are vital. At the 2016 NAB Show, attendees will learn from and network with leaders and innovators from around the globe and representing every sector of the media. With hours upon hours of sessions and panel discussions, you’ll leave with a much greater understanding of how to create successful and professional video content that looks fantastic and truly adds value to your students’ experience.

The leaders of the video production industry will all be at NAB Show – there’s no better way to learn how to stand apart from other course providers. Use code BA52 at checkout before April 1 for a free Exhibits Pass, which gives you access to exhibits and general and info sessions. For access to your choice of three sessions from the Conference Program, you can add a Session 3-Pack for just $150.  

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