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Nov 132006

BBC 360 02

ARCHIVE: Just spotted my old collegues Matt Locke and Frank Boyd launching another series of 360 lab initiatives at the BBC. Not much has changed since the labs of 2000 and earlier, when EXACTLY to the day, six years ago I was presenting slides including those on this post to wannabee cross-media BBC producers. Incidentally I have put a selection of my old and new presentations up as a permanent, growing page here if you get the urge. Think it is important to look back on ones crystal ball gazing to constantly hone future predictive media skills.

But back to the cross-media multi-platform conundrum. There are many problems in creating great, audience engulfing services across a sea of devices and these are not going to go away. As I have found out with hundreds of projects I have been involved in, we are on constantly shifting sands as new converged devices, distribution channels and changing audience numbers mean producers have to constantly be on their toes – part storyteller, part trend analyst, part risk taker. I have avoided statistics in this post, but we can take it as read that audiences are constantly fragmenting and using more and more media forms across more and more platforms. Much of the below is based on real world services to real audiences but the lab environments I am involved in are also good (especially LAMP 😉 not necessarily for what comes out of them but for the way it transforms producers – and I get to see their on-going concerns and their future ‘approach’  to dispersed, interconnected and distributed service creation. What follows below is a draft’ish diatribe of cross-media thinking prompted also because I am speaking at a couple of conferences in the next couple of weeks (SPAA and ACMA) on the subject of 360 storytelling and viewer platform trends and with this and my leadership of LAMP I thought I would try to put keyboard-to-blog page and capture some thoughts, concepts and techniques. This helps me too, so note to me!

BBC 360 01

Cross-Media Production

There is quite a lot of mystique surrounding cross-media. As if some kind of black art that only those ‘in the know’ can produce, something very complex that only those with a techhy frame of mind can understand and a new audience who are too hard to reach. In fact cross-media has been with us for many decades, nay centuries and all that has really changed is a exponential growth in the valid distribution channels. It is a problem for traditional media aggregators and creators who are seeing audiences on their main platforms diminish and so, have been for the last decade (since audiences flooded onto the web), trying to create services that pointed back to their main ‘production’. We all know that using alternate platforms to ‘sway’ audiences back to your main ‘channel’ is a dead end street and the only real sustainable course of action is to develop innovative, truly multi-faceted services that work with the cross-media snackers we have become. The important signposts and calls to action across a viewers media device armoury still follow the same rules of engagement and storytelling that existed when an enigmatic poster promoted a theatrical event several centuries ago. Today though the cross media creator has to tackle critical temporal and locative elements and think way beyond passive consumption and become an ‘experience’ designer. This is not just about cross promotion, or extending the story or even complementary elements on each platform, no this is:

“bathing the audience in a sea of your original inextricably linked content across continents of devices, letting them find their own path to live their own story”.

A little personal history

My own foray into cross-media began probably when I was creating, producing and promoting music in the heady Manchester music scene of the 80s. There was nothing black art about doing radio interviews that navigated listeners to a concert or magazines and posters that promoted a record release or the main tryptych of radio to record release to gig (where the record store had a poster of the gig). Of course this was in the days pre-web and mobile phone but there was many and various initiatives that allowed you to preview music on landline telephone calls for example, or the old fashioned in-store promotion kiosks.

When I joined the BBC in 95 the web was in its early days but already TV was promoting the BBC Networking Club in various late night ads. The BBCNC was effectively an ISP and at that point offerred people free internet accounts. Over the years that followed 95-04 I was part of the revolution as the tables were turned and the internet moved from being a partially referred adjunct to in 04 many shows needing to be promoted ‘from’ the internet. We are still at this tipping point and as such anything conceived now will only be a transitional service -  beware those who say they know the future of the cross-media. The first real audience centric cross-media I produced at the BBC was in 97. A netumentary project in Central Asia which was live creation of world and local radio, a 40 day long story website with audio and photos, TV doc filming, daily viewer interaction as well as casual sound games. It was a lesson in making lots of rich-media in real time, which was good training for later on in interactive TV production. I also spent several years leading early thinking in BBC cross-media navigation (which I have referred to in posts before), which was at least seven years before its time!

Alongside the two powerhouses of web and TV there was a slow fragmentation of audiences across a growing range of life devices. I call them life devices because most of the cross-platform revolution came about as consumers took control over when, where and how they get their media. I was lucky to be part of the global thinking about on-demand as well (my tenure as TV-Anytime Business/Audience Model Chair) and the move to content on demand onto portable, IPTV and TV PVR devices when combined with mobile phones and thrown in with TV and web well – things got complicated for producers. I deliberately put these slides from over six years ago not just because it was part of the first wave of BBC 360, Strategic Compass thinking, but to reinforce the point that no cross-media strategy or theory beyond generalistic audience media consumption habits will persist.

Cross-Media Talent

Before we look at specific services, which I will add on tomorrow, one of the first key problems of real world cross-media production is and I quote the oft phrase “where is all the content going to come from? We have just enough resources to do the main show! It is easy for non-producer types to say you have a mobile bit here, a website there, some TV over there and a bunch of blogs here, and even if you can do it cheaply there is still the problem of the time and people resources. If the cross-media element is heavily linked to a TV property as it so often is, the real problem comes from ‘diverting’ the producers from making their oh so important show, which must go on. I have heard this so many times. The BBC was quick to devolve New Media creation back into production. A few other broadcasters have done likewise, just, but for the most part cross-media is a team of ‘webbies’ beavering away grateful for any morsel the TV or film team can throw over the wall to them. Even today in the US it is hard to get ‘talent’ to do specific non-TV elements. I recall twisting many linear producers arms to get talent to do some pieces to camera and how the process was oft slotted in linear production ‘breaks’. Then there was the period when talent sniggered when they said “www dot bbc dot” etc: Now of course the talent take it all very seriously – most of their audience after all are ‘engaging with’ them on that ‘dot’or interactive TV thing.

So having strong branded talent on your side is important. You need them to stimulate the audience to move between platforms with great call to actions – get them to say why it is worth their time to ‘tune in’ over there, what’s in it for them, the reward, the importance, why they will be missing out, they are addicted so heres another hit and because they trust you and you say so. More on why and the storytelling element, later. For now back to content production.

Cross-Media Content

What’s there for them when they do make the move and make another date with your property. Well here are four quickly thrown together cross-media, 360 classifications (updated copied from my Wikipedia contribution)
Crossmedia (aka Cross-Media, Cross-Media Entertainment, Cross-Media Communication) is a media property, service, story or experience distributed across media platforms using a variety of media forms. It is about the journey across devices and through forms and is most seen in branded entertainment, advertising, games and quest based forms such as Alternate Reality Games where there are a range of dependencies between the media and fragments there-of. There are potentially four main categories or levels of cross-media:

Cross-media 1.0 – Pushed.
The same or minor variations of content placed on different platforms in different forms. E.g.: A minor re-edit of the audio from a TV programme for a podcast or a script adapted for a website and in its simplest form exactly the same content delivered on multiple platforms such as mobile, TV and broadband web. The user in this case could create their own cross-media links such as watching half of the episode on mobile and the rest on broadband. This level does not have strong cross-media triggers but may promote the same content on another platform.

A good simple example of this is the world first Forget The Rules which was a weekly short form drama delivered simultaneously on TV, Broadband Wed and 3G mobile.

Cross-media 2.0 – Extras.
This is content produced alongside a main production and delivered on different platforms from the main production. This ‘extra’ cross-media content is naturally different from the main property and not necessarily dependent on it – temporarily or editorially. For example it could be a mobile video-captured behind the scenes of a feature film, destined and delivered in segments on the mobile phone. It could be a flash game strongly based on a radio drama or a book back story delivered through posters in train stations. The most obvious incarnation is the ubiquitous ‘making of’ feature that may be delivered only via video web portals.

A good recent example is the various transformations of a property called Thursday’s Fictions. This started as a book, turned into a surreal dance film and more recently a Second Life presence created for it. Each version played to the strengths of each platform.

Cross-media 3.0 – Bridges.
The truest form of cross-media where the story or service structure is specifically authored to drive the audience across media devices to continue the journey. The content placed on the other platform is critical to staying in touch with the experience and the narrative bridges tease you towards investigating or moving to another media form/platform. Obvious examples include a TV show that ends suddenly and gives you a URL to explore more. It may be a SMS that teases and points you towards a live concert in a city square which then leads you to a TV show, then to a podcast then to subscription emails. The trigger, or bridge, is the critical component of this in motivating the cross-media action.

A very strong example of this is the 30 second Mitsubishi Superbowl 2004 TV ad which showed objects being thrown out of a truck in front of two trailing race cars. It paused on a cliff-hanging moment (as two cars were thrown out) and invited the audience to go to seewhathappens.com. Millions did.

Cross-media 4.0 – Experiences.
An aggregation of the first three levels this is also where the content is distributed across many platforms in a non-linear way and is producer ‘hands-off’- in that they have created an environment, much like a game, that the participant/s ‘lives’ inside of, following their own path and personalizing the experience. A cross-media 4.0 property is co-creative collaborative play with the audience across many devices, which evolves and grows a life of its own. Although likely to be heavily authored the cross-media triggers and invitations are part of the experience in terms of the audience creating their own bridges. The best examples of this are Alternate Reality Games and it incorporates elements of the first three levels but is likely to be dynamic in that producers will have to be constantly bridge building in response to where audiences are travelling.

Part of the mix is also what I called Mixed Reality, merged media entertainment and multi-modality – which doesn’t need multiple devices, but utilises multiple media forms in the same place, from many distributed devices back on to ‘one’ device to give a ‘distributed’ entertainment experience in one place. At one end of the spectrum therefore it is a sort of ‘fractured’ CD ROM (yes those mid 90s things that had lots of stuff that you navigated around), a pot pourri of content thrown onto many devices BUT without coarse temporal signposts that break flow and ‘cheapen’ a users journey. At the other end it is something that doesn’t really exist beyond a seed of an idea created by the producer. Perhaps a viral video, or an extremely enigmatic blog. I am avoiding talking about ARG’s here as to me they are a subsection of CM 4.0. A cross-media 4.0 property evolves and grows a life of its own. Where a producer for example writes the first scene, some context and like the process of starting a fire, uses paper, matches, tinder wood, breath, small twigs, large logs and coal – a range of ‘elements’ to build the flame. Requires constant nurturing and that in truth is a content producers role in the future, growing an audience around their property, fanning the flames when required. Not very specific but I will talk more in the techniques section.
BBC 360 03

The Cross-Media Audience
Right a major problem for producers with cross-media at the moment is with CM3/4 above. If any platform has a dependency, in other words you must view or collaborate with that device/narrative element to continue the journey there is the potential to lose parts of your audience. One sees this all the time. Even though video on mobile or video iPod could be a compelling element, when you say only 5% of the audience may get it, it becomes a nice to have, then eventually a ‘lets forget it’. A shame but that is life. You can throw duplicates onto those devices, but if you cannot make it a necessity then it falls outside of true 360 innovation. This is the really big thorn in 360 production’s side at the moment. Anything outside TV and websites is a potential problem. Physical elements like playing cards or almost ubiquitous SMS can be thrown in but even then if they are critical bridges you may lose audiences who cannot cross it. So most cross media tends to fall into v 1 or 2, because that is the safest, it has elements of brand reinforcement and allows a traditional publish and get on with the next thing, mentality. Even so younger audiences are so 360 savvy that they don’t need to be told when and where to go, they will do it anyway. So CM3.0 is the only way to go for most producers, you have to move your property onto other platforms or you will lose them for completely the opposite reasons ‘ they see you as one dimensional! As for CM4.0 this requires you to be so in-tune and as simultaneous a user as the audience that you effectively become what is referred to as an ‘alpha user’ – a leader of a niche cross-media audience. To some extent you need to be able to ‘live’ the story with your audience and play with it on their terms. If you are not a heavy cross-media user yourself you may not understand their world and no amount of trend analysis will get you there.

Cross-Media Techniques

Dont want to get bogged down in detail or specificity here but just look at a simple range of techniques, that should work sympathetically to the four levels above, of how historically and in the future audiences will be moved around platforms. (Note: some of this is circa 2000 and I have kept the ‘fishing’ metaphor for now even though it suggests a non-collaborative relationship, so not totally ideal but…)

1 ‘Fishing for your audience’. This is more a pre main event experience (not that one should consider anything in a true CM world as a main event really), but this is about fishing for audiences across platforms. A poster on the underground, an enigmatic SMS, a viral video on the web, something odd in a TV trailer. They may or may not make direct references to go somewhere or do something else. This is about bait. Garnering interest in your initial creation by having tasty or interesting morsels dangling around the platform environment. Traditional ads and trailers are well too formulaic now for savvy and heavy CM users, they want to be wooed more.

2 ‘Getting them to bite’. This is covered to some extent in a post I did a while ago about immersion and addiction but this is where you have to be clear about what they are going to get. The benefits. This is selling your service. If the service allows them to win money this should be clear, if is about a narrative experience like no other then the ‘teaser’ should have that inherent embedded into it. Doesn’t have to be the gravel voiced film trailer man, but paint a picture of something big (see my scaled points in the above post). If this has been delivered in a viral way consider a phased release of other parts of the puzzle virals with more clarity, as the first viral picks reaches a critical mass and the fish start to swarm. As all good fishermen know patience, timing and knowing the difference between ground bait and hook bait is critical. The lesson here is to surround the potential audience with small fragments of morsels, immerse them in a cross-platform ‘trail mix’.

3 ‘Reeling them in’. They bit and are holding on. So does your property live up to expectations. How do you keep them there? There is so much more bait floating around in this sea of media. Do you open the curtains and reveal all? This is a relationship and like any first, second or third date to reveal everything, warts and all may not be the best tactic. You need to constantly court your audience and give a sense that your service is worth spending more time in. This is where meticulous planning of phased releases of story fragments across the media channels comes into its own. To some extent this is no different from a series editor/writer who has to arc each weeks episode narrative to keep them coming back for more. In a 360 world though it is layered up three or four times and with the disadvantage that audiences are probably viewing your service in a not so ideal order. You need to offer more and more attractive bait and again in my designing experience post in 2 above, you will need to be fleet of foot.

4 ‘Go there for more’. As old as the hills the simple presenter or burnt in signpost url to get more stuff – after, post a main event. Usually seen as an ad or end credit sequence where the voice over tells you why it is worth your while to carry on somewhere else with them. Breaks the fourth wall but is a clear directive. “and over on ABC2”, “read more on the website”, “vote and win prizes by calling this number” and so on. It could be in-story “want to find out what happened to so and so? Go here”.

5 “Parallel Dimension”. There is something on another platform running synchronous to the one you are watching – so treated slightly differently to number 3. The simplest example is when I used to watch cricket. Watch TV while listening to Radio 3 in the UK, because I preferred a more ‘in-depth’ commentary. Now of course there are many other parallel channels. Web, mobile and TV all running along with each other. I am more and more involved with parallels between real and virtual worlds. The techniques to draw audiences into these experiences are often inherent in the service such that if you are on one you can actually see the other one taking place. A website in shot on the TV show, a video running inside a virtual space or a TV studio show live on your mobile. If the parallel element is part of your design and services USP then make sure you reference it in both channels. There are some automated systems that will do this for you I talked about in this cross-media trigger post.

6 ‘Storyworld, fishfarm. On their own’. Many refers to CM 4.0 above, but this is where the narrative or just the expectation from the audience that there will be other media elsewhere, drives their journey through the story. The technique here is the hardest to identify but it follows the same technique of designing a physical hunt. You hide things, give not so easy clues and then set the ground rules. Even if you are telling the story of how they used to build Pyramids for example, make the cross-media experience as far as possible deliver something that makes them ‘feel’ like they are a pyramid builder (examples to follow). They will expect something on all platforms and this is where the term 360 or cross-media will eventually become redundant. All properties will have something on all platforms, the same way DVDs now all have extras – or if they don’t they at least pretend to. This all comes back to expectation and trust. If they have enjoyed cross-media experiences from you before they will come back. It is about trust, being consistent and giving them a media world to play in.

I have a few more areas I would like to cover, for my own benefit at least 😉 Will have a go tomorrow and probably tidy up the above! To come

Cross-media communities, Meaningful 360 examples, Commercial vs public service examples, When cross-media becomes a redundant term.

Posted by Gary Hayes © 2006

Apr 052006

The conference presentations have from my perspective, been the usual mix of ‘heard-it-all-before’, occassional cool bit of a service demo, global convergence and very entertaining philosophical gazes into the future – emerging media.

The Internet and the future of TV plus The New Reality

Mark Burnett, Jonathan MillerThe last presentation I was at at the end of Tuesday, was the keynote from Mark Burnett and Jonathan Miller (CEO of AOL). The Esterel hall was jammed with around 900 people in a 800 seater I reckon. Jonathan gave an OK look at the future punctuated by a look at the success of Live8 and a sneek preview of In2TV (the latest archive on-demand offering). He came across as still immersed in technology (showing off the latest ‘q’ codec that showed DVD type quality live over the internet – rather than content or services and not as inspirational as Mark Burnett who followed.

Mark struck me as one of the lads down the local pub in the east end of London. Very practical, bit of a del-boy, all about reaching audiences through engaging stories that they care about, making money and getting to the audience wherever they are – peppered with his primary driver in all he does in terms of really integrating advertising and driving ad dollar. The most interesting aspect of his talk though was his cross-media approach and his delving into the broad area of alternate reality games. I asked him about that in the q&a session and he agreed that his new “Gold Rush” (see below) proposition is in that domain but also that producers need to really make stuff the viewer cares about otherwise they will turn away. Specifically when I asked about the differences between play (game/tv/reality combinations) and tightly scripted content he replied:

“It’s a free for all. It is not anyone or the other, its a bunch of different stuff, what the internet really stands for. Its like America, its a free market economy, a global free market economy, not a country anymore, its the internet. All things to all people, only those who will make it are those who will create content that you care about, that moves you”

The Gold Rush service to be released in Sept is a “massive undertaking” from Mark’s perspective when talking about the production tensions between his 1000 strong TV team with the AOL internet operation. Here is a transcript about the cross-over production from my audio notes:

” Goldrush which is an online treasure hunt created and produced solely for the internet. But to make it really work you still need to have the giant scale and razzamataz of the way you launch the big television special. So just to take it into story this is how gold rush starts. The sun is going down. Were at Fort Knox, the greatest bastion of where gold is stored in the USA. The music goes upbeat, a Jerry Brockheimer movie. Trucks start to leave Fort Knox, helicopters excort them, the military, police blocking off roads. 13 trucks are leaving Fort Knox as the sun is going down. Inside each of these trucks solid gold. 12 of these trucks contain $100 000 in gold and the 13th (they are not numbered) contains $1 million in solid gold. They head out under the cover of darkness to be buried in plain sight all over the continental united states. Here is a reality show that not just 16 people can play and win, everybody, and not only in America. The world can come and go to america online, decipher the clues that are very pop culture, and find out and dig up the gold. We are creating content that is in 3 minute to 5 minute segments on AOL. The content will be clues, the content will be when someone digs up the first set of gold, we will interview them and unravel how they worked the clues out. Also funny content a little old lady from Arkansas who is up in Wisconsin digging holes all over a national park, 3000 miles in the wrong direction. The guy from england who left his fiance, left his job, got on a plane to america, to find the gold in gold rush. The reality show that anybody can play and is created for AOL but we are not turning our back in this endeavour on mainstream TV networks or on publishing empires, we will use magazines and televison to support and work together to create cross-platform media. That is the latest thing I have been working on.”

He was very tight lipped when Ferhan (sat next to me) asked about how cross-media was going to be used to promote gold rush – hinting that it was going to be very viral and probably already begun – nuff said mate! The key thing in this presentation was that Mark came across as passionate about what he did. He wasn’t an interloper at these type of events – like many who shall remain nameless. His transmedia approach like many producers is simple – you deliver in the most entertaining way to where the people are, while keeping a strong eye on advertising dollar.

“We are not there making TV shows for pleasure, we are making TV shows so that the big networks and the giant portals can sell ads…” –

On demand tvhe later said that ad growth on TV networks will flatten and drop over the next year, so that leaves the portals as the next big thing then. I suspect Gold Rush may be the first global participatory TV event, although heavily borrowing from alternate reality games (this is ART, alternate reality tv, of course) it blends interactive tv, with gameshow, with puzzles, with reality tv, with location based programming. This will indeed break the mould finally – shame in retrospect it may all be about greed, but that and porn is how most break-throughs begin in media of course 😉

Further sessions I attended, conference blogs to follow when I get a few moments: Mobile video on demand, mobile Tv content showcase 1, internet tv comes of age, on-demand tv super panel, Gary Carter keynote and tv without frontiers. May do quick single paras of those to catch-up as there is some good 360 stuff on the way.
Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006

Mar 232006

Milia 2006Looking forward to treking over to Cannes next week via LA and UK. I remember when Milia was a short hop from home (London) now it is a heave to the other side of the planet but the seminar line-up alone (see extensive list below) makes it worth it alone.

MIPTV featuring MILIA is the world’s premier audiovisual & digital content market. It’s where the key decision-makers come to meet, talk and forge the business partnerships that will drive future growth on a global level. MIPTV and MILIA 2005
Participants 12,152
Companies 4,064
Countries represented 99
Exhibiting companies 1,510
Total exhibition space 18,357 m2

I remember the Milia’s of olde 96-02 – CD Roms, simple console games and very early crude interactive TV. Now there is a maturity to it, growing up alongside MIP and the focus on 360, cross-media and content makes it unique – the IBC‘s and NAB‘s still relegate mobile and broadband TV type services to side-halls and the other conferences tend to be a single platform at a time. Anyway here is the list which must make it the premier cross-media entertainment conference (industry perspective of course) – I have done this partly so I can refer to a simple running order in an emergency, as the ones on the site (MipTV feat Milia) are not so hot (one day at a time) – especially for an emerging media conference 😉


Digital Media Strategies Workshop
10.30 – 11.30 Part 1 11 – 45 – 12 — 45 Part 2
Date: Apr 03, 2006 10:30AM 12:45PM Location: Audi I, Level 4
Digital Distribution Showcase Keynote
Date: Apr 03, 2006 2:15PM 3:00PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
“TV Without Frontiers”: The Latest European Media Developments: Impact & Opportunities
Date: Apr 03, 2006 4:15PM 5:15PM Location: Audi A, Level 3
Whose TV Is It Anyway?
Date: Apr 03, 2006 5:30PM 6:15PM Location: Esterel, Level 5

On-Demand TV Super Panel: Evolution of Media Business Models, Threats & Opportunities
Date: April-04-2006 10:00AM 11:30AM Location: Esterel, Level 5
Mobile Video On-Demand: Turning Grey Time To Prime Time
Date: April-04-2006 11:45AM 12:45PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
On-Demand TV Showcases
Date: April-04-2006 1:30PM 2:30PM Location: Audi I, Level 4
Mobile TV Content Showcases Part 1 Music Video, Sport & Leisure
Date: April-04-2006 1:30PM 2:15PMLocation: Audi K, Level 4
Internet TV Comes Of Age
Date: April-04-2006 3:00PM 4:00PM Location: Audi A, Level 3
On-Demand Advertising In Your Palm & At Your Finger Tips
Date: April-04-2006 4:15PM 5:00PM Location: Audi A, Level 3
Keynote: “The Internet and the Future of Television”
Date: Apr 04, 2006 5:15PM 5:45PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
Keynote: “The New Reality: Entertainment Everywhere!”
Date: Apr 04, 2006 5:50PM 6:15PM Location: Esterel, Level 5


Convergence of Telecoms & Broadcasting: Who Will Be In Control ?
Date: April-05-2006 9:15AM 10:30AM Location: Esterel, Level 5
The Future of Rights Super Panel Are the Content Rights Owners Ready for the New Game?
Date: April-05-2006 11:30AM 12:30PM
Mobile TV Content Showcases, Part 2: Short films, Channels & User-Generated Content For Mobile
Date: April-05-2006 1:00PM 2:15PM Location: Audi K, Level 4
Mobile Broadcasting Live TV In Your Pocket, Part 1
Date: April-05-2006 2:30PM 3:30PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
Content 360: Cross-Platform Content Commissioning: BBC, KBC, NFB Pitching New Digital Ideas
Date: April-05-2006 2:30PM 3:30PM Location: Audi K, Level 4
IPTV Around The World : Deployment Strategies and Case Studies
Date: April-05-2006 2:30PM 3:45PMLocation: Audi A, Level 3
Live TV In Your Pocket, Part 2
Date: April-05-2006 3:45PM 5:00PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
Content 360° Pitching Session: BBC Cat.3 Long Tail Content: Navigating The BBC Archive
Date: April-05-2006 4:00PM 5:00PM Location: Audi K, Level 4
The IPTV Business Case: Is VOD The Killer App For IPTV?
Date: April-05-2006 4:00PM 5:00PMLocation: Audi A, Level 3
Keynote Content 360:” New Gateways to Creativity
Date: April-05-2006 5:15PM 6:15PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
International Interactive Emmy Awards
Date: April-05-2006 7.30PM 11.00PM Location Grand Salon Hotel Carlton


Mobi Wars! Mobile TV Business Models & Value Chain Evolution
Date: April-06-2006 10:00AM 11:15AM Location: Esterel, Level 5
Mobility & Content: Entertainment Everywhere !
Date: April-06-2006 11:30AM 12:45PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
Content 360° Pitching Session: National Film Board of Canada Animation Projects For Mobile Platforms
Date: April-06-2006 11:45AM 12:45PM Location: Audi A, Level 3
Content 360° Pitching Session: BBC Cat. 1:Rich Media – Made For Mobile
Date: April-06-2006 1:15PM 2:15PM Location: Audi A,
Content 360° Pitching Session: BBC Cat.4 Web 2.0: Next-Generation Collaborative Web Concepts
Date: April-06-2006 2:30PM 3:30PM Location: Audi A, Level 3
Interactive Mobile TV, The Next Frontier?
Date: April-06-2006 2:30PM 3:30PM Location: Esterel, Level 5
User Generated Content: The Next Big Thing in Media?
Date: April-06-2006 2:30PM 3:30PM
Content 360° Pitching Session : KBC Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), Mobile Content and Applications
Date: April-06-2006 4:00PM 5:00PM Location: Audi A, Level 3
Developing & Delivering Content Across Platforms, What Does It Take?
Date: April-06-2006 4:00PM 5:00PM
Mobile Content Distribution & Revenue Opportunities: Look To Asia & India
Date: April-06-2006 4:00PM 5:15PMLocation: Audi K, Level 4
Content 360° Pitching Session: BBC Cat.2:Total Mobile & User Generated Mobile Content
Date: April-06-2006 5:15PM 6:15PM
What Are The New Deals, And How Are They Shaking Up The Broadband Content Value Chain?
Date: April-06-2006 5:15PM 6:00PM
The Content 360° Zapping Show
Date: April-06-2006 7:00PM 8:00PMLocation: Esterel, Level 5


Mobile Entertainment Forum Workshop: How To Create, Deliver And Sell Video Content For Mobile
Date: April-07-2006 10:00AM 12:00PM
Rights & Financing Workshop: How To Navigate The Complex Digital Rights Maze & How To Fund Mobile TV & Cross Platform Content
Date: April-07-2006 9:30AM 11:30AM Location: Audi K, Level 4

Oh yes looking forward to walking the croissette and going to the Palais De Festival again but also to the black tie, first INTERNATIONAL INTERACTIVE EMMY® AWARDS on Wednesday evening — as I was a juror I will be shouting for my favourites 😉

International television and film star Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit) will join renowned producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice), The Bold and The Beautiful’s Jack Wagner, French leading actress Corinne Touzet and RCTV (Venezuela) telenovela actors Veronica Schneider and Alejandro Otero to present the International Interactive Emmy® Awards on April 5, 2006. Desperate Housewives star Roger Bart will host the black-tie event.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2005

Mar 192006

There must be something in the air. I have been in identical conversations in the past week with folk I have been lecturing, professional content makers and colleagues. The problem of what to do about the tidal wave of content coming over the horizon and how to get noticed. I put to them that a great deal of the stuff that will be pulling the eyeballs away from your wonderful latest bit torrent distributed masterpiece is not other great well marketed contemporary content or prodigious user creations but work from 5, 10, 25 even 50 years ago. In five years time a hundred billion items of media available to us all. Most of it will be web 2.0 User Generated Content but probably more significantly the really good, accessed content, not often cited, will the great ‘sleeping archive’.

Working on the basic fact that media lives longer than people (particularly media that has been already digitized and in theory is immortal), then it is pretty unlikely any person has seen everything that has been produced before they were born and before they were conscious media consumers. Here lies something tantilising. Do we need to make anything ever again? Could the next generations just watch all the stuff that’s already been created. Mashing up basic long tail theories with actual figures from the emerging IPTV, broadband TV platforms (where more than 50% of content is what we call archive – past its sell by date) then content owners who have a big back catalogue are in for a great ride. But new content makers are going to find it tough against the archive and the UGC noise. Making programmes about the archive, now theres an idea! Or how about a series about the best of user content! Surely there must be more. Humanity still has stories to tell and the best ones will rise to the surface. One of the reasons there is a growing movement in stories being dispersed over lots of platforms is part of a necessary ‘make-it-unique’, ‘make-it-standout’ strategy. Create a part of the story for a bluecast on a tram, or a bit for the new fashion accessory video headset eyePod. Bandwagons, play and fashions will abound for the moment until a fully networked media world settles into global uniformity – or not. Enough theorising.

As a real world example I just popped along to Boing Boing to see a post/link about a documentary about the internet from 1972. Clicked on the google video link (Computer Networks: The Heralds of Resource Sharing) and was just bowled over. Obviously as a closet media analyst, this sort of thing is compelling viewing as one is suddenly caught up in parallel cycles – nothing is ever new under the sun, only subtle layers of innovation. For example right at the start of the video a quote, “the notion that computer networks were not only needed but they were valuable and they are gradually coming into fruitiion” (F.J.Corbato, MIT), yea and this at a time when I was probably out in the street playing football, mostly unaware of what a computer was at 10 years old! Another portentious quote “at other levels you’ve got the facility that allows people to get together who are geographically dispersed and allow them to work together and find out what they need to do their jobs” Richard Watson, Standford Research Institute. Remember this was 34 years ago!. I like the 30 minute episode because it has a nieveity behind it, there is very little jargon and a sense that they were making it because it could be made, rather than because they saw a future where EVERY person in the world would be networked. In fact virtually everything they said about networked work environments now rings true for anyone with a computer at home but they wouldn’t know that – we have the luxury of retrospect.

So that is one example of a time-poor person, me, who should be doing better things, caught up in some niche that entertains, is enriching and definitely not from a pot of latest content. AOL/Warner with their In2TV offering look well placed in a recent article from Yahoo! with a bunch of old US shows, mostly B-shows at the moment, but for the US culture a hark back to the good old days – no brainer. The BBC of course has some wonderful archive that it will be releasing via the Integrated Media Player and of course eventually stream 85 on the internet – the old tech stream…;-) The list goes on – investors buy into those archives before its too late!

Wonder what folk in 30 years time will be looking at from our day. Perhaps the ninety seventh re-run of the Simpsons, joking about strange old debates we had about the likely long term of mobile video and quoting odd people from something called a ‘podcast’ (a term that dissappeared in 2012) who said broadcast is dead. So if there is a Gary 30 years into the future reading this blog (which is of course immortal 😉 perhaps you can add this to the chain, the archive media cycle continues.

Posted by Gary Hayes Copyright 2006