Tag Archives: Transpera

Showtime’s Emmy Campaign Goes Mobile

Beginning this April, voting members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) will enjoy the exclusive ability to view full seasons of Showtime’s original series on their iPhones and iPodTouch devices. This is an industry first; the application developed and implemented by Transpera, a mobile video delivery and advertising network that has worked with Showtime on other projects. The password-protected application will allow voters to stream fullshowtime_4cl episodes directly to their handheld devices.Showtime also launched its password-protected website, developed with online video platform Brightcove, allowing voters to mark their ballots online.

Original Showtime series includes United States of Tara, Weeds, Dexter, The Tudors, Californication, Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union, Brotherhood, This American Life, Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT! and The L Word.


“This year, by providing viewing access via iPhones and iPodTouch devices, Showtime continues to offer TV Academy members even more convenient opportunities to enjoy and consider SHOWTIME original programming,” said Richard Licata, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications for SHOWTIME

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Mobile Excellence Awards

The Mobile Excellence Awards took place Dec. 8 at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles. Generated out of Mobile Monday Los Angeles, the event was planned and executed by MoMo LA’s Sarah Miller, owner of Axis PR and Allison Dollar, CEO of the ITV Alliance. Over 150 members of the wireless and entertainment community mingled with drinks and hors d’oeuvres before an awards ceremony that included live music.

One highlight of the event was the presence of Jari Tammisto, CEO/President of MobileMonday, who flew in from Finland from the event and spoke to the assembled guests. Also present was Lars Cosh-Ishii, founder of Mobile Monday Tokyo, the second chapter of the grassroots group.

Another highlight of the evening was a presentation by filmmaker L.M. Kit Carson of his “Africa Diaries,” short documentaries that he shot in Mozambique with his Nokia N-93 phone’s camera and edited in iMovie. The three-part Mozambique doc was bought by the Sundance Channel which plans a release on the cable channel, Internet and cell phone.

The awards ceremony honored excellence in five separate categories: Mobile Business, Mobile Technology, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Entertainment and a special Star Award category which recognizes the fastest growing Mobile company based on accelerated growth, impact and industry achievements overall.

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Fox Reality Channel Launches On iPhone

Reality TV fans just got news that may have them rushing out to buy an iPhone. Fox Reality Channel, the all-reality, all-the-time cable/satellite network within the News Corp. with 50 million subs and climbing” just launched a WAP site for the first Apple iPhone mobile video service to feature reality-only content. “It was important for us to have video on the iPhone, which makes it easy to build community,” says Fox Reality Channel vp, business & operations, Ed Skolarus.

Fox Reality Channel is all about the video: Skolarus reports the channel does “over 170 hours of VOD on a lot of different platforms” including its exclusive partnership with Hulu and, for mobile users, a MediaFLO channel. “The iPhone is great for video,” he adds. “You can watch it and share it easily. Being in the video business, we’re about video advertising.”

That’s where Transpera, a platform for monetizing web videos on the mobile platform, comes in. “We power Fox Reality Mobile Video soup-to-nuts,” says Transpera founder/CEO Frank Barbieri. “They give us the videos and then we format them and deliver them to the iPhone along with targeted display and in-screen rich media ads like pre-rolls and overlays.” Current Transpera customers include MTV Networks, Discovery Networks, the Travel Channel, CBS News, Associated Press, and Accuweather.

Much of the content on the mobile Fox Reality Channel will be original, says Skolarus, who notes that they produce five original series a year as well as acquire content from Fox, CBS and NBC. Reality fans will get real-time updated information and original “bonus” content for original series “Battle of the Bods,” “2008 Fox Reality Channel Really Awards,” “Solitary,” “The Academy,” “Gimme My Reality Show!,” “Reality Binge,” and “Night Club Confessions.” A Send-to-Friend feature allows users to share their favorite video content mobile-to-mobile.

“Within the application, there are nine different categories, with 10 to 15 videos in each category, so it’s quite a lot of video,” says Skolarus. “My boss David Lyle, former president of Fremantle, understands that from the initial kick-off meeting you have to have the other platforms. involved. It’s not just repurposing what you have. It’s about having content shot for a lot of digital avenues.” Since its launch three years ago, Fox Reality Channel now has 2,500 digital episodes in the can.

For its original series, Fox Reality Channel has another crew working side-by-side the main crew, shooting content specifically for broadband, mobile and Hulu among other platforms. “It’s a big commitment,” he notes. “We’re lucky enough that reality is a good lean-forward experience with high engagement and it also skews well for iPhone.”

At time of launch, Skolarus and Barbieri declined to talk about specific advertisers, noting that many still play a wait-and-see game when it comes to new media. But Barbieri points out that mobile “gets higher engagement across the board.” “The mobile phone is such a personal device and commands so much attention of high-consuming audiences,” he says. “We see great recall numbers, great brand attribution numbers, much higher than on the web.”

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How to Make Money from Mobile Content

From the Mobile Content & Marketing Expo

San Jose, CA—How can you miss with a panel on making money? This session, with Joe Laszlo, director of advertising at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), moderating a panel made up of mobile video executives, was packed. Each executive spoke about his or her company’s business model. Susan Cashen, vp of marketing at mywaves described the company as a handset agnostic mobile video service that delivers video around the world. “Because we’re free, we’re dependent on advertising,” she said. “We’ve also recently launched commerce with entertainment. When a consumer is immersed in an entertainment experience like watching a free Beyonce video, it’s a natural for them to be able to buy Beyonce content, both virtual and real goods.”

Transpera CEO Frank Barbieri described his company as “building the largest premium ad-supported mobile video network.” Networks in Motion is an applications and platform provider for the mobile phone, focused on search and navigation, with a subscription-based model. “Navigation and search is alive and well on the paid platform,” said CEO Doug Antone. Bytemobile CMO Adrian Hall said his company provides services to the carrier as an enabler to the end-user. “We basically enable the mobile Internet for the end-user,” he said. “And we see user-profile information which is useful for contextual and behavioral targeted advertising.”

On the advertising front, asked Laszlo, are advertisers are willing to pay a premium for mobile? Bytemobile’s Hall said the one thing that appears obvious is that the more targeted the ad, the more valuable. Barbieri said that mobile has far more focus of attention than the PC, where the screen could be displaying several windows and other distractions simultaneously. “For brand advertisers, that increased attention leads to better numbers,” he said. “I think the news is fairly good in these early days.” Cashen said about 6.5 million unique come to mywaves every month; they come twice a week and spend 20 minutes, watching 2 or 3 minute segments. “A 30-second pre-roll just won’t cut it,” she said. “In the short term, there are big opportunities to connect with consumers via direct marketing. There’s genius to leverage the video entertainment on the handset from the point of view of a brand. Taking what works on the web on mobile is taking baby steps,. You have this incredible storefront on the handset. Click-to-call, click-to-buy: there’s no better measurement. Leveraging the entertainment to create action is where we feel good.”

Cashen said that transcoding video for the consumer gives her company information on the consumers. “We have the ability to target by DMA, time of day, and type of handset,” she reported.

Everyone is trying to drive personalization and the consistency of brand across multiple devices, noted Hall and more personalized advertising based on user needs will create a dramatically stronger click-through rate. The mobile marketing campaign has to have ways to interact with the user, said Barbieri. “We work with our brand advertisers to brainstorm the mobile marketing campaign and how to target the audience.”

Antone observed that his company’s business model is different in that the user pays $10/month to navigate. “It’s no longer how you get from Point A to Point B,” he said. “We want someone to turn it on in the morning for real-time traffic information. Not just where’s the local movie theater but what’s playing and when. It’s all available on your client-server application on your handset. See us as a publisher that’s getting your content out to people. Our customers are the carriers, who sell to their customers. That’s our strategy. All of them have this $10 price point. At some point it’ll be $5 and beyond that it will be zero, a free application. The relevance of this is that when someone is mobile, they’re also motivated. When you’re in a browsing application and looking for a restaurant, you’re motivated to go. Targeted, pertinent advertising that can happen during that search is what we’re focused on.”

But to get the numbers, the only way the carriers can make that work is to draw in big percentages of their users. To get 50 to 60 percent, they’ll have to change the pricing model. “We’re betting on the idea that they’re going to try to do that and not roll over,” said Antone

Focusing on how the Networks in Motion product will one day be free, Antone talked about the challenge. “It depends how good we all are at creating the economics on the back end,” he said. “That listing of Italian restaurants in your neighborhood, for example. Would you find it offensive to get a manipulated search, where the restaurant that’s farther away pays to be listed first? When do consumers say, Forget it – you’re giving me something I don’t want. We have to do this in a way that there’s enough economics but the consumer still likes it.”

Finally, panelists spoke about the role of the carrier, between the extremes of a dumb pipe and a walled garden. “There is a smart pipe concept where there’s a tremendous amount of marketing and merchandising power that any one would be a fool to ignore, because they have a connection to the user with billing inserts, with product marketing on the deck,” said Barbieri. “There’s a relationship that can be used to promote content well. We have to move from a programming-type mentality of carriers to more of a merchandising, marketing and retail type of relationship. And that’s good for us and for the consumer as well. We have yet to get to the point where there are tremendous marketing and retailing competencies at some of the carriers, but that’ll change.

The carriers could move faster,” added Hall. “They are desperately trying to be smart pipes and it’s incumbent on us to work with them to become smarter. While they’re starting to recognize they’re sitting in a unique place and make smarter use of the user profiles they see. By doing that effectively, they’ll continue to be smart pipes or, in some cases become smarter pipes.”

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ManiaTV’s Move to Mobile

If you haven’t gotten quite enough of Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Dave Navarro in your life, now you can bring him with you wherever you go…on your cell phone.

Online TV network ManiaTV just announced it’s going mobile, with content from all its franchised shows, which includes Comedy-on-Demand (hosted by the National Lampoon Lemmings) and Navarro’s Spread TV. Since all these shows include shorter-form segments, said ManiaTV CEO Peter Hoskins, those are the segments that will make up Phase One of Mania’s move to mobile. The mobile service is powered by Transpera, which allows users to access online video content from any video-enabled phone, via mobile browser at http:/maniatv.com.

Phase Two will be made-for-mobile content, written, shot and produced for the cell phone screen. Hoskins revealed that the company is in the process of testing different formats that will create an interactive component by utilizing some of the interactive functionality provided by platform partner Transpera. Those include Send-to-Friend, which allows a user to send the mobile video to a friend, automatically optimized for that friend’s handset, and Send-to-Mobile, which allows a user to pick a video on a website and send it to his/her handset by inputting the phone number (pretty cool, it must be said). Those functions will launch next quarter, said Transpera CEO Frank Barbieri.

Transpera deliver video via the mobile web, and Barbieri has plenty to say about the efficacy of this delivery method. “We’re seeing users are treating the web on their phone just like they do on their computers,” he said. “And we make those sites work.” Proof of the pudding: Transpera also powers video on break.com, CBS News, Associated Press’ mobile offering (see MobilizedTV.com article on AP’s mobile site).

The challenge now is to take those creative functionalities for the mobile device and marry it convincingly with content. Hoskins told MobilizedTV that they’re experimenting with such interactive formats as contests, voting, and the ability to choose a storyline. Social networking, of course, also plays a role, and Hoskins praises Transpera’s “progressive” offering that includes Twitter integration and bookmarking. “We’re working with Transpera to co-develop that platform which is supportive of the kind of content that’s right for the mobile space,” said Hoskins.

“The big message, which we’ve made first online, is that we made content for the internet, not formulaic sitcom on the internet,” he continued. “It’s important to do the same thing on mobile.”

Regarding synergies between online and mobile content, Hoskins pointed out that the fragmentation of audiences means that “the way to aggregate audience is very different.” “We program for the various platforms, and storylines will interlate between one platform and another and alternate storylines on each platform,” he said. “All that is to expand — not cannibalize — the entertainment opportunity and grow the aggregate audience.”

How will that play out on mobile? Wait and see, say Hoskins and Barbieri. “The nice thing about working with an online video innovator like ManiaTV is that we have a lot of fun conversations about how to integrate mobile into their programming,” said Barbieri.

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Associated Press’ Mobile News Network

Digital Hollywood, May 6, 2008–At Digital Hollywood, I also met up with Jeff Litvack, director of global product development at Associated Press, which just launched a mobile service through its digital cooperative. I had a chance to ask Jeff about the details of this service which is available .”It’s about creating a single access portal for the mobile user to get news.” The impetus for the service came from the iPhone which, Litvack noted, has no “news” button although it’s got buttons for stocks and weather. According to m:metrics, half of iPhone users use the phone to get news; 34 percent access financial news, 40 percent access entertainment news, 79 percent access sports; and 85 percent access new and information in general.

There are already plenty of ways to get news on the mobile platform. Why do we need AP’s mobile service?

They can get national news on-deck and off-deck, but good local mobile information doesn’t exist. Our view was that users were looking for news but Apple and other carriers couldn’t present it in a format that was comprehensive enough. So we set out to build that portal on AP Mobile News Network. We want to own that news button.

What are differentiating features between AP and other mobile news?

We want a single user experience, to stay on one site. It’s a WAP and web app, and we’ve optimized it for the iPhone. We’re going after smart phone users in general, We believe that in five years, everyone will have a phone similar to the iPhone in some shape or form.

How does the user get local news?

You put in your zip code and based on that, we’ll supply local news, branded by a local broadcaster or newspaper. We’ve signed up over 107 partners in the initial launch. Right now, they’re all newspapers. We launched with newspapers but will add broadcasters.

Why wouldn’t the broadcasters want to do it on their own?

They should all broadcast on the mobile platform. This is another distribution platform and it simplifies it for the carriers. To work with every individual network is a lot of work to ingest all that information. We’re acting as a clearing house or middle man to ingest all that content and bring it out onto multiple platforms. Mobile is just one effort we’ve targeted for our digital cooperative. Another one is online.

But why would a broadcaster subsume the individual station brand? They don’t – their brand is upfront and forward. The AP Mobile News Network brand is at the bottom of every page. It’s like a mobile news network powered by the AP.

What is the digital collective?

We have been a cost-side cooperative for a long time, where we help to reduce the costs of our members by collecting the news. Through the digital cooperative, we help our members find new revenue opportunities. To become a part of the cooperative, members provide their feeds, we ingest the news and then do a number of things: provide it back to the member with metadata attached which makes it more easily searched on their own sites. Second, we will open up opportunities, the first being the mobile news network. Another opportunity is “information bites,” like gathering together all the wine reviews of different members and bundling them together. That creates a new asset class. Another potential revenue opportunity is content exchange – members selling information to each other.

Does that mean you only need one music critic for 50 newspapers or stations?

I hope not. This is about making it more readily available to consumers and other digital networks.

If, for example, NBC’s O&Os were to do something similar. Would they share in both opportunities? Isn’t that diluting the brand?

It’s another distribution outlet. Executives have gotten more comfortable with finding as many different places to be in front of the consumer. And this is an opportunity for the executives to own the portal rather than cede control to other entities.

Who decides what content gets on the network?

We formed a Business Rules team, made up of business executives from seven different newspaper companies, and we work with them to develop the rules for content and advertising. The newspapers provide us the stories they want to. It’s about the user who decides what content will be there. Today, they do it by zip code. Tomorrow, they’ll be able to go for the brand they want, by choosing which newspapers or stations they want information from.

Can the user customize the news network?

Yes, I can customize by topic. I can select sports, news or election coverage, entertainment, photos, videos, wacky news and so on. In the future, you’ll be able to get alerts based on keywords. You’ll be able to rate stories and share them with friends.

Do you have partners in the social networking or sharing space?

We’re in discussions on how to move forward in the social networking space.

What are you doing to build a robust video network on mobile?

We are partnered with Verve Wireless, and they’re primarily our content management solution and delivery platform. The other partner is Transpera, which is our mobile video provider. They have an ad-serving platform for video as well as an on-the-fly video delivery platform. The Achilles heel at the end of the day is ingesting all this content and working with the content management systems of all our members, having a format to bring that in. We’ve been working on this for three years. Our focus is not on a single video platform and the initiative is bigger than mobile, so we made the necessary investments to make this happen.

I take it the content is free to the user and it’s ad-supported?

Yes. The Business Rules team talked about advertising and it was unanimous that this was the best model. It’s not just for national advertising but also local advertising, which will be a critical component to our success.

How do you handle local ads?

Verve’s platform has an ad platform with the ability to link into and work with a variety of different ad platforms, local and national. We’re in the process of working with members to define best practices and develop the next generation of ad tools and opportunities from a local perspective.

It’s the members who sell the ads not the AP. We’ll tap into their local ad forces, and share the revenue across the content owners and advertising division of the newspaper or station. It’s a 50-50 split.

What does the AP get out of this?

We will have our content on the network as well. We’ll make our money based on our content. We’re doing this because it makes sense for the industry and the consumer.

Since this is a larger digital initiative, why was the first platform mobile and not broadband?

One word: the iPhone. It showed a new way of accessing and consuming news and information, and the limited size of the screen drives one to work together as a cooperative. You won’t have 20 news buttons, You’ll have one news button.

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