THE BLOG

News From Digital Hollywood

05/15/2013 09:53 am ET | Updated Jul 15, 2013

Digital Hollywood, founded by Victor Harwood, brings together the biggest, best, brightest stars in the digital world of film, television and the web. Among the various panels and break out sessions, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the expert speakers and take a deeper dive into how the digital landscape is fairing and what we can expect in the near future.

Sam Vasisht, the chief marketing officer of Veveo, demonstrated a nifty little app that allows for very intelligent and predictive search, meaning that it allows people to search for movies and television shows or sports in ways we actually think of them. Known as semantic technology, this app searches, discovers and recommends content by name, title, category, etc.

Much like Siri, you verbally ask your device to find information and it produces a library of content for you to choose from.

"We like to think we're bring game playing back to the family Social is at the core of who we are," states Josh Yguado, president of Social Gaming Network. "Games are now played real time on multi-platforms whether on your phone, tablet, Facebook, etc. You can play with friends at a distance or in the same room and have a blast! We don't target a hardcore male audience; we like to appeal to a varied audience with our products. We like to have both male and female players in different age groups." Yguado is particularly proud of the positive game message such as Safari Rescue, Reef Rescue (created with Jacques Cousteu's family) or Pet Rescue where you get 'social' for great causes.

We are constantly being bombarded with advertising, but much of it isn't "landing." The next evolution to help marketers connect with their customers is by MMS text or video. James Citron of Mogreet.com believes "the next evolution of text messaging is using video and MMS." Eighty percent of people have their mobile device within arm's length and will read a text within three minutes versus an email that is read within 6 to 12 hours or a banner ad, which has a .01 click-through rate. With MMS, you'll be the first and the savviest to know what you want to know from whom you want to be contacted.

According to Jack Isquith of SlackerRadio.com, today more than listening to radio on the internet, he was passionate about internet radio being a "full listening experience." With Slacker's 13 million songs, you can lean back and let the algorithms identify precisely what genre of music you want to listen and you will live a richer experience. Listener engagement is here to stay. The consumer has now decided what they want to listen to. This leads a brand's interest to engaging with the hyper-targeted analytics of what the consumer is interested in so as to better serve the consumer.

Elisa Camahort Page is co-founder of BlogHer.com, which gets 55 million unique visitors a month across their network. Page explains that the online business model has radically changed since she and her partners started in 2005, and that they constantly have to adjust and adapt in this rapidly changing digital world. Predicting that at least a third of her traffic now comes from mobile use, she believes it's paramount for companies and advertisers to understand how to monetize and what the mobile user will tolerate. The same goes for video, Page explains: "The majority of content creators are not making money with video." We're all still trying to understand how do we get the consumer to go from I "like" it, to I "share" it, to I "pin" it, to I "buy" it? Also, how do the major influencers get credit for driving traffic toward the eventual purchase?

In 2004 Outcast's Matthew Stoudt and Nathan Gill saw an advertising opportunity in an alternative media space that was virtually untapped. Where better to find a consumer on a one-to-one basis, at least once a week, where they are potentially a captive audience for roughly 4 to 5 minutes tethered by a 6-foot rubber hose? At the gas pump! Digital television units implanted into the gas pump not only deliver the news, but, yes, you guessed it, advertising. According to Stoudt, 22 billion dollars are spent the first four hours after leaving the pump. "This is the last moment that an advertiser can reach its audience before the consumer purchase." Now touting their own Nielsen ratings and reaching 33 million consumers on a monthly basis, the Outcast platform estimates reaching 100 million potential customers by this time next year.

When asked about brand marketing and philosophy in the digital age, Joe McCambley, co-founder the WonderFactory.com, suggests the "how can I help you and not what can I sell you" way of doing business. In content marketing, you have to be interesting; you have to be a storyteller with genuine intentions. People want to be entertained." He goes on to say that his company, which provides content creation and management for small and large companies alike, does its best to use only effective and innovative marketing techniques.

By Clarissa Burt with Tyler Fleck