Saturday, February 28, 2009

The End is Nigh! Kyle Piccolo Watchmen Miniseries Episode 2 of 3

Here's the second episode of the three from the Kyle Piccolo WATCHMEN miniseries.

Episode description 3 6 9 - Part Two: Expecting a second unusual visitor at six o'clock, Kyle and Doucheus find themselves forced to question their very reason for being. This episode sponsored by the WATCHMEN movie - and in honor of the WATCHMEN movie release, we've peppered this episode with a bunch of Watchmen references - can you find them all? Post your guesses in the comments and come back next week for Part Three at

Look for the special cameo by Stephanie Scott from the Axis of Comedy series The Retributioners and watch her tie-in Episode 13: Hippie Freeloader.

Related: Watchmen: The End is Nigh

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Announcing My Special Limited Watchmen Movie Promotion

I'm happy to announce an exclusive offer of a limited ticket giveaway for the advance screening of the WATCHMEN movie on March 2nd in San Francisco.

The tickets are limited and available on a first come first serve basis so please act fast by clicking the link in the sidebar of the blog and enter the special code.

Also if you're in the San Francisco area and you want to get your Watchmen fix you should head over to WonderCon at the Moscone Center South on Februrary 27 through March 1. WonderCon will present an exclusive panel presentation devoted to the WATCHMEN with director Zack Snyder and members of the film's cast live on the WonderCon big stage on Saturday, February 28 from 11:30 am-12:30 pm.

WATCHMEN opens in theaters on March 6th.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Joost-Ooyala Hookup

Joost Selects Ooyala's Backlot Platform Technology for Content Management and Video Uploading

Joost, a popular online web video site, is betting that back-end technology developed by Ooyala , a video platform provider, will enable the company to focus on offering a better viewing experience for its audience. As part of this strategy, Joost will leverage Ooyala for uploading, transcoding, content management services, and analytics. These services will be used on a limited basis to start off, according to Joost CTO Jason Gaedtke, who spoke with Contentinople's Ryan Lawler.

For Ooyala, this working relationship though small scale right now, is a significant one. The fast growing, colorful company also provides video technology for AOL (Bebo), TV Guide, Glam Media, Electronic Arts (UK), National Geographic (JP), Slide, IMG, etc.

I spoke with the Ooyala founders several weeks ago during a visit to Ooyala's headquarters in downtown Mountain View, CA. At that time, they were finalizing the working contract with Joost.

"I think the Joost launch will be probably the most impressive launch to date that's pulling out the modularity of our platform out," said Sean Knapp, Ooyala CTO and Co-founder, "Everything from the from the back-end storage and transcoding and content management, sort of tossed over the wall for the delivery model where we're not doing any of the delivery. But then plugging in an extensible module for our analytics into their player that tosses analytics data back over the wall to the Ooyala system to report on those analytics. But we have a couple of very clear hand off points and it's a great example of the fact that these are all modules. We have a transcoding module, a content management module, delivery and analytics and so on. So it's a great use case of specific pieces with very clear transitions and hand off points between our systems. It is pretty exciting."

For Joost, the partnership is seen as way to efficiently service its smaller video content producers. Large content owners will continue to use Joost's own uploading and management technologies. Joost CEO Mike Volpi stated, "We are determined to find and implement best-of-breed solutions so we have a set of tools that help us service all content partners of all sizes seamlessly and efficiently. Specifically, for some of our partners with fewer resources or smaller libraries, we were looking for an easy-to-use content upload and ingestion service that integrates smoothly with our existing tools and infrastructure. Ooyala Backlot's modularity and extensibility will deliver this for us, and as an added bonus, they support a broad range of ingestion and output formats."

In a conference call this morning, Ooyala CEO Bismarck Lepe explained how Ooyala leverages cloud computing technology to service partners like Joost, "Many of our new customers are realizing that they are the big media companies of the future. It is becoming increasingly clear that there are some services and advanced technologies that should be outsourced. We started seeing a rise in interest for our technologies in Q4 of 2008. Companies that were initially reluctant to hear our value proposition are now all ears. They're trying to focus on their core competencies and streamline their video businesses."

One of Joost's biggest competitors is Hulu and while Hulu dwarfs Joost in size, as Dan Frommer points out, this deal should allow Joost run a leaner, more resource-efficient staff "to focus on building a Web TV service."

Joost has one of the few video approved video apps for the iPhone. In my office visit, Knapp explained how Ooyala's APIs and its modular offering will be used to power Apple's ubiquitous mobile devices. "What we'll be doing is, essentially Joost has an umbrella of content owners, and they'll be getting co-branded Backlots if you will. So they'll log in, upload their content and edit all the metadata. They'll get a few extra controls, essentially, "I want this to go to the Joost iPhone app, I want this to go just to, or I want this to go to Joost broader syndication their embeddable player elsewhere online" so they'll get all those controls. So we will actually be generating the iPhone streams. I don't think we're going to have analytics for the iPhone right away but beyond there's full support for their entire management system."

While the Joost-Backlot integration is a relatively conservative test for Ooyala's technology, the company says a few other large media outlets around the world are also implementing similar solutions.

About Joost

Founded by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, Joost brings video and social interaction together online. All of the video on Joost is professionally produced and streams on-demand to people around the world for free in a high-quality format. Today, Joost has more than 57,000 program elements, including more than 400 television series and 1,200 movie and short film titles, and 18,000 music videos. For more information, visit

About Ooyala

Ooyala is a video technology company that provides an integrated platform enabling the delivery, management, and monetization of high quality video content. Committed to providing the most accessible and comprehensive video solutions to companies worldwide, Ooyala's solution is easy to use, quick to deploy, and customizable. Ooyala's partner portfolio includes 1000s of media companies including Bebo, TV Guide, Glam, and Electronic Arts. Free trial Backlot accounts can be created by clicking here: For more information please visit


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For Your Imagination Watchmen Movie Campaign is Unique and Groundbreaking for Web Video

This is part two of my interview with Paul Kontonis, CEO and Co-Founder of For Your Imagination, about their sponsorship by Warner Brothers Theatrical for the upcoming "Watchmen" movie and their promotional campaign that is both unique and groundbreaking for the digital media studio. In part one of the interview, Paul discussed how the sponsorship program funded a package of original comedy and entertainment shows that crosses over through four of their Axis of Comedy network web series, Kyle Piccolo Comic Shop Therapist, The Retributioners, Abigail's X-Rated Teen Diary and HungrymanTV's Phistophicles. The campaign launched last week with a brand new "Watchmen"-themed episode of Kyle Piccolo and continues tomorrow with a scheduled for release of new episodes from all the other web series.

Larry Kless: How did this Watchmen sponsorship deal come together?

Paul Kontonis: We have had the opportunity to work on a few projects promoting Warner Bros movies. We did “Dark Knight” which kicked off Kyle Piccolo and before that were involved in the “Get Smart” UGC video contest. So that's how we started kicking off this whole video thing.

“Dark Knight” was kind of a test run basically utilizing our video ad inventory, trailers and title cards, and this campaign is the next step, which is the development and production of original content that has Watchmen-themed elements within it.

Then we took it to the next level by making them clickable with the Easter eggs embedded in them and right now we're seeing click through rates of almost 70% when people are watching the interactive versions and that is absolutely fantastic. With regards to the agency, we have worked with them on a few projects as well.

LK: Have you used the Innovid player before on any other projects?

PK: No. This is our first application of the Innovid player, our first opportunity to work with the team and we are amazingly impressed. They were added-on after the plans had actually been signed and once we started talking to them, they had even less time to come on board for the project. What really impressed me and what wanted me to get started is the abilities of the player to work like an ad server in that it adjusts to the viewer.

If you watched the video once and you go to watch it again, it sees your IP address again and it will serve you different interactive elements within the video. In a couple of cases there's grafitti on the wall and when you watch it once, it might be one thing and when you watch it a second time, it will be something else. So instead of rendering a completely new video, on the fly we’re adding in this layer of interactivity that makes it even more interesting in a subtle way.

We chose for a very subtle implementation of it versus something very obvious saying "click me." Even though it's subtle, it's something that this community, the core fans, dig. It's fun -- find little elements in it and be happy about them or angry about them. That's part of this comic book culture; you like it or you don't or you rant about it, but either way, you comment on it. We definitely had a lot of response from it -- mostly positive, which is outstanding.

LK: It really lends itself to the same model as using Easter eggs in the DVD experience. Having an interactive, more personal experience with the content.

PK: And if you don't know they're there, no big deal. It's a regular video viewing experience. If you know they're there and you start looking for them, I think there's 7 or 8 placements in the video -- a couple of them are really hard to find.

It's not that they're small… it's that they blend in so well and if you're not paying attention, they're hard to find. It gives an experience for the people who are really excited about them; an experience for the person that really doesn't know that they’re there, and the Watchmen references.

What we're started to see now is that there's all these contests springing up on the web on sites like “Starpulse,” “MovieFlick,” “Movieweb” and these are sites that have millions of unique visitors a month. They’re doing home page promotions where if you find all the references in the videos, you can win all this free merchandise. And we can’t wait to see how people are going to be filling those competitions out because they're hard. There are 15 references in this video alone and some of them are tough.

LK: In terms of branded entertainment and product placement for the promotional campaign, does it have a finite life until once the movie opens? How long will the promotion go?

PK: The videos will stay up forever --we're not going to pull them down. The interactive elements, the pre-rolls, overlays will disappear after March 8th. The title cards will probably stay in the videos so we will always know that this was sponsored by the Watchmen campaign. The thematic content and integrated storylines will stay there for the life of the videos.

If you clicked on any of the Easter eggs you'll see it takes you to the “TheNewFrontiersman.” That site is 100% Watchmen-related. It's an offshoot of the movie. That content and what we wanted to do was not necessarily extend the movie like that, but introduce people to the movie in another kind of entertaining way.

I think it's pretty unique that they were willing to do this and take it seriously.This medium is definitely starting to look like a real viable option.

Watchmen opens in theaters on March 6, 2009.
Stay tuned for details on a special Watchmen movie promotion for readers of this blog.

Monday, February 23, 2009

For Your Imagination Integrates Axis of Comedy Web Series Crossovers in Warner Brothers Sponsored Watchmen Movie Promotion

Through a sponsorship by Warner Brothers Theatrical for its upcoming “Watchmen" movie, New York-based online media studio For Your Imagination has created a custom package of comedy and entertainment shows produced under FYI’s Axis of Comedy video network. Clever "Watchmen”-themed tie-ins and crossovers between four of their comedy web series through an integrated storyline defines their innovative approach to the promotional campaign which launched on February 18, 2009 and runs through March 6, 2009, the opening date of “Watchmen”.

All programming will be available on utilizing a customized interactive video player by Innovid that includes clickable Easter eggs and “Watchmen” references as part of a fan contest. Videos will be syndicated across For Your Imagination’s distribution network of video sharing platforms such as Blip, DailyMotion, MySpace, Yahoo! and Viddler, entertainment and comic book websites and as a podcast on iTunes.

I had the opportunity to speak with Paul Kontonis, CEO and Co-Founder of For Your Imagination about the Warner Brothers sponsorship and their unique campaign in the following interview. This is part one of a two-part conversation with Paul.

Larry Kless: It's certainly a great way to kick off the new year with this Warner Brothers sponsorship deal. How is FYI approaching the "Watchmen" promotional campaign?

Paul Kontonis: It's been a good strong start of the year with a nice mix of brand entertainment and original sponsored entertainment. The Watchmen is a sponsorship of current web series, Kyle Piccolo being one of them and three other series, The Retributioners, Abigail's X-Rated Teen Diary and HungrymanTV's Phistophicles, and the sponsorship is original videos within those four web series with the purpose being, and the reason those four were selected is the three series.

The Retributioners, Abigail’s X-Rated Teen Diary and Phistophicles are very popular with mainstream audiences, adults 18-34 and not necessarily comic book focus. Kyle Piccolo's audience is a subset of the mainstream audience. They have much more of a comic book bent to them and they're the ones who are rabid and excited about the upcoming “Watchmen” movie.

Kyle Piccolo also has the benefit of having of an ability to talk to a mainstream audience without setting them totally astray. The purpose of the whole campaign is to take these three original web series that are mainstream ones and use them as a way of delivering the masses into the comic book airlock that is Kyle Piccolo and then bringing them to Watchmen.

This campaign right now looks pretty straightforward. You saw a video for Kyle Piccolo that has “Watchmen” tie-ins. Another one's going to come out and it's going to have “Watchmen” tie-ins and it's part of a mini-series called "3 6 9" and it's about the mystery of 3 6 9. 03.06.09 is the launch date of the movie but Kyle and Doucheus don't know that.

Now when you see the videos next week from the other web series. They have crossovers into the Kyle Piccolo world and what they're meant to do is to take you from The Retributioners’ world into Kyle Piccolo into the Watchmen.

So for somebody who sees the Watchmen right away and get turned off because it's all superheroes, they'll get slowly introduced to it and acclimated to the storyline by going first from The Retributioners into Kyle Piccolo. Then if they're really interested, then they'll make the next jump.

So instead of making it a big leap, we made it two small jumps. We think this will be a great way of getting the masses to come to Watchmen while still exciting the base because Kyle Piccolo excites the base. What's cool about it is the videos are done from different point of views, so in The Retributioners’ video Kyle Piccolo exists in that world. So Stephanie who is in The Retributioners is in the same world as Kyle Piccolo himself; in fact you're going to see her in one of the Kyle Piccolo videos. So she crosses over even in that way.

In “Abigail”, Kyle Piccolo is media. It is a show you can watch. It is a web site you can go to. So it's as though Abigail is in our world and Kyle is just as he is in our world It is a web series you can go see.

And in "Phistophicles", it's done even more insidiously and Kyle is almost a fellow philosopher. They're almost peers since Phistophicles in the video is from 3000 years ago. So it's really unclear who Kyle is --- there’s kind of a mystery about how old Kyle is; is he really an older soul, so it kind of gives it a little bit of a legend to it. So we came it from all different angles assuming that most people wouldn't see the connection. “Abigail” has its own fan base; "The Retributioners" has its own fan base, and all of the series have their own fan base. They share some commonality because they're all on “Axis of Comedy” but they really have their own unique points of distribution that will channel their own grouping of that 18-34 audience into a funnel that will take them right to “Watchmen.”

LK: So for everyone on the shows, Stephanie, all the cast of Kyle, etc, How have they responded to the campaign?

PK: They're excited… it's a lot of fun. What was really fun about it was they got to do their own video with some elements of the campaign in it, but it's their own content that they can distribute across their sites out to their fans. They're done in such a way that their fans will like the content and not be, "what is this? A promotion video for the movie?" No, it will be like another video of Abigail or Phistophicles but it has these elements in it that pique your interest and give you the opportunity to explore more. So they were very happy about that, plus there's going to be a lot of distribution and a lot of points of syndication, as part of this campaign across a lot of comic book sites, movie web sites and entertainment web sites that will really increase the exposure of all these web series and really help build their audiences out, as well.

LK: I'm a comic book collector from way back and your approach reminds me the big comic crossovers they do every year (at Marvel and DC) and you have to get all the issues to get the whole story. From an editorial standpoint, how did you work with all the writers on developing the continuity of the storylines and how quickly did it come together?

PK: Hats off to Alec Pollak who is our Chief Creative Officer and he's also one of the co-creators and writers of Kyle Piccolo. He's the one who really spearheaded the integration and the crossing over to the other shows and he worked with each of the writers and helped them with the script ideas and the concepts. We had to run things by Warner Bros for approval to make sure they were okay with how we were using the Watchmen brand and we didn't have a lot of time to do it. The concepts came together in under a week and then we had to jump right into production. We only got approval for this in early February and we didn't get the g- ahead until the first week of February. It launched on the 16th and there will be four new videos out this next week. Each of the other web series plus another episode of Kyle. So as it was coming together, we knew we were going to be doing this, but we had to wait for approval.

LK: I just started following Alec on Twitter and I saw one Tweet saying “On set at Midtown Comics. New KP soon."

PK: We just shot the second one Wednesday (2/11/09) and just got the rough cut together yesterday and ran it by approval to Warner Bros for approval. We're hoping to get it approved as early as possible and once that's done, we'll shoot the last one one Wednesday (2/26/09) night. We're really excited about a possible surprise for the third episode, which we can't yet reveal. Stay tuned…

End of Part One of the interview. Read more tomorrow in Part Two.


Problems with women? Frustrated at work? Suspect you have a mutant power? Just head down to your local comic book shop and have a chat with the man behind the counter — Kyle Piccolo, the always sardonic, sometimes empathetic, and not quite all-knowing Comic Shop Therapist.

Abigail is a 13 year-old girl vlogging about boys, school and living with Bloomberger's Syndrome. That's a fictional genetic condition that makes her look like a 30-something guy!

Stephanie Scott, is a happily married, accomplished woman, who feels that she has not yet proven herself to the world. She decides to contact past boyfriends, former friends, teachers, rude people, skinny people, etc., to seek retribution.

The lesser known Greek philosopher, Phistophicles, recites his ponderings on all things important in this recently discovered, thought-to-be-lost ancient video footage.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekly Review: Links from 2/15/09 - 2/20/09

The big news this past week included another misstep by Facebook with its Terms of Service, Hulu flexing its online video muscle forcing showdowns with and Boxee. There was more bad news about the economy yet Twitter got $35 million and innovative online video ventures still find funding like Tremor Media with $18 million, OVGuide with $5 million and online video up 24.3% to 41.6 billion views in 2008.

Here's another collection of that news and more in this installment of the weekly review.

February 15, 2008

Online Video Site Defies Recession - TVWeek - News - The online video directory site became one of the first Internet television-related companies to go into the black when it posted a profit in January. That milestone, a vital one for any business, is particularly critical in the midst of a recession, as corporate giants and small startups alike fight for their lives

February 16, 2008

Fred Makes it to Nickelodeon | Tilzy.TV

Fred is the most subscribed-to channel in YouTube’s history; he tops Tubemogul’s Top 50 with over 188 MILLION views. Last month alone, his shtick saw around 19 million sets of eyeballs. Inanity has reached a pitch not known before: last night, Fred took the stage on Nickelodeon’s iCarly. The move highlights Nickelodeon’s recognition that cross-pollination in similarly annoying videos can’t hurt.

  • Does Apple Have A Blind Spot About Flash? (AAPL, ADBE) - I think the news that Flash is coming to smartphones over the next year is a big deal. Most of the rich media experiences I have on the web are in Flash. YouTube's success had a lot to do with its choice of Flash for its video player. Now almost every video site on the web uses a Flash video player. The same is true of audio. It used to be that when you wanted to listen to streaming audio, you had to use Windows Media Player, the Real player, or a link to iTunes. But all that's gone, thanks again to Flash. Whether it', Pandora, most radio station Web streams, or hypemachine, you are listening via Flash..

  • DVD Doomsday in Hollywood (TWX, DIS) - Movie moguls and studio bosses are starting to really worry aboutfalling DVD revenues, even if they are publicly blaming the slowing growth on the overall economic blues. On TheWrap, Nicole Laporte says that the film industry is starting to feel the tremors of a seismic shift in the business, and the worries extend even to labor issues with SAG, whose members will be looking for a bigger slice of web revenues if DVD loot slows

February 17, 2008

A Billion Internet Users, and Counting - eMarketer (Growing and growing and growing and...) The moment when the Internet passed 1 million users is veiled in history. The truth is, whenever it happened, no one was counting—or even had the means to do so. But according to the “Internet Growth Survey” from MIT, there were 1 million hosts (defined as either a computer or IP address) in 1995. At the time, it was estimated that the Internet was doubling in size every year, so there would be over 1 billion users in 2005. That timeline proved overly optimistic. But according to the comScore World Metrix audience measurement service, the Internet surpassed 1 billion visitors in December 2008.

“Surpassing 1 billion global users is a significant landmark in the history of the Internet,” said Magid Abraham, comScore CEO, in a statement. “It is a monument to the increasingly unified global community in which we live and reminds us that the world truly is becoming more flat.”

N97 with integrated Skype

Nokia and Skype Partnering in Mobile - Skype Blogs - Greetings from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I’m excited to announce a major strategic partnership between Nokia and Skype. It’s a meeting of two great innovators and two great brands – the world’s largest and most distinctive mobile manufacturer, and the world’s leading communications software company. Together, we’re going to develop and deliver a great mobile Skype experience that meets the needs of our many users who are also Nokia customers. It will also bring Skype to new mobile users in both developed and emerging markets.

Ustream Launches Watershed, A Pay-As-You-Go Live Streaming Service For Enterprises - Live video streaming service Ustream is rolling out a white-label service today called Watershed for Websites and businesses that want to broadcast their own live streams. Watershed comes with a lot of extra management capabilities like the ability to customize the player, add a logo, turn on features like chat, polling, picture-in-picture video chat, Twitter integration, analytics and more

AlwaysOn Selects Kaltura to Power Video on Its New AlwaysOn Network Website - The Newly Designed AlwaysOn Website Includes Videos From the Company's Leading Industry Events and Other Current News Stories -- All Displayed Using Kaltura's Open Source Video Platform

February 18, 2008

Hulu Cuts Off CBS's, Rivalry Heats Up (NWS, GE, CBS)


  • CBS: Things Are Bad, But We Can Pay Our Bills; Dividend Slashed — CBS had a lousy fourth quarter, but that's no news: Wall Street expected that, and Les Moonves and company met revenue expectations while beating earnings. — The real news: The company is trying to resolve a looming debt problem by slashing its dividend.

  • Comcast's Customers Give The Cable Guy the Boot — Even in the worst of times, people are supposed to hold their TVs close to their hearts: Turn off the heat? Sure. But don't you dare take my cable away. — So this can't be good: Cable giant Comcast (CMCSA) turned in a fourth-quarter report card …
February 19, 2008
Tremor Media Raises $18 Million Further Validating Broadband Video's Impact -Tremor Media announced this morning that it has raised a Series C round of $18 million, led by Meritech Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors Canaan Partners, Masthead Venture Partners and European Founders Fund. Tremor has now raised nearly $40 million to date. Tremor's CEO Jason Glickman gave me a short update on the company yesterday and a little more background on the financing.Tremor believes it is now the largest video ad network, with 1,400 publishing partners aggregating 137 million unique visitors per month.
MediaPost Publications Next New Networks Launches Music Network 02/19/2009

Verizon-99dollarmusicvideiositeWeb TV network creator Next New Networks today is expected to unveil a new online network for musical artists and groups to showcase videos created on a shoestring budget.

$99 Music Videos will attempt to give musicians and filmmakers the opportunity to produce and broadcast high-quality original music videos for no more than $99."We wanted to find a way to be useful to the musicians and their fans," said Tim Shey, co-founder and head of entertainment at Next New Networks. "And while there are others ways to experience this content online, we have the advantage of dedicating ourselves to it entirely.

Figure 1 Choosing a Camera for Online Video Production
High-quality video starts at the source, and today's camcorders offer more options than ever to help you capture a first-class image. But with choices comes confusion; here are five questions to ask that can help you pick the camcorder that's right for you.

February 20, 2008

CBS: "Well Within Rights" to Stream Hulu Content on | Digital Media Wire New York - CBS (NYSE: CBS) has asserted that it is "well within its rights" to stream content from the Hulu joint venture between News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) on its own website, responding to Hulu's assertion that contractual rights led to the removal of Hulu

CBS Responds To Hulu In Equally Terse Terms: ‘Well Within Rights’ |
PaidContent speculates that the dispute might have been over the rights to display CBS videos on Hulu. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports today that cable companies are considering launching their own streaming video services as a value added proposition for subscribers.

LG Blu-Ray player with Netflix support
Netflix CEO alludes to streaming-only pricing by next year - Engadget HD
Considering that we've already heard whispers of price premiums for streaming content, we suppose rumors of a dedicated streaming tier aren't that far fetched. In a recent report from Bloomberg, Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings was quoted as saying that by 2010 (that's next year, y'all), consumers may be able to opt for a streaming-only package that would provide access to Watch Instantly content alone. Reed realizes that in order to maintain its current level of success, it has to "nail" the streaming aspect. No doubt, we certainly envision the streaming portion becoming more popular in the coming years, particularly if it can strong-arm studios into providing new releases for download. Sadly, he didn't talk pricing, but Netflix never has been one to gouge its subscribers, and we get the feeling it wouldn't just start on a whim in 2010. [Via Yahoo! Tech]
thePlatform to Power Comcast’s Online Video for Cable « NewTeeVee
Cable operators are in cahoots with the networks to provide an online video extension to their cable subscriptions, was the overnight word from the Wall Street Journal, as we mentioned this morning. But where the WSJ quoted anonymous sources, now Comcast (s cmcsa )subsidiary, thePlatform is saying publicly that it will provide the video infrastructure for the project.Netflix
Instructional videos and SEO advantages – the Howcast interview - ReelSEO - In our continuing series on marketing with instructional videos and how-to video websites, ReelSEO’s Grant Crowell interviews Sanjay Raman, Co-Founder and Vice President of Product Development for Howcast. Sanjay talks with Grant about the special SEO benefit with instructional videos, and some special tips for how to present your “how to” video content.

‘Watchmen’ Easter Eggs on ‘Kyle Piccolo’ are Innovative, Awesome | Tilzy.TV

Fonomo. Free Video Chat, Conferencing & Webcams. Easy, Simple, and Free!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Picture Production Company Creates Online Viral Marketing for the Watchmen Movie with The New is part of the online viral marketing campaign for the upcoming Watchmen movie inspired by the right-wing extremist publication read by the main character Rorschach in the original graphic novel. It was launched in early January and I previously wrote about how the web site extends the narrative of the film through transmedia storytelling into highly populated social media sites like Twitter, Friendfeed, YouTube, Flickr and Digg. Documents, photos and videos are all aggregated on the web site uncover evidence in both the public and secret history of the Watchmen.

A number of the blogs had suggested that the Warner Brothers team behind The Dark Knight was driving the campaign, but the web site is being spearheaded by Dan Light, head of interactive at The Picture Production Company, for Paramount which is distributing the film internationally, outside the U.S. But that hasn't stopped it from getting plenty of attention from U.S. blogs and sites. Anthony Ha of Venturebeat spoke to Light who said, “I can’t think of another campaign that makes such economic use of these tools in such a cleanly integrated way.” Ha had noted that Facebook was omitted from the list of sites, which nowadays, seems like it would be the epicenter of any viral marketing campaign. However Light noted that, "Our implementation of Twitter and Friendfeed is very lean. We've kept it simple, and used the right tools for the right jobs."

The interest has been overwhelming with fans, both old and new, commenting on and engaging with the content. The PPC blog noted that the first video, an excerpt from a 1970 newsreel looking back on 10 years of Dr. Manhattan had been viewed 125,000 times within the first 24 hours and currently has 447,992 views. Flickr views and Twitter followers are growing as well and they were also excited to be featured on Epic FU. PPC Interactive had been pitching ideas for the movie five years ago were also thrilled that most of their original ideas are seeing the light of day.

Here are two more new videos from their promotional campaign.

Who Watches the Watchmen? - A Veidt Music Network (VMN) Special - 1983. Uploaded from BetaSP archive. Integrity in journalism... subscribe today!

The Keene Act & YOU (1977) Government PSA on behalf of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Integrity in journalism... subscribe today!

So who watches the Watchmen? Something tells me a lot of people will be doing that in about 12 days. Stay tuned for more on the story behind Warner Bros Sponsorship of For Your Imagination's Watchmen Axis of Comedy Network and also for upcoming details on a special promotion of my own for readers of this blog.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Joost Taps Ooyala, Big Name Advisors Join Ooyala's Board of Advisors

Online video provider, Ooyala, confirmed it is providing video technology services for Joost. The Mountain View, CA based company deferred further details to an official announcement, scheduled for later this month. NewTeeVee's Liz Gaines, first reported the Joost-Ooyala relationship, after Ooyala issued a press release announcing the addition of two industry heavyweights Steven Abraham, Global Leader for IBM's Global Business Services in Media & Entertainment, and Mike Volpi, CEO of Joost to Ooyala's Board of Advisors. Ooyala says the Joost partnership and the advisory board additions reflect the expansion of its customer base from small & medium content producers to large media entities. The nearly 2 year-old company already services social networking giant, Bebo, TvGuide, Electronic Arts, and IMG.

Abraham, a media and entertainment executive, and Volpi, a respected technologist bring Ooyala's Board of Advisors to a total of 6. They will provide direction and expertise for the company as it works to gain a foothold in the competitive online video platform industry. Ooyala said it has a working relationship with one of IBM's partner programs, but offered no other details.

Steven Abraham is IBM's global leader of media and entertainment industry and IBM's Global Business Services. He has worldwide responsibility for the group's global sales, revenue and profit. He was a key member of a group that collaborated with Xerox’s famed Palo Alto Research Center to pioneer products and services that helped form the foundation for today’s digital consumer services. About his new role on the advisory board Abraham says, "It is exciting to join a talented group of engineers and business managers who are passionate, committed, and focused on innovating and differentiating themselves as we embark on the next generation of online video. I look forward to being an integral part of Ooyala's success."

Mike Volpi joined Joost, the global web video service in 2007, as Chief Executive Officer. He's responsible for corporate strategy as well as for all business operations. Prior to Joost, Mike was a 13-year Cisco veteran and star player and was at one time considered to be the heir apparent to Cisco's current CEO, John Chambers. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President & General Manager for the Routing and Service Provider Technology Group, leading Cisco's overall strategy for the Service Provider market. He also served as Chief Strategy Officer, where he was responsible for Cisco's corporate strategy as well as business development, strategic alliances, advanced Internet projects, legal services, and government affairs. He had close ties with Joost's founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom. Friis and Zennstrom also founded Skype, where Volpi has served on the board of directors.
“Although it is growing, online video is still a nascent industry which will rely on innovation, cooperation and collaboration in order to achieve its promise,” stated Mike Volpi. “I look forward to playing an instrumental role in Ooyala’s growth and development in this emerging market.”

In her news article, Gaines wrote, "The tie-up with Ooyala is a good move for Joost, whose technology has had hiccups throughout its many generations and revamps, from P2P app to plug-in to Flash video site. Joost content providers include Warner Bros. and investors CBS and Viacom and it also has extensive music video and anime collections... One advantage over competitors such as Hulu is that quite a bit of Joost’s content is available outside of the United States."

This is not only a good move for Joost, but a significant development for Ooyala. The company says the majority if its new customers are adopting its Video as a Service model (VaaS). According to Ooyala, such partnerships will help drive its business to profitability later this year.

About Ooyala

Ooyala is a video technology company that provides an integrated platform enabling the delivery, management, and monetization of high quality video content. Committed to providing the most accessible and comprehensive video solutions to companies worldwide, Ooyala's solution is easy to use, quick to deploy, and customizable. Its modular and distributed framework allows Ooyala to integrate seamlessly with legacy systems and scale to millions of concurrent users. Ooyala's partner portfolio includes 1000s of media companies including Bebo, TV Guide, Glam, and Electronic Arts. Free trial Backlot accounts can be created by clicking here: For more information please visit Ooyala is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with sales offices in New York and London.