Today, Metacafe announced the expansion of the Metacafe Movies "hub," which adds to existing film content. Metacafe is continuing its emphasis on short-form premium content targeted at the young male audience. The expansion includes adding new original programming, creating an HD Channel MetaHD, and building out a fully immersive online stereoscopic 3D showcase, where even the advertisements will be in 3D. Additionally, Metacafe CEO Erick Hachenburg explained that new team leads, Mark Poggi, recruited from Netflix and Steven Horn, from Rotten Tomatoes, will help shape an editorial voice to the video selection, keeping it fresh with content directly from the studios.
Erick cited Metacafe's editorial voice and emphasis on video as the key sources of its differentiation. He sees Metacafe users exploring 5 or 6 additional Metacafe exclusive clips instead of just a trailer. He compared competitive video sites like YouTube, Hulu, and even Yahoo/AOL to "broadcast" networks with clips for everyone, but not enough targeted navigable content. On the other hand he sees Metacafe catering to a key demographic, much like a niche cable network.
Foreseeing exploration as a trend, Erick commented that Metacafe is tapping a new customer behavior of self-empowerment and discovery. He believes many filmgoers are skeptical of certain kinds of marketing and even critics. Metacafe's plan is to work with studios, sometimes 6 months in advance of a film's premiere, to help the film marketers connect with these filmgoers by using video to really tell the story.
This is not the first time Metacafe has worked with studios to create a new marketing experience. Many may remember 2007, Universal Pictures and Metacafe's created a very successful Bourne Ultimatum Mash-up initiative. Universal is back again using its new release Get Him To the Greek to initially sponsor Metacafe RedBand, the 18+ part of the site featuring red band movie trailers. Using online video and social media as a promotional tool is a smart strategy by studios to add more value to the movie marketing process. These are the kinds of efforts Will was recommending yesterday in, "Hollywood Considers Squeezing Theatrical Window."
This expansion of the movies hub is only the beginning. Erick hinted that the next hub to be expanded is Video Games, followed by the other three verticals, Music, TV, and Sports. If Metacafe can blow out this idea of access to entertainment as a marketing tool across the verticals, while catering and expanding their niche "entertainment influencer" audience, it would help the company continue strengthen their position as a key niche entertainment video clip site.
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