Posts for 'Magazines'

  • PeopleTV Leverages Brand, IP and Original Programming in OTT Push

    PeopleTV is aggressively pursuing its ad-free, OTT strategy by leveraging its well-known People brand, deep intellectual property and innovative original programming. PeopleTV is the new brand for the People/Entertainment Weekly (PEN) brand that was launched a year ago. Susanne Mei, PeopleTV’s GM, told me in a briefing that “PEN” didn’t have any inherent meaning to its target audiences, so to simplify things, the network has adopted the PeopleTV brand though ET content will remain integral to the content strategy.

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  • Keynote Interviews with GroupM’s Brian Lesser and Hearst’s Troy Young [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    We had 2 terrific keynote interviews at our recent 7th annual Online Video Advertising Summit, with Brian Lesser (CEO, GroupM North America), which was conducted by Matt Spiegel (Managing Director, Marketing & Technology Solutions, MediaLink) and with Troy Young (Global President, Hearst Digital Media), who I interviewed.

    Taken together they provide invaluable insights from both the buy and sell sides about how to succeed in the rapidly changing video industry.

    Each interview is a little over 30 minutes. Links to all of the session videos from the Ad Summit are included at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

    Watch the keynote interviews

  • Conde Nast SVP Lisa Valentino Shares the Company’s Video Playbook [SHIFT VIDEO]

    Conde Nast is in the middle of executing a massive transformation of its business from being a traditional print publisher to becoming a multi-platform storyteller with video having a central role.  At our recent SHIFT // Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit, we were privileged to hear fantastic insights about the company’s video playbook in a 30-minute interview Lisa Valentino, SVP, Network Sales and Partnership of Conde Nast and Chief Revenue Officer of Conde Nast Entertainment did with Matt Gillis, SVP, Publisher Platforms at AOL.  

    The interview covered an array of topics, with Lisa zeroing in on how Conde has built up its video business by embracing an open distribution model that has been so successful that social is now the primary way that audiences engage with Conde’s brands.

    The company has mined its archive of 90K articles for ideas and content that contribute to over 5K videos now being custom created annually for various social and distribution platforms. Lisa shares one great example of an Emma Stone interview video that got 2 million views on Facebook which was then edited and posted elsewhere the next day and got 8 million views.

    Lisa talks in highly specific detail about the enormous complexity behind all of this plus the cultural changes that are resulting from new talent the company has attracted. Importantly, she also provides great insights about how the company is monetizing its content, the critical role of programmatic and how it is staffed, plus the challenges of today’s measurement models, among other topics.

    Overall it is a fascinating glimpse into how Conde Nast is leveraging video to completely change its business model. Lisa expertly conveys how much of this is ongoing experimentation, with success equally due to innovative strategies and relentless execution.

    Watch the interview now

  • Net2TV's Channels Added to ARRIS Set-Tops As Cable Inches Toward OTT Convergence

    Net2TV has announced this morning that its 18 branded OTT programs will be added to ARRIS Market, a platform for cable operators to combine OTT and traditional linear programming. Arris Market was announced this past July, and is powered by Wurl, which offers an API and hosted HTML5 apps. ARRIS has not yet announced any ARRIS Market deployments.

    The significance of the news - and the ARRIS' Market initiative in general - is that cable operators are increasingly being presented with options to incorporate access to OTT content into their overall value proposition. This is an opportunity for operators to capitalize on viewers' ongoing shift from linear TV viewing to OTT viewing.

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  • Sports Illustrated Unveils New Weekly Program on Portico TV

    Time Inc. is further bolstering its online video efforts, unveiling a new weekly program called "Sports Illustrated," available exclusively through its partner Net2TV's Portico TV service.

    Like other recently-launched Time programs that are part of a broader deal with Portico TV (including "The Week in TIME," "PEOPLE This Week," "Cooking Light," "Southern Living," and "Inside Golf Magazine"), Sports Illustrated curates previously-released, shorter-form videos into a full-length program professionally hosted by one of the respective magazine's personalities.

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  • Print Publishers Are Doubling Down On Online Video, For Lots of Good Reasons

    One of the key takeaways so far from this year's NewFronts is that traditional print publishers are doubling down on online video. Last week, four big print publishers - the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Inc and Conde Nast each shared ambitious plans (here, here, here and here) to expand upon existing video initiatives.

    While the specific plans vary from company to company, the common underlying thread is that online video is a once-in-a-generation game-changer, that could ultimately redefine every aspect of these businesses, including how they will engage their audiences, what their competitive advantages will be and how they will make their money.

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  • Bonnier's "Cycle World" and "Saveur" Videos Curated Into TV Programs by Portico TV

    Expanding on their existing partnership, Bonnier, one of the largest U.S. magazine publishers, and Net2TV, a startup connected-TV media company, will create 30-minute TV programs for Bonnier titles "Cycle World" and "Saveur." The companies have also renewed the current "Popular Science" program. All of the programs are built by curating short-form videos into shows that are available on Net2TV's Portico TV service, on millions of connected TVs.

    As I've written in the past, Net2TV's model is to create ad-supported TV-like experiences using high-quality short-form videos from branded partners. The videos are curated and assembled into 30, 60 and 90-minute programs, often accompanied by hosts who help create a narrative. The programs are typically updated on a weekly basis for now, with more frequent updates planned in the future. The Portico service is delivered from the cloud, accelerating the scaling of its integration with multiple connected TVs and devices.

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  • Why Video is So Strategic for Magazines

    With billions of video streams now being viewed each month, across an ever-growing array of devices, consumers' expectations are higher than ever that video is a part of the storytelling mix. For print publications like magazines and newspapers, that's creating a massive new opportunity to re-imagine their businesses, better connect with their audiences and pursue a new vein of ad spending.

    To get a better sense of why video is so strategic for magazines, last week I spoke with Lauren Wiener, who 6 weeks ago became president of global sales and marketing at Tremor Video, after spending 9 years at Meredith Corp, most recently as SVP of Digital. Meredith has been among the most active magazine publishers with video through its Meredith Video Studios business. The unit creates original video that is syndicated to YouTube and other online outlets along with VOD, and provides videos to Meredith's numerous magazines' online properties.

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  • Meredith and AlphaBird Partner For Branded Video Distribution

    Meredith Video Studios, the branded entertainment division of magazine giant Meredith Corp. and AlphaBird, a click-to-play video syndicator, have partnered to distribute advertisers' branded video across the Meredith Video Network. Chase Norlin, AlphaBird's CEO explained that the company will become Meredith's branded video sales agent, and MVS will offer video production as part of packaged deals.

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  • Are QR Codes the Next Big Thing for Magazines' Video?

    Most likely you've noticed the black and white puzzle-looking square images popping up all over the place, known as "QR codes." I've been curious about them but I've never had a call to action.

    That changed recently when I was reading an article about Larry Baer, president of the San Francisco Giants, winner of last year's World Series, in my business school alumni magazine. It was a fascinating article about how Baer and his partners had surmounted all kinds of odds to take an underfunded losing team and completely turn them around, all while endearing themselves to their local community through tons of outreach.

    Because my world is so video-centric, as I was reading the article, I periodically thought, "Wow, I'd love to see this guy and really learn more about his style." Alas, a print magazine has traditionally had little opportunity to deliver on that expectation. However, there at the end of the article was a QR code, with the message "Scan the mobile bar code with your smartphone to see Larry Baer talking about applying his HBS training to baseball decision-making."  

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  • 5 News Items of Interest for the Week of Aug 2nd

    In addition to producing daily original analyses focused on the evolution of the online/mobile video industry, another key element of VideoNuze is collecting and curating links to industry coverage from around the web. Each week there are typically 30-40 stories that VideoNuze aggregates in its exclusive news roundup. Many readers have come to depend on this curated news collection to ensure they're always up to speed.

    Now, to take news curation up another level, on Fridays I'm going to test out highlighting 5-6 of the most intriguing news items of the week. In case you missed VideoNuze for a day or two during the week, you can check in on Friday to see the these top 5-6 industry stories of the week, some of which VideoNuze may have covered itself. Synopses and implications are noted. Enjoy and let me know your reactions!

    Wired to Produce Short Films For iPad
    The tech magazine recruits Will Ferrell for four short videos that lampoon inventions that failed to take off. Exclusively for its iPad app. More evidence of print pub capitalizing on video.

    Motorola and Verizon team up for TV tablet
    Enjoying success with its Droid smartphones, Motorola now looks to challenge the iPad, with its own tablet device, using Google's Android OS. A partnership with Verizon could mean new online video features for the phone giant's FiOS service. Another sign of evolution in the pay-TV business.

    Bewkes: Rental Delays From Netflix, Redbox Is Paying Off For DVD Sales
    The 28-day DVD delayed release window Warner Bros. struck with Netflix earlier this year is helping the studio gain better sales for films The Blind Side and Sherlock Holmes. The deal helps Netflix position itself as a valued partner in the midst of declining DVD sales.

    Dish to stream live TV on iPad, other devices
    Dish Network takes place-shifting to a new level with plans for an iPad app that would allow remote streaming, likely using its Sling technology. Subscription TV, mobile video viewing and cool devices converge.

    FCC Calls Off Stakeholders Meetings
    The FCC's private net neutrality negotiations are off the rails as a reported bilateral deal between Verizon and Google causes controversy. Next steps are unknown as the FCC's plan to keep Internet playing field level hits a major pothole.
  • Best Hospitals Video Series Returns for a Second Year

    I missed an interesting item late last week, which is that U.S. News and HealthiNation have partnered for the second year to present their "2010-2011 Best Hospitals" video series. The series showcases U.S. News health rankings editor Avery Comarow providing an explanation of the rankings process and then drilling down into 5 specialty medical areas. There are 10 videos in this year's series and this time they are also embeddable.

    I like the approach as it provides an accessible introduction to the magazine's text content, and also provides a jumping off point into HealthiNation's deeper catalog of health-related videos. Raj Amin, HealthiNation's CEO told me that his company does all of the video production, which in turn gives U.S. News a turnkey, valuable video augment to their print model. There's a banner ad at the bottom of each video player providing incremental revenue.

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  • Magazines are Keen on Video; iPad in Central Role

    Following up on my post last week about the Wall Street Journal's new "Digits" video series, in which I reiterated my belief that online video is a huge new opportunity for print publishers, this week brought news of new video initiatives from a number of magazines. As reported by AdAge, Sports Illustrated is launching a new 5 times per day news program called "SI Inside Report," among other video projects. Six new employees have been brought on to support the initiative, which has to be a rare instance of new hiring in the magazine industry.

    Elsewhere, Conde Nast is continuing to ramp up for the iPad; as the NY Times reported this week it will offer iPad versions of Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Glamour. Conde plans to experiment with different pricing models and product approaches. But if the demo of Wired's iPad version is any indication, video is certain to play a large role.  Wired's Chris Anderson has emerged as the leading magazine industry proponent of the iPad's potential. While the iPad buzz builds leading up to its release, I continue to maintain that unless the price of all models comes down by at least $200 the device is going to remain an early adopter gadget.  

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
  • Sports Illustrated Makes the Most of Video for its 2010 Swimsuit Edition

    Sports Illustrated's 2010 swimsuit edition hit the stands this week and video is a central part of its promotion. For the real die-hards, SI has been hosting a series of videos with the models at its Ustream channel. There's also a collection of videos at the site, though I have to say the video quality is surprisingly mediocre. SI has also included "JAGTAGs" in the print issue. When readers take a picture of the JAGTAG with their phone and send them in via MMS, they receive additional behind-the-scenes videos of the models. I give SI credit, they're really turning the swimsuit edition into a multi-media extravaganza. If (and it's a big if) the iPad sells well, SI will be able to do even more next year. I continue to believe that video gives magazines a whole new editorial and advertising opportunity which some like SI are aggressively pursuing.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).

  • 4 Items Worth Noting for the Nov 30th Week (Alicia Keys on YouTube, Jeff Zucker's record, Comcast's Xfinity, SI's tablet demo)

    Following are 4 items worth noting for the Nov 30th week:

    1. Alicia Keys concert on YouTube is an underwhelming experience - Did you catch any of the Alicia Keys concert on YouTube this past Tuesday night celebrating World AIDS Day? I watched parts of it, and while the music was great, I have to say it was disappointing from a video quality standpoint -lots of buffering and pixilation, plus watching full screen was impossible.

    I think YouTube is on to something special webcasting live concerts. Recall its webcast of the U2 concert from the Rose Bowl on Oct 25th drew a record 10 million viewers. That concert's quality was far superior, and separately, the dramatic staging and 97,000 in-person fans also helped boost the excitement of the online experience. It's still early days, but to really succeed with the concert series, YouTube is going to have to guarantee a minimum quality level. Notwithstanding, American Express, the lead sponsor of the Keys concert had strong visibility and surely YouTube has real interest from other sponsors for future concerts. It could be a very valuable franchise YouTube is building and is further evidence of YouTube's evolution from its UGC roots.

    2. Being a Jeff Zucker fan is lonely business - In yesterday's post, "Comcast-NBCU: The Winners, Losers and Unknowns" I said I've been a fan of Jeff Zucker's since seeing him deliver a brutally candid and very sober assessment of the broadcast TV industry at the NATPE conference in Jan '08. My praise elicited a number of incredulous email responses from readers who vehemently disagreed, thinking Zucker's performance merits him being sent to the woodshed rather than to the CEO's office for the new Comcast-NBCU JV.

    To be sure, NBC's abysmal performance under Zucker (falling from first place to fourth in prime-time), will be one of his legacies, but I take a broader view of his tenure. A good chunk of NBCU's cable network portfolio came to the company via the Vivendi deal around the time Zucker took over responsibility for cable. Since that time the networks have grown strongly in audience and cash flow has doubled from about $1 billion to a projected $2.2 billion in '09. NBCU added Oxygen (which combined with its iVillage property makes a strong proposition for women-focused advertisers) and The Weather Channel, in a joint buyout with two PE firms.

    While Zucker's hiring of Ben Silverman to run NBC was a misstep, NBCU has enjoyed stability on the cable side, with two of the highest-regarded women in TV, Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick cranking out hit after hit for their respective networks. A CEO's tenure is always a mixed one, with plenty of wins and losses. It can be hard to know how much of the wins to ascribe to the CEO personally, rather than the executives below, but at the end of the day, NBCU was transformed from a single network company to a cable powerhouse; even Zucker skeptics have to give him some credit for this.

    3. Comcast rebrands On Demand Online to Fancast Xfinity TV - yuck! - Largely lost in the NBCU commotion this week was news that B&C broke that Comcast is changing the name of its soon-to-be-launched TV Everywhere service from On Demand Online to Fancast Xfinity TV. Yikes, the branding gurus need to head back to the drawing board, and quick. The name violates the first rule of branding: pronunciation must be obvious and easy. Not only is it unclear how you pronounce Xfinity, it's a an unnecessary mouthful that doesn't fit with any of Comcast's other workmanlike brands (e.g. "Digital Cable," "On Demand," ""). If we're talking about a new videogame targeted to teenage boys, Xfinity is great. If we're talking about a service that provides online access to TV shows, there's no need for something super-edgy. I'd suggest just sticking with "On Demand Online." But even more importantly, priority #1 is getting the product launched successfully.

    4. Sports Illustrated demo builds tablet computing buzz - If you haven't seen SI's demo of its tablet version being shown off this week, it's well worth a look at the video here. Never mind that there isn't such a tablet device on the market yet, the rumors swirling around Apple's planned launch of one has created an air of inevitability for the whole category. As the SI demo shows, a tablet can be thought of a larger version of an iPhone (likely minus the phone), providing larger screen real estate to make the user experience even more interesting. It's fascinating to think about what a tablet could do for magazines in particular, along the lines of what the Kindle has done for books. The mobile video and gaming possibilities are endless. Judge for yourselves.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #35 - October 9, 2009

    Daisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 35th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for October 9, 2009.

    This week Daisy and I first discuss Daisy's New Media Minute piece on how book publishers and authors are building iPhone apps, which include video, to enhance their books. The apps also present content in the interval between when a book is finished and when it finally hits the store shelves. Daisy highlights apps for marketing expert Bob Gilbreath's new book "The Next Evolution of Marketing" and novelist Nick Cave's new book "The Death of Bunny Munro." While the book publishing industry is not known for being on the bleeding edge of technology adoption, interest in iPhone appears to be building.

    Speaking of publishing, I provide more detail on my post this week "Goumet Magazine's Closing Offers Lessons for Navigating the Broadband Era." I received a lot of emails in response to this post, as the 68 year-old Gourmet clearly had a passionate following and its shuttering by owner Conde Nast was further evidence of how the media industry is changing. I contend that media brands need to embrace a multi-platform approach to survive. It's not good enough to simply be a great magazine anymore. All media brands need to figure out how to play in both online and mobile video.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (15 minutes, 2 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

    The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!

  • Gourmet Magazine's Closing Offers Lessons for Navigating the Broadband Era

    Earlier this week when Conde Nast pulled the plug on Gourmet magazine and 3 other titles, there was much hand-wringing about the depressed state of the magazine industry. But while falling ad sales, costs of production, editorial issues and redundancy were all contributors to the 68 year-old Gourmet's ultimate fate, in my view, its failure is part of a much larger story of how much the media business has evolved. More specifically, Gourmet offers abundant lessons for those trying to successfully navigate the broadband era.

    Gourmet, and its owner Conde Nast, are part of a proud media tradition that relied mainly on tying an editorial approach and brand to one specific media outlet - the magazine. In this traditional paradigm, the media world was thought of in terms of categories: broadcast TV network, newspaper, radio, cable, etc. While the same corporate owner might have interests across categories, the specific mission of each media property was well-defined: turn out the best product possible for your chosen medium and keep your audience and advertisers coming back for more. (As a sidenote, this is a key reason why most magazine companies did not launch cable TV networks related to their areas of specialty 25 years ago, thereby opening the field for upstarts.)

    The problem is that this model is out of synch with the way many real people actually experience media today. People affiliate with media brands in a more deeply self-identifying way. It's no longer just the information and entertainment that's conveyed, but also about the statement affiliating with that media brand makes and/or the implied trust and comfort that's provided. For better or for worse - depending on your perspective - brand affiliation is now a deeply ingrained part of our cultural landscape.

    Smart advertisers know this too. They are not just interested in just reaching their target audience when they pick up a magazine for example. They want to surround consumers with their brand whenever consumers engage with their chosen media. Advertisers continue to grapple with how to optimize their media spending to gain mindshare and drive sales.

    Forward-thinking media companies have realized for sometime now that changing consumer and advertiser preferences must drive the way they do business, not the other way around. Two examples I like to cite are ESPN and Food Network, two highly successful cable networks that have built strong media brands and prospered by constantly reinforcing the value of their core franchises.

    Among the many non-cable activities each has launched are successful magazines. That may seem ironic given the magazine industry's woes, but in truth each has figured out how to extend their brand, editorial, and importantly, advertiser interest into print. Food Network magazine's recent success is all the more remarkable; while Conde Nast has undergone a wrenching downsizing, Food Network Magazine, which launched in October '08 (in partnership with Hearst), has recently expanded its circulation base to 900,000, nearly on par with what Gourmet achieved after 68 years.

    Noteworthy for ESPN and Food Network have been their successful online initiatives and push into broadband video, all reinforcing their core franchises. In addition to its ad and commerce supported web sites, ESPN has rolled out ESPN 360, a subscription online video service available in 41 million U.S. broadband homes for which ISPs pay a monthly fee. Food Network too has been busy expanding its franchise in online video, among other things recently launching Food2, a broadband-only channel catering to younger viewers that cultivates up-and-coming talent. And as I wrote on Monday, Scripps Networks (Food's owner) just announced a deal with 5Min (an online video syndication platform) to proliferate its content across the web while also gaining access to additional targeted ad inventory to sell.

    ESPN and Food Network are not alone in having capitalized on the trend away from the single media outlet model, though they are surely among the most successful. On the other hand, giants like Conde Nast (even despite its successful site) and others continue to struggle in finding the formula for success in the new media world. To be sure, there's no respite in sight; I only see the multi-platform media model accelerating from here. For example, mobile-delivered video, currently being driven by the iPhone, but soon by other smartphones too, represents the next big wave to crash against traditional media's shores.
    Learning to successfully adapt to these new realities is not an option. The alternative is the eventual demise of other proud names.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.

  • Magnify's ABM Deal Underscores Video's Reach Into Business Media

    The partnership between and American Business Media announced last week is further evidence that online video is gaining ground in b-to-b media, and that video shouldn't be looked upon as solely consumer-centric.

    For those not familiar with ABM, it's a professional association for 300 business information companies, comprising 6,000 print and online titles, plus trade shows and databases that reach over 100 million professionals. Late last week Magnify's Steve Rosenbaum gave me more details about the deal.

    Magnify has focused consistently on helping vertical publishers create engaging video offerings. It does so with tools to curate and aggregate all video relevant to the publisher's audience, rather than requiring the publisher to create all of the video itself. I originally wrote about Magnify's approach a year ago and how it was powering Taste of Home magazine's video initiative.

    For editors, the challenge - and opportunity - is to evolve from the mindset of controlling all editorial, and instead think of the web as a rich trove of content that can be sorted through so that the best nuggets can be offered to their audiences. With the cost of creating high-quality original video still relatively high, the economy suffering, and product companies and users getting better at creating worthwhile video, this approach makes a lot of sense.

    In the ABM deal, Magnify will initially power ABM's own web site, but the more important part of the deal is that it gives Magnify a stamp of approval to seek out ABM members to power their video offerings. Many of these companies, which focus on niche markets, have long offered their IP in multiple forms - print, online, email, databases, conferences, etc. Video is the newest media opportunity for them, and Magnify's goal is not only to support original video they create, but also educate them about how to harness video that's available from 3rd party sources.

    In general, video is becoming more central to b-to-b media. For example, just last week, the WSJ, long an online video leader among business media, launched the News Hub, a twice-per-day show featuring its reporters and guests. As a side note, the show feels a lot like cable with its split screens, fast cuts and guests talking over each other. The News Hub joins sibling which offers a robust video section. Moving a little more into the consumer space, continues building on its leadership. There are scores of other video suppliers as well.

    Increasingly b-to-b media seem to be recognizing that with their audiences spending more and more time on sites like YouTube and Hulu, it is essential to reach them with video as well. I see no let up in this trend.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.

  • 4 Items Worth Noting from the Week of August 24th

    Following are 4 news items worth noting from the week of August 24th:

    1. Time Warner Cable, Verizon launch TV Everywhere trials - Little surprise that Time Warner Cable announced its own TV Everywhere trial yesterday, given that former sister company Time Warner has been one of its biggest proponents. More interesting was Verizon launching a TV Everywhere initiative, which I regard as a pretty strong indicator that most or all service providers will eventually get on board. (The Hollywood Reporter has a story that DirecTV is in talks too for online distribution of TBS and TNT to start).

    I have to give credit to Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, TV Everwhere's key champion, who's clearly generated a groundswell of support. While some critics see TV Everywhere as being at odds with the "open Internet" ethos, I continue to think of it as a big win for consumers eager to get online access to their favorite cable programs. Assuming authentication is proven in during the trials I expect a speedy rollout.

    2. Conde Nast distributes through boxee - I was intrigued by news that Conde Nast Digital will begin distributing video from its and sites through boxee. boxee and others who connect broadband to TVs are valuable for magazines and other content providers who have long been shut out of the cable/satellite/telco distribution ecosystem, thereby unable to reach viewers' TVs. Years ago special interest magazines missed big opportunities to get into cable programming, allowing upstart cable networks to grow into far larger businesses (consider ESPN vs. Sports Illustrated, Food Network vs. Gourmet or CNBC vs. Forbes). Broadband gives magazines, belatedly, an opportunity to get back into the game.

    3. Amazon announces 5 finalists in UGC ad contest - Have you seen the 5 finalists' ads in Amazon's "Your Amazon Ad" contest, announced this week? They're quite clever, with some amazing special effects. The contest is another great example of how brands are tapping users' talents, posing new competition to ad agencies. I haven't written about this in a while, but I continue to be impressed with how different brands are pursuing this path. Doritos has been the most visible and successful with its user-generated Super Bowl ads.

    4. Microprojectors open up mobile video sharing opportunities - Maybe I've been living under a rock because I just read about "microprojectors" for the first time this week (I have a decent excuse since as I non-iPhone owner I wouldn't have a use for one, yet). As the name suggests, these are pocket-size projectors that allow you to output the video from your iPhone to project onto a large surface like a wall or ceiling. According to this NY Times review the quality is quite respectable, and is no doubt only going to improve. The mind boggles at what this could imply for sharing mobile video. Imagine bringing a kit - consisting of an iPhone, portable speakers and microprojector - to your friend's house, then plugging in and projecting either a live stream or an on-demand program for all to see.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  • New York Magazine Relaunches Video; Curation is Key

    New York magazine, the go-to-source for in-the-know New Yorkers, has relaunched the video section of its web site using the platform. What separates the magazine's effort from others is its plan to actively augment video it produces itself with other video sources, including users. By "curating" others' video, New York is looking to beef up the video section of its site by tapping into others' energy. Michael Silberman, the magazine's GM, Digital Media, explained more to me last week.

    Michael said that as a print publication, New York was unlikely to ever have a large staff devoted to video production (it currently has just one dedicated person). However, the New York team has been watching broadband video's surging popularity and wanted to capitalize on this by making video an integral part of its web site. A key goal was to cost-effectively bulk up the volume of video it offered. That led the team to focus on how to aggregate and intelligently curate video from other sources so that the magazine's sensibility would be maintained. And all of this needed to be done in a "Hulu-like" user experience with accurately tagged videos presented in a logical flow.

    In a prior post about Taste of Home magazine, I wrote about curation and how it can be a powerful editorial lever for print publishers' sites that have lean video budgets. The reality is that there is a lot of really interesting video being created that would be quite valuable to mainstream publications. In the Internet era, timeliness and omnipresence are important calling cards. Tapping into video-enabled readers, who often find themselves at the right place at the right time with their cellphones, digital cameras and Flips on hand, can produce real value if incorporated the right way.

    Curation has been a mantra of Steve Rosenbaum, CEO and founder of, which I originally profiled here. The company has been continuously augmenting its video platform features while maintaining a focus on curation as a differentiator. This clearly paid off with the New York win; Michael said that of all the video platform companies it investigated, Magnify was the only one that could fully support its curation objectives. He also cited Magnify's robust customization tools using mainly CSS and Javascript that allowed his team to migrate the entire video section over in just 5 weeks.

    New York plans to bring on a producer who will, among other things, run the curation process. No doubt there will be plenty of trial-and-error in the hunts for and includes appropriate 3rd party video, including users' submissions. But as I explained in the Taste of Home post, curation's potential suggests the emergence of a new editorial model for video that is particularly relevant in these penny-pinching economic times. It's the kind of break-from-tradition that may be jolting to editorial purists, but which reflects pragmatic - and strategic - thinking about how print publications can evolve and succeed in the broadband video era.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.

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