Tag Archives: Vimeo

Watching TV on the toilet. Simulcasting to apps is the future (of broadcasting)

You must master the four screens.

You must master the four screens.

This weekend, I was watching The Alien, 48 year old Bernard Hopkins defend his title against Karo Murat, the 30 year old challenger from Germany.

The fight was fairly spirited and I was thoroughly engaged.

But as my salsa and cheese dip decided they wanted out, I had a difficult choice to make.

Do I suffer through the next six rounds and try to suppress my bowels or make a b-line for the commode and miss the fight?

My trips to the latrine are rarely brief.

My intestines got the better of me, and as round six ended, I reluctantly broke for the bathroom.

Back in the day, this story would have ended with me Googling the results or checking The Bleacher Report or ESPN.

But something told me to check out the App Store to see if there was an app that would let me watch the fight live from the toilet.

The fight was on Showtime, so I decided I’d start there.

What was there to lose?

As I plopped down upon my throne to handle the affairs of state, I whipped out my iPhone and quickly located the Showtime Anytime app.

showtime anytime

I downloaded and launched the app, and true to form, there was a Live TV tab in the footer.

When it pulled up the program choices, there was a ‘Watch Now’ button next to the Hopkins/Murat listing of the fight.

Before I knew it, I had taken in six rounds of boxing on the crapper, and I realized that broadcasting had come a long way.

The future of broadcasting was in my hands.

No. Not the toilet paper. I had already flushed that.

Although toilet paper is a wonderful invention.

I’m talking about apps which allow you to consume live media.

I think HBO was the first content provider to drop an app which let their subscribers access content from their mobile devices.

Others quickly followed suit and there were similar offerings from the likes of ESPN, A&E and Cartoon Network.

Soon regular broadcast players joined, including ABC, PBS, CBS and TBS.

Not to be left out, cable providers made sure they had skin in the game with their apps, including Time Warner, Cablevision, Verizon Fios and Xfinity.

The battle for eyeballs has gotten so fierce that if you’re not present on all platforms, you’re giving up valuable ground to the competition.

It used to be enough to have a broadcast channel with good content.

Back in the day, all you had were the broadcast television networks, like ABC, CBS, and NBC.

The networks had a virtual monopoly.

Then came cable, which changed the game.

No longer were you restricted to ‘tame’ television.

You had options. And no commercials.

And then the internet decided to change things up a little more, offering tons of video content that you couldn’t find on television or cable.

And for the most part, it was free.

YouTube was the genesis of this, but other players like Hulu and Vimeo kept things interesting (and ever expanding with user generated videos and internet only shows).

When Netflix brought their DVDs by mail into the home, first streaming over the internet and then through set top boxes, the broadcast ecosystem fractured even further.

And now there’s mobile.

It’s not enough that you’re proficient on one platform at the expense of the others.

To meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and demanding audience, you’ve got to master them all.

And as a content creator, you’re going to want to leverage distribution methods that ensure you’re meeting your audience, wherever they are.

If you’re not simulcasting (or offering your content simultaneously across multiple platforms), best believe the next guy is.

As technology evolves, users are going to expect faster, more streamlined access to all forms of media.

I predict that in the future, we’re going to see more players offering content that is traditionally delivered to televisions being delivered to set top boxes, online, and through apps simultaneously.

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SoLoMo Profile: Taap.it

A few days ago, I posted about the Starters+Startups: The Future of SoLoMo & You I’ll be moderating on January 25th at the ShowBiz Store & Cafe.

In preparation for that panel, I’ve decided to profile the companies that will be presenting that day, to (i) learn more about them and (ii) gain a better perspective for their offering.

And I figured I’d take you guys along for the ride.

The first company I’m profiling is Taap.it

(Do they know that that’s an urban euphemism for having sex? Hmmm….)

I started my research by visiting their site.

Taap.it makes great use of their landing page!

And then I watched both of the short animated videos they’ve got on the landing page.

Click here to watch the first video which I simply couldn’t figure out how to embed!

The Vimeo video has better sound than the YouTube one, but you stil get the picture, despite the slightly distorted/muted sound.

After I watched the videos, I clicked on the “Merchants” tab and viewed the various offerings from Monster headphones to pizza.

Watches, headphones, pizza, beer...you name it, Taap.it's got it!

I clicked on a pair of Beats By Dre headphones (did you hear about the split between Beats and Monster?) and was immediately taken to another page which showed me pictures, the price and product specs.

Buy it. Taap it. Add it to your wish list. Share it. Taap.it gets this whole SoLoMo thing down!

Taap.it also gives the address and a map showing me where I could cop it if I wanted to run out and grab them right away (H & B Digital on 46th Street).

There was also a comments section at the bottom, where other Taap.it users could comment on the product, but there was a glitch in the matrix as one user was “tapping it” like a gagillion times.

Andrew Kaplan, stop tapping so much. It's embarrassing.

From here, I went to the “Mobile” side of the site, by tapping the “Mobile” button on the left side of the Taap.it page.

I was immediately presented with the “How Taap.it Works” video I had previously watched on the home page, followed by four frames which walked visitors through the steps to getting items listed on Taap.it.

Start Selling On Mobile Today

Create A Promotion Instantly

Point. Shoot. Sell.

Mobile Storefront In Minutes.

After taking a look at the rest of the tabs on the page, I navigated to the ‘About Us’ page, where the company provided a little information about the Taap.it service.

Taap.it “combine[s] the best of online and offline shopping and eliminate[s] the frustration. We create[d] a whole new shopping experience and put it in the palm of your hand through a sweet little mobile app, called Taap.it.

You now can browse for specific products, exact dishes, and particular services (more than just store name and location) that your neighborhood stores have to offer. Everything comes with photos so you know exactly what you are getting. You can buy directly on the app and enjoy fast local delivery.”

Taap.it’s app makes brilliant use of mobile and local, by giving Taap.it users information about what they want or are looking for, and helps them locate it within proximity to where they are.

I downloaded the app today, and I’m going to take it for a spin.

Taap.it on my iPhone

I’ll update this post with my post-test drive feedback.

If you’ve already heard of Taap.it, or have used their app, please feel free to share your experience with me!

Taap.it!

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QR Codes are cool!

I generated this QR Code using QR Code Generator from the ZXing Project.

If you’re not up on anything that’s happening in the digital world, you probably haven’t peeped QR codes.

Although you’ve probably seen these weird squiggly things on business cards, flyers or maybe even the last time you went shopping at Macy’s, it probably escaped you that these little boxes were the wave of the future.

What is a QR Code?

Well Wikipedia describes a QR Code (short for Quick Response) as a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

The QR code above was generated using a free online QR code generator. To see what’s encoded, you’ve got to:

1.  Have a QR reader on your phone. If you’ve got an iPhone, I recommend QRReader. *Download it to your device.

2.  Open your QR reader on your device. If it seems like you’ve turned on your camera, it’s ok. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

3.  Point your camera at the QR reader until it’s centered on the screen.

4.  Watch the magic happen!

You can do really cool things with QR codes beyond simply sharing your information.

For example, you can launch a video, send text, trigger an SMS or direct viewers to a URL.

Here are a few more that I think you’ll enjoy:

Point your phone at this QR code for a sexy experience.

In this example our QR code launches a video on Vimeo of a short film produced by Firststar Films/Viral Cinema for Black Box a custom accessories boutique in Tribeca.

QR Codes can be used to generate text messages too!

Although this is just a sample, QR codes can generate real SMS/text messages, delivered right to your phone.

QR codes can trigger much more sophisticated actions, beyond simply opening a URL or driving simple text messages. In fact Google’s mobile Android operating system incorporates QR readers natively into it’s architecture, allowing it to trigger more complex processes.

Brands are only starting to flirt with QR codes in the States, but I project that as they start to proliferate, you’ll find more exotic and innovative things being done.

I hope this has been instructive, and feel free to reach out to me if you’ve got questions on QR codes, mobile, apps or whatever!

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Seven Tips for making it online (as an artist)

A few days ago, Chris Anokute was on Entertainment Tonight, where he talked about the importance of social media and the internet for artists looking to be discovered.

And I’ve recently been approached by a number of performing artists and musicians for advice on how to break into the industry.

Several years ago, I posted an article about tips on doing just that.

So I thought I’d resurrect that article, since it clearly still has application today – with a few tweaks of course.

Here are seven tips for making it as an artist online.

1. Utilize existing networks – YouTube has replaced MySpace as the source for finding new music. YouTube gives visitors an easy way to connect with and share your music without having to be your ‘friend’ which is a significant advantage over the former social networking giant.  Online stores such as iTunes and Snocap give you the ability to include your product in their online sales infratstructure, and services such as Paypal allow you to conduct direct-to-consumer sales. Your use of/and affiliation with these brands, give consumers the confidence that the product they are purchasing is quality because it is associated with recognized quality brands.

2. Give it away for free – Sounds ridiculous right? But its totally true that if you give something away, it usually induces a desire to purchase. Victoria Secrets mails out cards to recipients who are given a free pair of panties! When you walk into the store to collect your free pair of underwear, they politely ask if you want to purchase a bra to accompany them. Of course, presented with such an offer, who could refuse? This strategy is the exact same philosophy, offer them a wallpaper if they buy a ringtone, a free month’s subscription when you sign up for two months. Its a ‘freemium.’ Look it up.

3. Cultivate an extensive e-mail Twitter database – you are constantly in contact with people in your daily comings-and-goings. The next innovator, billionaire, neurosurgeon, politician could be right next to you. On an online environment, these potential links exist, and its nothing but an e-mail Tweet away. By creating an extensive e-mail Twitter following, you are creating a means of turning as many people as you know, into a possible source of future sales.

4. Offer your songs for sale – a branded website is great for building awareness about your projects and one should offer your products for sale simultaneously with any promotional effort you undertake. The beauty of the internet (and mobile) is the instant gratification component and instant decision making based on the desire for instant gratification. Failing to immediately offer your product for sale online is a flawed and costly omission.

5. Price your product competitively – do not try to ‘reinvent the wheel. put rims on it.’ Do not assign a value to whatever your are selling, without regard to the market set price, standard practice, law or industry operation, that would make your product either too expensive or under priced. Pricing your product at a price point lower than the competition (at least as an introductory offer, if not sustained as part of a sustained campaign), will generate an initial reaction. If you consistently offer a compelling product and a fair price, your audience will remain loyal and become repeat purchasers.

6. Offer packages – it is hard to resist a bargain. When you bundle products on the internet, the natural reaction of practically all consumers is to evaluate the relative cost for the product. If we perceive that we are saving money, even if we have to spend more than we were originally prepared to spend (when we responded to the introductory offer -OR IF WE HAVE TO SEARCH MORE), then we usually select the option which gives us that savings. But more importantly, you have put more units into the stream of commerce, which is ultimately your objective.

7. Promote your product heavily – online promotions, Tweets, Facebook status updates, Ning, e-mail blasts, banners, hyperlinks, e-flyers, contests, are all techniques to proliferate over the internet. Link your web page to as many different online properties as possible. Make sure that you utilize search engines, meta-tags, heavy descriptions and compelling graphics in everything you doto to inject life and activity around your website. This online activity should be done in conjunction with a word-of-mouth campaign, flyers, posters, etc. The purpose of promotion is to PROMOTE, utilize tactics to make you and your product memorable. Utilizing YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr, to add graphic visual components can go a long way to creating a memorable impression.

At the end of the day, the internet is a vast resource that can help (the right artist or project) go viral in an instant.

If you’re not using these tools to your advantage, I’d suggest you start.

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