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Into the Dork Forest

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by Screenmancer Staff

LOS ANGELES, CA: You'd think Digital Entertainment World, the launch event from Feb. 18-20 in Century City, was all about Zen. Meaning, Engagement, Engagement in the Moment, and Being in the Moment for the purposes of monetization were the flash buzzwords.

What is the moment?

From EA Games COO Peter Moore, their Conversion Funnel is the top-down model of AEM High: Acquire, Engage, Monetize, with a funnel.

The most important thing they learned was from the music industry, from the Napster era, "don't sue your consumer." "It took Steve Jobs to come in and clean up that mess," Moore said, alluding to iTunes.


Ninja Metrics won the start-up competition, in a close race with Social Rewards and WeBrand, followed by dealflicks, Daterz, Meograph, Borne Digital, Flipps, IROCKE, ChannelMeter, Affinity Influencing Systems, and Krush Mobile, which was reportedly DQ-ed because they raised $6 M USD according to Crunchbase. A top takeaway from the $74,000 (hosting and cash) prize contest is: Metrics, Metrics, Metrics.

Box CEO Aaron Levie put the metrics issue in play with "how about this for a pitch?"

Levie, whose company successfully 'hid' Beyonce's album in the cloud and other neat tricks, offered the metric angle as a valuator in a comparison of Netflix versus HBO.

Both have big dollars, both have original content, HBO is a perennial awards contender, but.

To assess value he added the weight of their big data.

Netflix has a metadata Fort Knox that the NSA would admire; whereas HBO has workaday big data collection.

Levie suggested that total worth in a media company now must include the gleam of metadata.

Levie also vouched obliquely for the security of the cloud with the unnamed artist (Beyonce) hush-hush album drop.

The Secure Cloud mantra resounded from ABC to Amazon to Anvato CEO Alper Turgut to Ring Digital CEO Brain Ring to Ben Huang, Mediaroom Division of Ericsson.

Call it the Bitcoinization of Analytics, that information gathering known as metrics is basically an alternative currency.

Metadata is money; money is metadata.

VEVO CEO Rio Caraeff, the stylish bright minded c-level disrupter, offered this succinct definition of metadata in actionable big data terms.

Metadata is "the exhaust coming off all quantified human interactions." In simpler terms, UGD (User Generated Data) is questionable, whereas Metadata does not lie - if you spent 9 hours going to 15 sites, logged in, watched a movie, clicked a widget, your engagement in all of those "moments" is not only exactly quantifiable, but actionable as a marketing tool.

But it is not called Marketing anymore. It is Community Management. And a legion of "Community Managers" become the consumer contact points for further collection of the luscious Big Data.

Ads can now be "baked in server-side in the cloud."

Imagine these 7 Dwarf Steps from Disney/ABC: 1) Authorize Users (login). 2) Geolocate; 3) Identify Multicatalog Ingest (i.e.; did you come from ESPN or other site); 4) Check Clearances (do they have talent, music broadband/mobile usage OK's); 5) Neilsen Ratings stats kick in; 6) Streams Transcoded; 7) Detection of Ad Placement.

All these mini-adjustments happen in a jiffy and pop on your mobile device.

Flash news? Tablets will be included in the Neilsen mix of ratings metrics by the end of 2014. Get ready to be spammed in any position: lean-in or lean-out devices.

So, Platform Heels, sexy platforms, equal Platform Deals.

"Nail the transition" was EA's catchphrase last year for staying with the pace of change to mobile, and digital transactions vs other types of purchases.

Mobile is where IT is at, so to speak.

Next time you ask who put the App in the App store, consider the deal announced at DEW when Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg bought WhatsApp for either $16 or $19 BN USD according to hearsay or Reuters.

The New York Times wildly projects the service, which circumvents Telcos on messaging and telephony, will be worth "50 Times" that amount, more than the GPD of many developed countries. Apps are rainmakers in the internet space. Read: Mobile Apps.

UTA's co-Founder Jeremy Zimmer flew the flag for Hollywood in the digital mix with "Can Originality and Innovation Save Hollywood?" as a keynote conversation.

Zimmer blithely detailed a few failures he has had in the space to spice things up, most notably 60 Frames.

60 Frames is the frame-rate in animation versus 20 frames per second in film.

At the same time deftly deflecting a wanton pitch from an audience member in the form of a question, Zimmer offered only this gem: "there's not that much original talent out there." Original talent is the implied moneyshot from all of those home-made videos uploaded on YouTube.

An unnamed internet "star" has been born with 25 M views in a matter of months, talent that UTA now represents.

Animators, CGI artists, creatives in digital can also now be repped with upped rates and all the trappings saved for actors/directors.

In other words, Below the Line is the new Above the Line in Hollywood.

Rumble Box's Gee Yeung gave a comic relief Z Brush demo on rapid prototyping for character generation to a friendly crowd, those maxed out on acronyms, buzzblurbs, and metric mantras.

Yeung's focus was "creating iconic characters" (think Angry Bird) for cash and content branding.

His 2-3 day modeling of a prototype Orc to the client sign-off is unheard of speed.

Yet the final modeling for use on games and other applications still requires cloth, hair, water artists as with traditional animation.

Regardless, Rumble Box was a moment of tactile from-ink indulgence.

In sum, hashtag DEW2014, included some fine speakers, from charismatic Jordan Berliant (Partner/Head of Music Management, The Collective) to the founder of Gumgum to Zane Valle (CEO Watchwith) to Jennifer Price, Head of Media and Entertainment from Twitter - even with the gouache of buzzwords.

For pros and insiders, the line in the silicon was clearly drawn between Creatives and Metric-mania.

How SEO can you go?

To the point of diminishing creative returns until the "authentic voice" is watered down like a hotel cocktail.

For consumers, it is time to rope off of your PII (Personally Important Information) and build your metric avatar accordingly. Big business is watching and weighing your bit part in the Big Data.

For the curious, download Z Brush's sister app Sculptris for free, and visit the Lego store to view the 3D viewer that allows imaging in virtual space from an icon on the box.

And get ready for the 4K world of transcoded streams heading at you from that plasma screen, or "second screen" of choice, coming at you in 2014.

SCREENMANCER is a gathering place for people who make movies (and technology)

[Or think of us as Second Screen-mancer... in keeping with the Ron Burgundy-esque world of tech jargon.]

FULL DISCLOSURE: Screenmancer.tv was comped in as attendee outside the StartUp Competition, so Thanks DEW very much.




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