Brit Morin, Founder and CEO of Brit + Co to Explain the Power of Visual Communications at #SMWNYC

Brit Morin is the founder & CEO of Brit + Co, a digital media and commerce company that provides tools to teach, inspire and enable creativity among women and girls. Brit + Co connects a community of over 90M women (75% millennials) together every month to provide skills and inspiration for a more creative lifestyle.

Prior to founding Brit + Co in late 2011, Brit worked for Google, where she spent four years helping to launch and grow products like Google Maps, Search and YouTube. Before Google, she worked on iTunes at Apple and at various Silicon Valley startups.

At Social Media Week, Brit will take the stage to discuss “Video + Media: The Power of Visual Communication in the Digital Age.” From this session, attendees will learn why video is the center of media right now, why visual images are so powerful, and the benefits and challenges of making visual communication a core focus of your business.

From custom mini-series and Facebook Live, to GIF stories and ephemeral video journalism, visual content is catching the attention of consumers and brands alike, and Brit Morin will explore this constantly evolving and growing trend at #SMWNYC.

To attend this event, along with 100+ other keynotes, interviews, panels, and conversations at Social Media Week New York, sign up today before passes sell out.

29% of Time Spent on All Screens in 2015 Was Spent on Vertical Content

There’s a challenge for advertisers to promote and portray brands in shows, especially as brand exposure is often not aligned with humor. Brands bring a filter to content, and limit the association of the media with only positive ideas about the brand.

The problem is that content creation on mobile and for mobile is intentionally and inherently unshackled by traditional advertising and media culture-it’s the realness of content creators and social media celebrities that grows viewership towards the holy grail of virality. Ian Schafer, founder and CEO of Deep Focus, brought this to light along with his two honored guests: Ricky van Veen, founder of CollegeHumor; and Lisa Weinstein, CEO of Engine Media Group.

The driving force behind this growing concern is that 51% of digital device time is spent on mobile devices, and yet content creation for the vertical screen is only at 29% of all creation efforts. The gap will naturally close, and the catalyst is social media-media that is viewed primarily over mobile.

So what happens to ad agencies? The company that knows the brand best is the creative/production agency, and the recognized detriment of distance between ad agencies and the actual point of content creation is growing as the environment for media distribution rapidly evolves.

Read the full session recap at SMW News

Secure your spot in February of 2017 to join 2,000+ leaders in media, entertainment, and technology for a week of inspiring and educational events learning.

Music, TV, and Comedy: 10 Sessions to Attend For Entertainment Industry Professionals

Entertainment is one of the most impacted industries with the evolution of technology. What once required single-channeled marketing tactics, is now a next-gen content and production solar-system filled with new business models, innovations, and upgraded standards in our multi-platform world.

At SMW New York, we’ve curated 9 forward-thinking sessions that entertainment professionals should plan to attend. Join us as we learn from media greats such as Alex Blumberg (CEO, Gimlet Media), Evan Shapiro (EVP, Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal), and Andrew Jarecki (Director of The Jinx, Founder of KnowMe).

Purchase your pass for SMW New York to be among the 2,000+ industry leaders who will come together to learn and connect throughout the week!

1. Podcast pioneer, Alex Blumberg, will discuss his journey of building an audio-first media company

Hosted by Crowdcentric • Tuesday 2/23 at 11:30AM • TimesCenter
Alex Blumberg is known for his work on This American Life and Planet Money, and recently launched Gimlet Media as a result of his latest podcast, StartUp. This year at SMW New York, Alex Blumberg will discuss Gimlet Media and his journey of building a media company with foundations in audio storytelling and journalism.

2. NBC’s strategic approach to Seeso, their new streaming comedy channel

Hosted by NBCUniversal • Tuesday 2/23 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
The world is at an inflection point, similar to where broadcast TV was in 70s and 80s with a massive boom in content production and this time on various platforms. Join Evan Shapiro (EVP, Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal) as he reveals their strategic approach to the current media landscape with Seeso, the new streaming comedy channel, with other key creators of the channel.

3. Virtual reality’s future in storytelling, gaming, and journalism

Hosted by The New York Times • Wednesday 2/23 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
Learn how companies such as The New York Times, GE, and Google are investing time and resources in virtual reality to enhance storytelling, journalism, and the user experience. Meredith Kopit Levien (Chief Revenue Officer, The New York Times), Jake Silverstein (Editor, The New York Times), Katrina Craigwell (Director of Global Content and Programming, GE) and Aaron Luber (CardBoard Partnerships, Google).

4. Comedy Central’s CMO will break down the the social strategy of their top programming

Hosted by WOMMA • Wednesday 2/24 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Some may think Comedy Central’s ratings and conversations on social come easy due to their hilarious talent, but nothing is further from the truth. In this entertaining session, Comedy Central’s CMO, Walter Levitt, will attempt to organize and rationalize all of his team’s on-the-ground tactics into a fully thought–out strategy.

5. How micro-content and social media can lay the groundwork to launch a new TV show

Hosted by VaynerMedia • Wednesday 2/24 at 3:00PM • SVA Theatre
Social media offers more ways than ever to build awareness around TV programs, but did you know it can drive and impact the new markers of success in today’s ever-changing television industry? Join Kim Garcia (SVP, Entertainment, VaynerMedia) and Jason Loomis (Director, Paid Media, VaynerMedia) as they flesh out the social media strategy for their new reality series Chrisley Knows Best.

6. When, where, and how social media belongs in live events; in-person and online

Hosted by Momentum Worldwide and AEG • Wednesday 2/24 at 4:30PM • TimesCenter
According to a recent study, 70% of millennials feel that social media improves the live music experience. Attend this panel with executives from AEG, Momentum Worldwide, and StubHub directly focused on why music experiences are better with social, and when they don’t belong together.

7. How Grammy-nominated artist, Ryan Leslie, started a business just from thanking fans online

Hosted by Nue Agency • Thursday 2/25 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Ryan Leslie is a Grammy-nominated recording artist and multi-platinum music producer who turned his interest in personally thanking each fan into a million dollar seed funded technology called SuperPhone. Today he’s unlocked the true value in his 1.3 million follower footprint across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube by having a text-based dialogue with the 40,000 people who matter most. Joining Ryan will be Jesse Kirshbaum (CEO, Nue Agency).

8. 360° video content, and the next wave of videos in your News Feed

Hosted by BOLD Worlwide • Thursday 2/25 at 3:00 PM • SVA Theatre
If you’re a marketer or content creator looking to engage your audience in an immersive way, you need to understand 360° video. Brian Cristiano (CEO, BOLD Worldwide) will explain the value, excitement, and execution of 360° video, and shed some light on how you can utilize this technology for entertainment, engagement and sales.

9. How to best capture the moment when fans react online, with Andrew Jarecki of HBO’s The Jinx

Hosted by Social Media Week • Friday 2/26 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Andrew Jarecki (Director, HBO’s The Jinx) will discuss social media’s role in how fans experience the show before, during and after the now-infamous hot mic scene, as well as unveil never-before-seen footage from the show. Come to learn how the chorus of Tweets, blog posts, and Facebook updates played a role in that collective gasp.

10. Mixing digital moments with experiential events, from the RSVP invitation to post-event wrap-up

Hosted by Splash • Friday 2/26 at 3:00PM • SVA Theatre
Social media can make or break your event. Splash co-founder and Party Scientist, Ben Hindman, will teach you how to turn your next event into social media gold. He’ll cover everything from how to create “Instagrammable moments,” to designing an irresistible invitation.

We hope to see you in New York for Social Media Week! Join over 1,000 leaders who register each year, and in 2016, #SMWNYC features two official venues: The TimesCenter (FWD Stage) and SVA Theatre (EDU Stage). Attend the 100+ events with 300+ speakers for an incredible week you won’t want to miss. Get your pass here!

Social Media and Pop Culture Consciousness: Keynote with Andrew Jarecki of HBO’s “The Jinx”

The shocking finale of HBO’s The Jinx unleashed a tidal wave of reactions, controversy, and spoiler-alert headlines. But, how much did the chorus of Tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates play a role in that collective gasp?

The Jinx Director, Andrew Jarecki, will discuss social media’s role in how fans experienced it before, during and after the now-infamous hot mic scene, as well as unveil never-before-seen footage from the show.

Register your pass for SMW New York, and come hear Andrew’s keynote, “Keynote: How Social Media Manifests our Pop Culture Consciousness, Featuring The Jinx Director Andrew Jarecki” on Friday, February 26th at 1:30pm at The TimesCenter

Image Credit: Esquire

From Virtual Reality to Millennial Ideologies: The 8 Keynotes to Attend at #SMWNYC

We’re bringing some of the most influential leaders together for our 2016 edition of Social Media Week NYC, which takes place this February 22-26.

From the Mark Thompson (CEO, The New York Times) to Claudia Malley (Chief Marketing and Brand Officer, National Geographic), these keynotes will bring their insights and expertise to the SMW New York stage on a range of topics, including virtual reality, Millennial ideology, emerging trends in digital storytelling, and social media’s impact on pop-culture and traditional media.

Purchase your pass for Social Media Week to be among the 2,000+ industry leaders coming to New York for a week of forward-thinking and educational events, and bookmark these keynotes to your schedule!

1. Learn how The New York Times shifted from print to digital

Hosted by The New York Times • Tuesday 2/23 at 10:30AM • TimesCenter
CEO of The New York Times, Mark Thompson, will discuss how the company pivoted and prepared itself to succeed in the digital age, and how others can learn from their shift. Interviewing Mark, will be Toby Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week.

2. Hear how comedy and digital entertainment will evolve in the next few years

Hosted by NBCUniversal • Tuesday 2/23 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
The world is at an inflection point, similar to where broadcast TV was in 70s and 80s with a massive boom in content production and this time on various platforms. Join Evan Shapiro (EVP, Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal) as he reveals their strategic approach to the current media landscape with Seeso, the new steaming comedy channel, with other key creators of the channel.

3. Explore the incredible virtual reality collaboration with Google, GE, and The New York Times

Hosted by The New York Times • Wednesday 2/24 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
Learn how brands, publishers, and networks are using virtual reality to enhance their user experience, and tell amazing stories in an entirely new way. This session features Meredith Kopit Levien (Chief Revenue Officer, The New York Times), Katrina Craigwell (Director, Global Content & Programming, General Electric) and Aaron Luber (CardBoard Partnerships, Google).

4. Laugh and learn with Comedy Central’s Chief Marketing Officer

Hosted by WOMMA • Wednesday 2/24 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Some may think Comedy Central’s ratings and online conversations come easy due to their hilarious roster of talent, but nothing is further from the truth. In this entertaining session, Comedy Central’s CMO, Walter Levitt, will attempt to organize and rationalize all their social media and on-the-ground tactics into a fully thought–out strategy.

5. National Geographic’s lessons to staying relevant and powerful in our fragmented media ecosystem

Hosted by Social Media Week • Thursday 2/25 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
National Geographic is known around the globe for it’s leadership in visually compelling factual and entertaining storytelling, and in this keynote session, Claudia Malley (Chief Marketing and Brand Officer, National Geographic) will share insights and learnings on how this 128 year-old brand has pioneered the new media and fragmented landscape while maintaining it’s leadership position among consumers.

6. The story of how Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Leslie started a tech business after personally thanking his fans

Hosted by Nue Agency • Thursday 2/25 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
In this talk with music tech’s premiere agency CEO, Jesse Kirshbaum of NUE Agency, and Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Leslie, they’ll touch on the best practices and learnings driving $2M in gross revenue from a $2,500 inbound text message campaign, rewriting the blueprint for how social media can be leveraged in today’s marketplace.

7. Step inside the Millennial consumer mindset with Refinery29’s CEO

Hosted by Social Media Week • Friday 2/26 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
Through the rise of social networks and smartphones, the Millennial ideology has transformed communication, making instantaneous, raw, and constant contact the norm. Join Philippe Von Borries, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of lifestyle media company Refinery29, as he discusses the advantages and challenges that this new landscape presents with concrete examples from Refinery29’s work and learnings over the past few years.

8. Watch never-before seen footage of HBO’s The Jinx with Director, Andrew Jarecki

Hosted by Social Media Week • Friday 2/26 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Andrew Jarecki (Director, HBO’s The Jinx) will discuss social media’s role in how fans experience the show before, during and after the now-infamous hot mic scene, as well as unveil never-before-seen footage from the show. Learn how much the chorus of Tweets, blog posts, and Facebook updates played a role in that collective gasp.

We hope to see you in New York for Social Media Week! Join over 2,000 leaders who register each year, and in 2016, #SMWNYC features two official venues: The TimesCenter (FWD Stage) and SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).

Attend the 100+ events with 200+ speakers for an incredible week you won’t want to miss. Get your pass here!

Storytelling in a Fragmented Media Environment: Keynote with National Geographic’s Chief Marketing Officer

National Geographic is known around the globe for it’s leadership in visually compelling factual and entertaining storytelling, and in this keynote session at SMW New York, Claudia Malley (Chief Marketing and Brand Officer, National Geographic) will share insights and learnings on how this 128 year-old brand has pioneered the new media and fragmented landscape and to maintain it’s leadership position among consumers.

Claudia Malley heads up brand marketing, membership and market research for National Geographic, and previously served as EVP, Global Corporate Partnerships for National Geographic Society where se oversaw all global corporate partnerships and sponsorships.

Her keynote, “The Power of Storytelling in a Fragmented Media Environment” takes place on Thursday the 25th at 9:30am at The TimesCenter.

Claudia became Vice President and U.S. Publisher of National Geographic magazine in 2004 and Executive Vice President and Worldwide Publisher in 2010. Malley has more than 25 years of experience in media brand management, sales and marketing, working across media disciplines including print, television and digital.

8 Sessions Exploring The Biggest Social Media Platforms and Emerging Trends

Across the globe, messaging apps are amassing huge audiences, social networks are attracting massive media budgets, and the next Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Spiegel might be sitting in the building right next to you.

The current social media landscape is a beast in itself, with Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine, Periscope, and a few others that dominate the conversation. But on the horizon, if not already here, are a combination of messaging platforms and emerging communities that could enter this mix.

WhatsApp, Viber and LINE are increasingly gaining traction as hubs for multimedia content, and other players like Giphy, Anchor, PicsArt, Dubsmash, and even Product Hunt are taking slices of the overall pie.

As organizations start to catch on, several publishers have already begun to pave the way for how to best deliver news and content, and engage with the growing user bases on these apps and platforms.

Register your pass to attend Social Media Week NYC, and bookmark these events to your schedule.

1. If you want to learn about the future of communications from a Facebook executive…

The Future of Communications with Michelle Klein, Facebook’s Head of Marketing for North America
Hosted by Facebook • Tuesday 2/23 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
The shift to mobile has already happened, and it’s radically changing the way businesses and people connect. Michelle Klein, Facebook’s Head of Marketing, North America, will explore the new kinds of tools and groundbreaking innovations completely transforming the way we communicate.

2. If you want to find out which brands are crushing it on Snapchat…

The Best Brands On Snapchat
Hosted by Nasdaq • Tuesday 2/23 at 12:30PM • TimesCenter
Snapchat is the new battleground for the most innovative brands. Meet the marketers behind the ghost that are already killing it on this emerging platform. Join leaders from MTV, VaynerMedia, Nasdaq, American Airlines, and The Wall Street Journal to learn more about the most innovating brands creating lasting experiences (that are more than 24 hours) on Snapchat.

3. If you want an overview of platforms taking over the media industry…

Mediapocalypse! Are Platforms Killing The Business Of Media And Advertising? And Why Won’t Anyone Talk About It?
Hosted by Deep Focus • Tuesday 2/23 at 2:30PM • TimesCenter
Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter are up-ending the media business. But will that end up killing it in the process? Publishers and advertisers, content producers and creators, advertisers and agencies are all dealing with the repercussions of distributed media models. Join Ian Schafer (Founder and Chairman, Deep Focus), Ricky Van Veen (Co-Founder and Executive, College Humor and IAC), and Lisa Weinstein (CEO, Engine Media Group) as they explore the end of times.

4. If you want to hear Mashable’s predictions on the future of multi-media messaging…

The New World of Social: How Publishers Are Using Messaging Platforms to Engage with Audiences
Hosted by Mashable • Tuesday 2/23 at 5:30PM • TimesCenter
Across the globe, messaging apps are amassing huge audiences. Though initially made popular as an alternative to SMS, chat apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Viber and LINE are increasingly gaining traction as hubs for multimedia content. In this session, you’ll hear directly from the strategists and producers at Mashable on how publishers are approaching these emerging digital platforms.

5. If you want to explore BuzzFeed’s lessons on creating cross-platform content…

Building A Great Social Presence The Resourceful Way
Hosted by BuzzFeed • Wednesday 2/24 at 11:00AM • SVA Theatre
In this interactive presentation, you’ll learn how BuzzFeed used careful targeting and precise forms of social media storytelling to build BuzzFeed into what it is today. Social experts Rachel Christensen and Summer Anne Burton will discuss the scrappy and unconventional ways of thinking about content to create sharable, memorable experiences without a sizable budget.

6. If you want to learn how to develop a Snapchat marketing plan…

Snapchat: How Brands Can Effectively Market On The Platform
Hosted by VaynerMedia • Wednesday 2/24 at 12:00PM • SVA Theatre
There’s no doubt Snapchat is the hottest social media platform in 2016. In this masterclass, you’ll learn the strategies behind the brands finding success with Snapchat marketing, and how to think about this new platform in the context of your brand. Speakers of this session include Dan Grossman (VP of Platform Partnerships, VaynerMedia), Farrah Bezner (Head of New Business Ventures, Mondelēz International), and Talya Minsberg (Social Media Editor, The New York Times).

7. If you want to learn about social media automation by building your own Twitter bot…

Twitter Bots And The Automation Of Everything
Hosted by Code and Theory • Thursday 2/25 at 11:00AM • SVA Theatre
In this session, you’ll get a hands-on, step-by-step explanation of how to build a Twitter bot, and why algorithms on major social platforms are maturing to become more relevant and meaningful to digital professionals. Nick Macri (Associate Director of Analytics, Code and Theory) will lead a conversation around automation in social media, and how you can use it everyday on a variety of platforms and networks.

8. If you want to have an intimate dialogue with social media leaders…

The Future Of Emerging Platforms: An Interactive Shorty Awards Trivia Game
Hosted by The Shorty Awards • Friday 2/26 at 4:00PM • SVA Theatre
Join digital media executives from leading organizations on social to discuss in an interactive format what captivates, engages and moves audiences, and then put your noggin to the test with game show trivia questions on emerging social and digital media platforms, and the new ways that brands are publishing content and growing their community at scale. Hear from Reelio, BuzzFeed, About.com, Bravo & Oxygen and other individuals from innovative brands.

We hope to see you in New York for Social Media Week! Join over 1,000 leaders who register each year, and in 2016, #SMWNYC features two official venues: The TimesCenter (FWD Stage) and SVA Theatre (EDU Stage). Attend the 70+ events with 200+ speakers for an incredible week you won’t want to miss. Get your pass here!

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: The Future Of Emerging Platforms: An Interactive Shorty Awards Trivia Game

The Shorty Awards are proud to present an interactive session featuring thought leaders from their community of Academy members, winners and collaborators. Hear from the top brands and organizations on social about what captivates, engages and moves audiences, and then put your noggin to the test with game show trivia questions the entire audience can participate in.

The topic of discussion will be emerging social and digital media platforms. At this point Snapchat is the emerging platform of record, Periscope is catching on, and no one seems to know what will (or will not) happen on Peach. This also extends to new ways brands are publishing #content and doing community management.

Register today, and bookmark this event to your schedule! On Friday, February 26th at 4:00pm, join the Shorty Awards at the SVA Theatre for “The Future Of Emerging Platforms: An Interactive Shorty Awards Trivia Game“. We’ll hear welcome the following leaders to the SMW New York stage:

  • Mark Borum (Co-Founder & VP of Marketing, Reelio)
  • Rachel Christensen (Managing Social Media Editor, BuzzFeed)
  • Gregory Galant (CEO & Co-Founder, Shorty Awards)
  • Matthew Knell (VP of Social Media and Platform Partnerships, About.com)
  • Rob McCarty (Chief Operations Officer, PopShorts)
  • Adam Zeller (VP of Social Media, Bravo & Oxygen Media)

After this event, come celebrate the end of Social Media Week at our VIP Closing Party! The closing party is for Insider Passholders only, so be sure to register (or upgrade) your pass in order to get your name onto the guest list.

9 Sessions at #SMWNYC That Will Help Your Paid Media Strategy

Paid media seems to become a more important conversation and investment everyday for digital marketers. Facebook generates billions of dollars from advertisers spending money to reach their target audiences, and for many of us, it’s working!

But, sometimes going from 0 to 60 can be overwhelming, and marketers are still figuring out which tactical and brand-building initiatives are most successful on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms

At Social Media Week New York, paid media is a huge topic of discussion. Leading brands in this space, such as Forbes, VaynerMedia, BuzzFeed, and Code and Theory, will lead sessions that will teach, inspire, and explore the wide world of paid media, and why it can be your organization’s key to success.

Purchase your pass for SMW New York to be among the 1,000+ industry leaders who learn and connect with each other through sessions like these:

1. How Data And Analytics Can Transform And Enhance Native Advertising Opportunities

Hosted by Forbes Media • Tuesday 2/23 at 11:00AM • SVA Theatre
Mark Howard (Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes Media) and Edward Kim (Co-founder and CEO, SimpleReach) will help attendees learn more about how brands can leverage native advertising over time via the web, mobile and social to reach target audiences.

2. The Best Brands On Snapchat

Hosted by Nasdaq • Tuesday 2/23 at 12:30PM • TimesCenter
Snapchat is the new battleground for the most innovative brands. Meet the marketers behind the ghost that are already crushing it on this emerging platform. Join Jeremy Skule (Chief Marketing Officer, Nasdaq), for an exciting chat with these Snapchat trailblazers.

3. Extending Lifetime Value – The Future Of Customer Engagement

Hosted by Simon Data • Tuesday 2/23 at 1:00PM • SVA Theatre
Learn how world’s savviest companies think about – and increase – customer lifetime value. Get an expert overview of the latest crop of marketing technologies, and learn more about the secret channel that’s been delivering huge value for some of NYC’s best e-commerce companies.

4. Bracing For The Ad-Blocked Future: How Brands Are Moving Beyond The Impression

Hosted by Crowdtap • Wednesday 2/24 at 9:00AM • SVA Theatre
Skipping ads. DVR-ing television shows. Installing ad-blockers. These behaviors have all become a common part of the Millennial experience. Led by Crowdtap’s CEO, Sean Foster, hear first-hand accounts of winning marketing programs that have invited consumers to help shape and tell a brand’s story, thereby building more emotional connections and driving long-term brand health.

5. Snapchat: How Brands Can Effectively Market on the Platform

Hosted by VaynerMedia • Wednesday 2/24 at 12:00PM • SVA Theatre
This masterclass led by Dan Grossman (Vice President of Platform Partnerships, VaynerMedia) together with Farrah Bezner (Head of New Business Ventures, Mondelēz International) and Talya Minsberg (Social Media Editor, New York Times) will detail best practices for how brands can market on Snapchat, such as the differentiation of Snapchat’s ROI vs. “more established” platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

6. The High Stakes Of Content Marketing As Seen By A Brand, Agency And Publisher

Hosted by Digiday • Wednesday 2/24 at 2:30PM • TimesCenter
When it comes to brands creating engaging content, the stakes have never been higher. The growth in programmatic and in ad blockers means that content needs to be at Hollywood-scale and cost half the price. This leadership series features in-depth presentations from Shareen Pathak (Digiday), Brian Becker (JPMorgan Chase), Stephanie Losee (POLITICO), and Jinal Shah (JWT New York).

7. Reach New Viewers! Develop Superfans! Impact Ratings! Launching A TV Show Via Social Media!

Hosted by VaynerMedia • Wednesday 2/24 at 3:00PM • SVA Theatre
Social media offers more ways than ever to build awareness around TV programs, but did you know it can drive and impact the new markers of success in today’s ever-changing television industry? This masterclass details how efficient, strategic media spend, time-shifting strategies and always-on content with a consistent voice can combine to increase buzz, awareness, and viewership (both linear and elsewhere like video-on-demand), with concrete, indisputable results.

8. Breaking Down the Silos: Unleashing Creativity in a World Where Social is Everything

Hosted by Droga5 • Wednesday 2/24 at 5:30PM • TimesCenter
In this session you’ll learn from Droga5’s experience working with brands and platforms on how to transition social media from a detached discipline to a shared mindset, leading to more influential and effective integrated creative work. Moderated by David Griner of Adweek, speakers include Colleen Leddy (Head of Communications Strategy, Droga5), Hope Cowan (Creative Agency Partner, Facebook), and Jim Mollica (Global Digital Marketing Strategy, Under Armour).

9. Create by Numbers: How Insights, Data, and Paid Media Shape the Creative Approach

Hosted by VaynerMedia • Friday 2/26 at 1:00PM • SVA Theatre
The volume of data and insights available for social media is changing how agencies and platforms strategize, spend, and steer clients. This session features speakers from VaynerMedia, Pinterest, and Fast Company who will explore the new ways of working together by bringing creative, strategy, account and paid media teams closer together than ever before.

We hope to see you in New York for Social Media Week! Join over 1,000 leaders who register each year, and in 2016, #SMWNYC features two official venues: The TimesCenter (FWD Stage) and SVA Theatre (EDU Stage). Attend the 70+ events with 200+ speakers for an incredible week you won’t want to miss. Get your pass here!

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: The Evolution of Data, Trust and Transparency in Advertising

Transparency is a highly placed value at The Economist Group and it is something that readers are demanding more of. But are they really having a transparent experience, or do they merely think they are?

Register to attend SMW New York to learn the good and the bad of marketers and publishers using more and more innovative methods to create, deliver and disguise digital advertising. Native advertising is the latest under scrutiny from the FTC, which released new guidelines last month, but it won’t be the last as more examples come to light where advertising is indistinguishable by consumers from content.

From hidden sponsorships to privacy, Mina Seetharaman (Global Director, Content Strategy at The Economist Group) will lead a panel with Tonia Ries (SVP and Executive Director, Edelman Square), Barbara Basney (VP of Global Advertising and Media, Xerox) and Amanda Rubin (Global Co-Head, Brand and Content Strategy, Goldman Sachs).

Making The Invisible Visible: The Evolving Roles Of Data, Trust And Transparency In Advertising And Publishing” takes place Tuesday, February 23 at 4:30PM at The TimesCenter (FWD Stage).

Unpack the Industry’s Latest Social Measurement Guidelines with IAB at #SMWNYC

Social media, including paid, owned and earned, continues to rapidly evolve, which is why Social Media Measurement Guidelines are needed to help agencies and marketers better understand the real impact of social media spend.

Recently, the Media Rating Council (MRC) issued Social Media Measurement Guidelines to help establish a detailed set of methods, definitions and common practices for organizations that measure social media activity.

Join us at SMW New York to hear leaders from IAB, Ogilvy & Mather, The Coca-Cola Company, Crowdtap, and Media Rating Council (MRC) to unpack these new guidelines, and examine its impact on the media industry. Why was it necessary to prepare these guidelines? Why it is important that we all used the same definitions to define key words? How, practically speaking, should the sell-side and buy-side use the guidelines on a daily basis?

Susan Borst, Director of Industry Initiatives at IAB, will lead this session, “Social Media Measurement: How Everyone Wins” on Tuesday, February 23rd at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).


★ Join thousands of industry leaders at SMW New York ★


About Susan Borst

Susan Borst is a Director of Industry Initiatives, heading up the Social Media, Content Marketing, Native Advertising, B2B and Games member committees to identify key challenges and opportunities for growth, and setting standards and best practices.

After 20+ years at top NYC creative agencies (Gotham, Kaplan Thaler Group, Grey Worldwide and Hill Holiday), Susan made the move to digital in 2010. At IAB, Susan leads the Social Media, Content Marketing, Native Advertising, B2B and Game Advertising committees, leading hundreds of digital publishers/platforms and technology providers to identify key challenges and opportunities for growth, and setting standards and best practices. Under her leadership, these groups have produced the IAB Native Advertising Playbook, Content Marketing Primer, Social Media Buyer’s Guide, Game Advertising Ecosystem Guide, User Generated Content guide, Building a B2B Brand Online For Dummies guide and many more.

Recent speaking engagements include OMMA Native, Business Insider Ignition, SXSW, Social Media Week in NYC and Chicago and more. She is on the jury for The Shorty Awards and the Content Marketing Institute Awards and was named one of the “15 People in NYC That are Changing Advertising That You Need to Know About” by Alley Watch (8/14) and named a “Top 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50” by Brand Quarterly (2015.) She is based out of NYC and lives in CT. She is also half Icelandic, but loves Swedish Fish.

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass.

Image Credit: Izea

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: The High Stakes Of Content Marketing and POV’s from Brand, Agency and Publisher

When it comes to brands creating engaging content, the stakes have never been higher. The growth in programmatic and in ad blockers means that content needs to be at Hollywood-scale and cost half the price. That means that brands, agencies and publishers need to prove that the level of investment in content is worth it.

This leadership series of presentations will be led by Shareen Pathak, Brands Editor at Digiday, and will examine how leading brands, agencies and publishers are strategizing, planning, creating, distributing and measuring the most successful campaigns.

The presentations will conclude with a quick-fire round with the leaders sharing their speedy and unfiltered thoughts on the hottest buzzwords in content marketing and what they mean for your business.

This session, “The High Stakes Of Content Marketing As Seen By A Brand, Agency And Publisher” will take place on Tuesday, February 23rd at 2:30pm on the FWD Stage at The TimesCenter Theatre.


★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★


View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Mediapocalypse! Ian Schafer of Deep Focus to Explore Platforms’ Leverage Over Media

Platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter are up-ending the media business. But will that end up killing it in the process? Publishers and advertisers, content producers and creators, advertisers and agencies are all dealing with the repercussions of distributed media models. But, can the business we’re in as-we-know-it survive the amount of change necessary?

Ian Schafer, the Founder and Chairman of Deep Focus, along with Ricky Van Veen (College Humor and IAC Executive) and Lisa Weinstein (President of Global Digital, Data and Analytics at Starcom Media Group) will explore the (possible) end of times in media, publishing, and everything in-between.

Join us at SMW New York for this session, “Mediapocalypse! Are Platforms Killing The Business Of Media And Advertising? And Why Won’t Anyone Talk About It?” taking place on Tuesday, February 23rd at 2:30pm on the FWD Stage at The TimesCenter.


★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★


About Ian Schafer

Ian Schafer has been at the forefront of advertising since 1997. A trailblazer who saw the potential of digital and the opportunities it offered for advertising, Ian founded Deep Focus in 2002. The award-winning global agency is lauded for its expertise and excellence in digitally led creative execution and media strategy, innovative agency operational models and consumer insights that drive engaging, value-driven experiences. Ian previously served as Vice President of New Media at Disney’s Miramax Films.

In 2007, he was named an Advertising Age Media Maven and in 2009, he was included on the list of Adweek’s Young Ones. Recognized by the Shorty Awards as Best CEO with a Social Media Presence, Ian is known for his unique perspective on everything from new technology and shifts in consumer culture and media consumption to traditional marketing and advertising. (via Deep Focus).

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Image Credit: about.me/ian

Starcom Media Group’s Lisa Weinstein Joins #SMWNYC to Examine the New Age of Publishers and Advertisers

Platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter are up-ending the media business. But will that end up killing it in the process? Publishers and advertisers, content producers and creators, advertisers and agencies are all dealing with the repercussions of distributed media models. But, can the business we’re in as-we-know-it survive the amount of change necessary?

Lisa Weinstein (President of Global Digital, Data and Analytics at Starcom Media Group), along with Ian Schafer (Founder and Chairman of Deep Focus) and Ricky Van Veen (College Humor and IAC) will explore the (possible) end of times in media, publishing, and everything in-between.

Join us at SMW New York for this session, “Mediapocalypse! Are Platforms Killing The Business Of Media And Advertising? And Why Won’t Anyone Talk About It?” taking place on Tuesday, February 23rd at 2:30pm on the FWD Stage at The TimesCenter.


★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★


About Lisa Weinstein

As President of Global Digital, Data & Analytics for Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), Lisa Weinstein leads digital and analytics capabilities for the company. She oversees all aspects of SMG’s digital expertise, including online, mobile, social, search, performance marketing, data, and analytics. Lisa’s leadership serves as a digital guide for many of the biggest marketers in the world, including Coca-Cola, P&G, and Microsoft.

Since joining SMG in 2011, Lisa has established the company’s ranking as a leading agency partner with Facebook, Google, and Microsoft and forged early-adopter relationships with social analytics partners like ShareThis and Visible Measures. She is leading SMG’s transformation into a data-driven, digital, and content-led business currently accounting for a near majority of the total global business.

A testament to the digital capability built under Lisa’s leadership, Forrester Research recently cited SMG among the leaders in the new interactive landscape—the first time a media agency has received this acknowledgement from Forrester. Outside of her work with Media groups, Lisa serves as an advisor for a number of start-ups in the media and ad-tech base. She is also a member of Google’s Global Media Council, the Forbes Executive Women’s Board, the AAF Board of Directors, and the IAB Agency Advisory Board

Prior to joining SMG, Lisa ran Mindshare Chicago where at 32-years-old she was the youngest person to ever run an office for the agency. In this post, she oversaw nearly 200 employees and more than $1 billion in billings for brands including BP, Motorola, Kimberly-Clark, and Abbott Laboratories. She also led operations to win nine new clients, doubling its size during her tenure.
Lisa’s achievements have earned her numerous professional honors, including induction into the AAF Hall of Achievement and recognition in Advertising Age and Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40,” iMedia 25 Innovators List, and MediaWeek’s “Media All-Star.” (via LinkedIn)

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Ricky Van Veen of CollegeHumor and Vimeo Will Discuss Content and Distributed Media Models at #SMWNYC

Platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter are up-ending the media business. But will that end up killing it in the process? Publishers and advertisers, content producers and creators, advertisers and agencies are all dealing with the repercussions of distributed media models. But, can the business we’re in as-we-know-it survive the amount of change necessary?

Ricky Van Veen (College Humor and IAC Executive), along with Ian Schafer (Founder and Chairman of Deep Focus) and Lisa Weinstein (President of Starcom Media Group) will explore the (possible) end of times in media, publishing, and everything in-between.

Join us at SMW New York for this session, “Mediapocalypse! Are Platforms Killing The Business Of Media And Advertising? And Why Won’t Anyone Talk About It?” taking place on Tuesday, February 23rd at 2:30pm on the FWD Stage at The TimesCenter.


★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★


About Ricky Van Veen

Ricky Van Veen is one of the principal owners and founders of Connected Ventures, a company formed around CollegeHumor that included BustedTees and Vimeo. He created the site as a student at Wake Forest, and was earning around $10-15 million a year before the partners sold a controlling stake to IAC, where Ricky is now an executive.

In 2009, Van Veen was appointed to become the CEO of the new production company, Notional, which produced material for traditional television. One of Notional’s most noteworthy TV shows is “Chopped” on the Food Network.

Ricky Van Veen also appears in some of CollegeHumor’s video series such as Jake and Amir and Hardly Working, as well as the former MTV program, The CollegeHumor Show.

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Image Credit: WPR

Take Command Of Your Data: Social Media Command Centers

This post is the first of a multi-part series with our partner Brandwatch, in which Will McInnes, CMO of Brandwatch, examines how brands can unlock the power of social data and social listening for business.

It’s not a secret: major businesses and agencies around the world heavily rely on social listening to inform and shape business strategy. Whether it’s in marketing and PR, customer service and crisis communications, or the merging of multiple data sources, social media command centers are the most sophisticated way to make the most out of social data.

Visuals are quickly becoming the go-to mode of communications in society from both an individual and professional perspective. Think about the last time you used an emoji, checked out an infographic, or absorbed data through an interactive map. It only makes sense that social data visualizations are a key part of taking command of social activities.

I know you’re wondering – “that’s all fine and good, but give me the details!” – and that’s just what I’m going to do.

There are very specific uses for social media command centers and innovative technologies are launching every day to help brands and agencies become the master of their social data.

Let’s take a look at some of them and how they can benefit your business.

Mission Control

First and foremost, a social media command center provides a central hub for one or all social-driven business needs and activities. It is the pulse of what’s being said about your brand, how your customers are discussing the industry and your competitors, and a treasure trove of potential conversations and influencers to tap for campaigns.

Brands can strategically streamline social activities by having a social command center live within their communications team. The best way to make the most out of engageable opportunities is to be in a position to see visualizations of social data in real-time up on the big screen – a social media command center platform.

The big-screen collaborative environment around social engagement promotes a much more unified voice in a company’s social outreach so when community managers reach out to customers, influencers, or media on social they are innately more synced up by simply being in the same place, looking at the same data.

Critical Conversations

Phone and email no longer remain the primary methods of customer service. And don’t even bring up brick and mortar customer service solutions. Consumers take to Twitter first and foremost to discuss concerns, issues, and praise products and brands.

It only makes sense that the social media command center is a natural home for customer service teams. Utilizing command centers for customer service keeps reps primed to provide constructive and helpful feedback to negative comments, and assist customers and answer questions in real-time with a human voice.

The visual elements in a social media command center make it easy to see and understand customer complaints online and prioritizes high importance issues with ease.

Reactive engagement at scale means that there must be strong systems in place to categorize and effectively eliminate the actual customer service issues from the noise and chatter that are less actionable – command centers can help provide that system.

Monitor and Neutralize Crises

Those that are all too familiar with a public relations crisis know that identifying and appropriately responding to crises early and smartly is essential to coming out the better end of it and avoiding the moniker “the next BP.”

How can a social command center help in a moment of crisis for your brand, industry, or global events? Live-streaming social content on a consumable display means that more employees can watch, pinpoint, and handle public complaints or issues before they become larger and more unmanageable.

The ability for PR or social teams to triage messages from social media command center screens to executive offices means having a more organized system for handling crises. In many instances, having that preparation is key in protecting the brand’s image.

Carpe Diem – Real-Time Opps

Social media has given rise to a host of real-time marketing strategies that have never existed before. Oreo is the seminal example (yes, you can dunk in the dark). Snickers also took a real bite out of World Cup social conversations thanks to some lightning-fast social reactivity.

Brands no longer have to wait to understand how the public is receiving their campaign – now they can keep track of the response as it unfolds online.

Considering how quickly online communities can develop strong opinions (both good, but more often bad news travel faster), staying aware of those views and being agile to the rapidly shifting online temperature can amplify a campaign’s success. Or perpetuate its failure.

With command centers, brands can instantly curate social discussions to prioritize mentions from key influencers, collaborate with the larger team and other departments on social platform replies, and compare performance against competitors.

Real-time information translates to real-time reactions.

In a time where waiting too long to respond can make or break your brand’s reputation, mitigating real-time opportunities on social media has become a “must-have” and not just a “nice-to-have.”

Competitive Edge

Competition is fierce, in any industry. Social media makes it that much harder to stay ahead of the curve, with brands fighting to be the fastest, the best, the most creative, and the most relatable.

Businesses can use the command center to track their brand’s performance against their competitors. Essentially, social media command center displays can act as a KPI board that employees can use as a primary indication of the company’s social performance.

The ability to visualize competitive benchmarks over the course of a day, week, month or year helps employees recognize the business’s social development over time and the key inflection points that cause spikes or lulls in social chatter.

Impress Everyone

Social media command centers are a visually appealing way to bring awareness of a brand’s online presence to life.

It’s a straightforward way to quickly give a snapshot of how a brand itself, or its products, is faring in online conversations for stakeholders, customers, and of course employees. Not to mention it’s a really nice visualization when guests are visiting an office.

Visualizations of any kind of data equate to sophistication, high-tech, and innovation, and by investing in a social command center a brand is making a bold statement about the way their business functions. They are investing in social.

So much of what we do as a society happens online – shopping, dating, connecting, and reconnecting along with so much more – that it only makes sense to give social media the importance and screens it deserves.

Command centers act as an excellent way to bring social media into the limelight, internally, and is a great way to drive transparency, high-level industry conversations, and even promote company culture. Social media posts are an unadulterated, unsolicited straight line into the consumer mindset. Command centers give employees a link back to the ground where customers’ everyday thoughts and opinions are driving businesses and praising or challenging brands every day.

If it’s not obvious, it should be that a brand’s online presence has an effect on everyone in the business. Understanding how each employee plays a role in shaping that online image is important.

Small Steps Equal Leaps and Bounds

It’s vital for brands to use social listening to help the various departments in your business. It’s not just social media community managers or PR managers who can benefit from being plugged into the social conversation about your brand and industry. Everyone can benefit.

Product development teams take consumer feedback and can integrate it into product updates and gain valuable insights for new features. Customer service reps can address equipment failures or in-person issues with lightning speed and agility. CEOs can knowledgeably showcase the latest competitive rankings based on news mentions or online conversations.

The social visualization possibilities are endless.

Taking command of your social data means taking it a step further by investing in social command centers. The first step is evaluating your enterprise needs to determine your departmental and business strategies and how much of that is driven by social media and online conversations. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a discipline in your business that doesn’t benefit from being tapped into the central vein that is social.

 

What new possibilities are there now that a business is social?  To learn more, join Will McInnes at Social Media Week New York on Thursday February 26, where we learn how to strategically use social listening for business.

Social Media Week New York begins on February 23. For the full event schedule and how you can join us, visit here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attendee Spotlight: CMO Of MRY David Berkowitz Shares His Top Picks For #SMWNYC

With a passion for emerging technology, mobile and social media, Social Media Week attendees always strive to understand and share what’s next. This February, we’re excited to explore “Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of The Connected Class” throughout the conference, and what this theme represents from today until 2022, when six billion individuals will be connected to each other online. The sessions you won’t want to miss feature leading companies sharing their top strategies and predictions of what’s happening, and what’s to come.

To help you discover the best of Social Media Week New York, we asked a few of our attendees to share their top picks for events, talks and masterclasses taking place throughout the week.  Below, David Berkowitz, Chief Marketing Officer at agency MRY, gives us a look at the events he doesn’t want to miss:

  1. Quantifying Fashion’s Love Affair With Instagram: What To Post And How To Calculate ROI
    “A how-to guide for Instagram that includes tips for measuring effectiveness should be interesting to many marketers, and not just those in the fashion industry.”
  2. Measuring Attention And Intention, With The New York Times
    “The New York Times has released a slew of innovative formats both for their content and advertising, so understanding their perspective on attention will be invaluable, especially given the deep experience of presenter Michael Zimbalist.”
  3. The New DIY: Drones, Makers And Bots: A Fireside Chat With Martha Stewart And CEO Of The Barbarian Group Sophie Kelly
    “I was curious about this just because I saw drones in the title. That it features Martha Stewart is a bonus, especially after I saw that she released a line of designs for Makerbot.”
  4. Why 2015 Will Be The Year Of Social Video
    “Boning up on video is a good use of time at SMW, especially given all the great data that Socialbakers has.”
  5. Decoding Wearables: Leveraging Wearable Tech Platforms In Campaigns
    “I’m excited to do a lot more with wearables this year, and I’m really excited that this session focuses on data and insights.”
  6. Rev. Jesse Jackson: Why Diversity In Tech Matters
    “I can’t wait to hear the thoughts of Rev. Jackson, who has decades of experience in championing diversity. I do hope that this doesn’t just apply to tech though; the ad industry has its own challenges with diversity too.”
  7. A Fireside Chat With B. Bonin Bough Of Mondelez
    “I’ve heard Bonin speak a lot about tech and brands, so I’m curious to hear what he has to say about artists and brands. I also have to plug this as I’ve had the honor of sharing the stage with Bonin on more than one occasion, and it’s so damn hard trying to follow him once he takes the mic.”
  8. Storytelling With Vine: How To Create Short Form Videos That People Remember
    “I’m not convinced every brand needs to be on Vine, and it’s so hard to do well. Yet with other platforms like Snapchat offering new creative formats for short-form content, Mashable is one of the best producers out there, and I’m hoping this will be inspiring.”

Get your pass today, and join us and our partners for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our upwardly mobile, connected world.

About David Berkowitz

mry headshot-002David Berkowitz is Chief Marketing Officer at agency MRY, where he spearheads marketing operations, directs the agency’s communications, and gains visibility for clients such as Visa, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca-Cola. Previously, he spent seven years at 360i, serving as Vice President of Emerging Media; he also co-founded its social media practice and led its Startup Outlook initiative. David has contributed more than 500 columns to outlets such as MediaPost, Ad Age, and Mashable, and he has penned his blog MarketersStudio.com since 2005. He has spoken at more than 250 events globally, and he is mentioned regularly in the press.

Listen To StartUp, A Podcast About Starting A Podcast Startup

Alex Blumberg in real life sounds just like Alex Blumberg on the radio.

If you’ve ever listened to This American Life, the massively popular weekly radio show, or Planet Money, NPR’s excellent economy-explaining podcast, you know Alex Blumberg’s voice. I certainly did. Today, as he stands in front of the laptop he’s perched on a wooden chair atop a long table (a brilliant hack of a standing desk), it’s hard not to close my eyes and just listen.

That is, of course, exactly what Blumberg is hoping for. As reported on The Verge, in the brand-new offices of Gimlet Media, on the fifth floor of a downtown Brooklyn co-working building, amid piles of old furniture and terrifying art, Blumberg and his colleagues are attempting to build a big business out of podcasts. They’ve been chronicling their adventures in — what else? — a podcast, called StartUp. It offers an intimate, funny, and occasionally deeply awkward look at what it takes to start a company. The podcast quickly became popular, and so did Gimlet: Blumberg and his co-founder Matt Lieber raised $1.5 million in venture capital, hired a team, and honed their pitch. That pitch, in a nutshell: we’re entering a golden age of audio, the first since we all sat around radio cabinets and listened to The War of the Worlds. The future of radio is here.

PODCASTS ARE A DECADE OLD, BUT THEY’RE JUST STARTING TO MAKE NOISE

Podcasts aren’t new, of course. Even the term has been around for a decade or so, and now feels hilariously dated. (What is a pod anymore? Or, for that matter, a cast?) They have traditionally been thought of as two people sitting at a table with microphones, chatting aimlessly about… whatever. ESPN, for one, has built a huge podcast network on the shoulders of Bill Simmons chatting with his friends on The BS Report and its many other shows focused deeply on a single topic or a single host. Yet Gimlet Media and others are betting that there’s room for more. More production, more storytelling, more narrative. So far, it seems like they’re right.

Podcast app screenshot

Hi my name is David and I am addicted to podcasts

Serial, the remarkable murder mystery told by Sarah Koenig (another This American Lifealum), is the fastest-growing podcast in history. It’s spawned discussion boards, truthers, deniers, other podcasts, and a level of fanaticism rarely seen this side of Lost.Radiotopia, a new network of shows anchored by the popular 99% Invisible, raised more than $600,000 on Kickstarter in an effort to create essentially an indie label for podcasters. The audience is growing larger and more dedicated, spending hours per day listening to shows about everything from fantasy football to terraforming.

As the shows and audience expand, the technology and infrastructure for podcasts is picking up as well. iTunes remains the behemoth of the podcasting industry, the place where most people find things to listen to. Apple now bakes a podcast app — and a decent one at that — into the iPhone, which has gone a long way toward making people aware of the fact that podcasts even exist in the first place. There are other great apps, too, like Overcast and Pocket Casts.

Top Shelf podcasts

Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX and Radiotopia

TuneIn and Deezer have both made commitments to podcasts, placing them among their more traditional radio offerings. Spotify, Pandora, and others are rumored to be doing the same. SoundCloud has done wonders for the podcast industry; more than one person told me that uploading and sharing audio online was an awful experience before SoundCloud made something universally embeddable. Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are poised to finally teach us how to connect our phones to our cars, meaning the hours a day we spend driving can be spent listening to what we want, not aimlessly scanning through FM frequencies.

LISTENING TO PODCASTS IS FINALLY AS EASY AS IT SHOULD BE

The opportunity for audio, at least according to Alex Blumberg, is huge. There’s far more room for audio in our lives than even video; we can listen to podcasts while we do dishes, mow the lawn, ride the subway, even while we work. The tech is there, in our pockets. All we need now is something to listen to.

So Blumberg clears his throat and starts talking. He reads his part of the script he’s written, then hits space on his computer and plays audio. Sometimes it’s Blumberg’s wife who begins to talk, other times it’s Matt Lieber, who sits in the room taking notes while his voice comes from Blumberg’s laptop. Blumberg soon stops the audio and speaks again, occasionally stopping and typing, editing his script on the fly. He apologizes every time he stumbles in his reading, which isn’t often. He says things like “establishing sound here that I haven’t pulled yet,” and sneaks bites of his lunch while others’ sound bites play.

Top Shelf podcasts

After 20 minutes or so, he’s gone through a rough cut of episode seven of StartUp, which the whole of Gimlet Media is nervous about. In it, Blumberg asks listeners for money. Money to make up the last $200,000 of the $1.5 million. He’s offering a few lucky listeners a stake in the company, while warning them of the risks and the many, many regulatory hurdles to investing. (After the episode aired, Gimlet raised the money in less than an hour.) He finishes reading, makes a face at his team, and says, “Well, there you go.” Everyone else furiously shares their Google docs with each other, and edits begin.

Making a podcast, even one about making a podcast, is hard work. But more than ever before, this is the right time to try. Podcasts won’t kill AM and FM as we know it, at least not anytime soon, but they’re on the precipice of becoming totally and utterly mainstream. They offer what we want, when we want, wherever we want. They’re our own personalized radio, with every topic, every show, and every host you love on exactly your own schedule.

Everything podcasts were named for might now be dead, but podcasts are just starting to come alive. The future of radio is here, and it’s awesome.

Cyber Monday Special: Save 50% On Your #SMWNYC Pass, Today Only!

Social Media Week NYC is back, taking place from February 23 – February 27, 2015!

In the spirit of Cyber Monday, today only, we’re offering a special 50% discount on your pass to SMWNYC! Just go here, select your Pass and redeem your 50% discount.

email-cyber-monday-sale

Thank you again for helping us make SMW NYC what it is. We can’t wait to celebrate the week with you in February!

7 Apps, Websites, And Stadiums At The Forefront Of Sports Media Innovation

Tensions have run high between Kansas City and the Bay Area ever since those plucky west Missourians earned the honor of being city number one for Google Fiber installation, overshadowing the less publicized beta launch on Stanford’s campus. That history is sure to motivate the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals as they clash in this year’s World Series, starting tonight.

Well, maybe not, but Uncubed will use the occasion as an excuse to talk sports – namely, sports media, a landscape long dominated by that fratty, four-lettered behemoth from Bristol, Connecticut known as ESPN. From new broadcasting formats to futuristic stadiums to an athletes-only publication, Uncubed shares the lowdown on how sports media are finally escaping the shackles of complacency.

Players’ Ball

The dawn of Twitter brought with it something novel for sports fans: unfettered, instant access to many of their favorite athletes’ thoughts. Derek Jeter’s newly launched sports journal, The Players’ Tribune, gives athletes a new platform – an online magazine with a staff of athlete essayists. Since soft-launching at the start of October, Players’ Tribune pieces have addressed topics from domestic violence to Donald Sterling, offering thoughtful takes on hot-button issues in place of careful interview answers and publicist statements.

Voices In Your Head

A few months ago, we reported on SecondMic, which lets fans choose which broadcaster (or podcaster) they listen to during a game instead of being stuck with subpar commentators. With TOK.tv, enjoying an alternative audio feed while watching the game becomes participatory. Up to four remotely scattered friends can audio chat while browsing the app’s interface for game updates. Suddenly, watching your hometown team from across the country becomes a bit less lonely.

All In The Community

If Facebook is like a giant high school cafeteria, think of FanCred as the locker room (sans nudity). The iOS app creates a digital scrapbook for sports fans to share their excitement and exasperation in real time. On the other side of the spectrum, social networks for aspiring athletes are also cropping up – FieldLevel helps four-year college coaches connect with high school and junior college coaches in the recruiting process, and BeRecruited serves as a LinkedIn for aspiring college athletes.

Crowd Fun

A day out at the stadium is rife with tradition – the same chants, the same lines, the same overpriced hot dogs. Levi’s Stadium, the new stadium of the San Francisco 49ers, is changing all that. In-house apps enable line tracking, food and beverage delivery, and streaming video of other games in action. The public reception has been mixed due to various bugs, and there’s still no app for inadequate leg room, but other stadiums are sure to follow the tech-ready model.