The internet is under new management.
Yahoo’s marketing campaign, “It’s You”, launched in September
2009, summarizes the subject of this presentation. That, the new
chief executive of the online world is YOU. One of the campaign
print ad states: “You are about to enter a place shaped by you. For
You. Yahoo.com.” You determine what it is you want uploaded on
your web page, and customize it based on your own unique taste
and inclination - video, pictures, colours, layout, blog links, social
forums, search preferences, and mobile conversion formats.
We are constantly faced with changing formats, from the way we receive and utilize media content,
to our interaction with online media platforms like Yahoo, YouTube and Facebook. We are moving away
from preset programming, fed to us by broadcast networks, to continually evolving audience networks
and our own social connections. You and I, the media consumers of the 21st Century, will not only determine
what we want to see, when and how we see it, but also, shape future brands and their content by our acceptance
or adaptation of their offerings into our orbit and sphere of influence. We are the face of the new media world.
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“Audience Networks are human-based; rather than relying
Mike walsh, a leading authority +
walsh on satellites or transmitter towers, consumers access
keynote speaker on the digital content via links with other consumers. Those links might be
future, states in his groundbreaking direct [a referral from a friend], or indirect [generated from
literary masterpiece, a list of recommendations]. The crucial difference from how
Futuretainment: Yesterday the a traditional media network works, is that the interaction of
world changed, now it’s your turn: people within the new network makes it smarter.”
“ You can find Audience Networks everywhere: a circle of friends
connected via an instant-messaging program, a group of business
associates joined on a business-networking site such as LinkedIn,
teenagers’ blogging about their favorite online personality, a celebrity
with a million followers on Twitter, a network of electro fans on
Facebook, or a statistically similar set of book-buyers on Amazon. ”
During the Second World War, Americans visited the movie theatres to watch news highlights of the war.
Now, we watch live television + breaking news across the globe on CNN. For over half a century, we have
depended on TV guides + journals to check out weekly and monthly updates in entertainment. Now, we can
record our favourite movies and sport programmes directly from our mobile phones, for up to ten days in
advance, and watch them at our leisure. In the near future, this context would likely seem odd and “out-of-
place”. It would be like telling someone, that in order to have a memorable experience, one must watch
Avatar at the movie theater.
That thought belongs to yesterday.
Today is about future thinking.
The consumer has already moved beyond fixed platforms, and does not want to be restricted to form and context any longer. Tendencies
are that consumers will likely watch and listen more to media content that have been formatted to fit within their lifestyles, are convenient and
have dynamic, adaptable formats for sharing and personalization. Say, for instance, I purchase “The Blind Side” on iTunes, and download to my
iPad. After I finish watching the film, I’ll rename it “Donnie’s Blind Side”, probably give it a grade of 3 or four stars, share my review with friends
on Twitter, and add a link to a reformatted version of the movie that can be downloaded and watched – free of charge. A worthy prize to my
followers who also discuss movie trends and share similar links on the same subject.
power of Media + entertainment companies as we know it
will become dinosaurs of the golden age, unless
they drastically change their content distribution
strategies. We are currently witness to the
You! demise of print titles and their evolution to
compatible digital platforms.
More and more, we find out that consumers only watch a movie
or show that has been referred through their Facebook pal, or
shared by a favourite blogger on their audience network.
Popularity + future ratings of television series like Spartacus: Blood
and Sand will be dependent on the number of tweets or
comments posted on an article about it; and buzz items and
shared links that are woven around it. No longer would it be about
weekend box office or DVD sales. The success of huge TV shows
like “Oprah” and “America’s Next Top Model” will become wholly
dependent on what + how consumers feel about it.
If an influencer – someone held in high esteem and commands
huge traffic to his blog + rss feed comments negatively
about America’s Next Top Model, chances are that these comments
would be retweeted, layered with personal thoughts, and forward
to Facebook friends, customized with a picture or two, and video
link from YouTube.
Audience networks will in turn take over the message,
personalizing it with their own distinctive remarks and
observations, and feeding it into their individual networks - that
could average over one million people within 24 hours. If the
reactions + feedback are negative, and generally in line with the
influencer’s observation, chances are that viewership + ratings will
drastically drop for the reality TV show, as it would have lost a
share of its captive audience overnight.
The power of social media influencers cannot be over-
emphasized. With the expansion of Twitter, Facebook
and Google into other sectors beyond their primary
constituencies, consumers are now able to harness
content via various mobile platforms and can instantly
share their thoughts and ideas like never before.
In the February edition of Advertising Age’s Digital Issue, Lady Gaga
was listed as No. 1, and featured on the front cover with the poser:
“This Is the New Face of Social-Media Marketing.”
The choice of putting Lady Gaga as social media’s
influencer par excellence was adduced as follows:
“ Lady Gaga, with her army of nearly 2.8 million Twitter followers and more than 5.2 Facebook fans, can move
product. Since fall 2008, her digital-single sales have exceeded 20 million and her album sales hit 8 million, all
at a time when no one under the age of 60 buys CDs anymore. The November première of her video for “Bad Romance”
…debuted on LadyGaga.com before MTV or any other outlet could play it—resulting in a Universal Music server crash,
a Twitter trending topic that lasted all week and a cumulative 110 million [and counting] views on YouTube to date,
more than any viral music video of yore…could ever claim.
” [source: Advertising Age]
In April 2009, Ashton Kutcher became
the first person to boast of 1 million
followers on Twitter …
…narrowly beating CNN’s breaking-news feed, which had 998,239
followers at the time. CNN crossed the million-mark 30 minutes
later. That same day, Kutcher appeared on “Larry King Live”
to talk about the power of Twitter.
“We now live in an age in media that a single
voice can have as much power and relevance
on the Web, that is, as an entire media network.
And I think that to me was shocking.”
Increasingly, mainstream media is now dictated by
social media feeds + audience networks.
Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and
Ashton Kutcher have become media powerhouses in
their own right. They can launch their own camera,
perfume, lipstick or bestseller, and even produce an
independent movie flick, and are assured of a loyal
fan base that will buzz and tweet about everything
they do + carry on the news to potential consumers
and purchasers of their products.
Kutcher has gone on to exploit his social status by
launching Katalyst, a new kind of Media Company
that attempts to “bridge the gap between
Hollywood, technology and Madison Avenue.”
Ellen McGirt in her Fast Company article on Katalyst
proclaimed on the headliner: “Mr. Social: Ashton
Kutcher Plans to Be the Next New Media-Mogul.”
She posits further: “The Katalyst HQ series
illuminates what Kutcher’s production company
wants to become: not just a home for his television
and movie projects but also a go-to source for brands
looking to deploy what’s called “influencer
marketing,” a squishy hybrid of entertainment
content, advertising, and online conversation that
finds its audience via video, animation, Twitter,
blogs, texts, and mobile.”
True to form, within a few short months, Katalyst
had attracted top multinational clients like Pepsi,
Kellogg and Nestle to its rooster, based on Kutcher’s
social networking power and influence - 4.6 million
Twitter followers and 3.3 million Facebook fans.
The more we interact with one
another online, and leave ‘tags’
and signatures that can be
traced back to us, the more we
become searchable on the
internet. People begin to relate
to us by what we share, say and
do online. If you blog about
something that is relevant, and
connects with others who have
the same beliefs and ideals,
there is a high potential for your
blog to attract huge traffic, as
followers of followers of your
original audience will check out
why their influencers find you
cool, and worth chatting about.
Consumers weaving their web of instant checking, tracking and alerting. Source: www.trendwatching.com
Media companies + marketers are now consulting with “social magnates” [revise that definition], and
spending millions of marketing dollars leveraging their brands by supporting “people with connections”, and
not necessarily celebrities that have won a Grammy or Wimbledon championship. The likelihood today, is that
if you are a trending topic for a minute, and I mean that, literary, you could get your own reality TV show and
attract endorsements if you have a smart manager behind you.
We all know the story of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and most recently, the famous Virginia couple,
the Salahis, that crashed the November 2009 White House state dinner, and shook hands with President
Obama. Michaele and Tareq Salahi have been awarded a gig by Bravo on growing reality television franchise,
“The Real Housewives of D.C.” Talk about exploiting all avenues.
Our blogs, emails, online profiles, Facebook status, Tweets + LinkedIn messages are all interlinked, and will be
structured to form our own personal media companies. The number of contacts and followers we have in our
individual network, the popularity of our profile, opinions and web links on various topics, and the volume of
visits to our websites, blogs + social forums will justify your company’s rating and sphere of influence under the
new media watch list, and the value of your media ratecard.
Food for thought.
A visualization of [gigantic] global online traffic from The internet Mapping Project . Source: www.springwise.com + www.mediaspin.com
Thanks goes to the following individuals + companies for citation of their original
materials and use of photos:
Mother New York
of a m/ad man
franklinozekhome™ is a strategic planner, trendspotter, and a student of
culture and brands. A leading authority + keynote speaker on brand
marketing, future trends, and Nigerian marketnomics, he was recently
nominated by The Future Awards as “2010 Business Professional of the
Year.” Ozekhome previously held senior roles at InsightGrey and
McCann Erickson, and has spent over a decade advising leading
companies and brands like British Airways, Samsung, Audi, PepsiCo,
British American Tobacco, MTN, Access Bank and Emirates Airline.
He is the Founder + Chief Strategy Officer of Identiture®, a New York
based, strategic planning firm, helping brands like Good Burger, CraVe
Sandwiches and SignaPay embrace new ideas.
Follow his rants, raves and tantrums on Twitter@donniefranklin.