Jim Long - Digital Media and Culture
Digital Media Conference East – Media Leaders and Influencers Descend on DC

Digital Media Conference East – Media Leaders and Influencers Descend on DC

Paul Sherman of Potomac Tech Wire leads a conversation with Steve Case

Engaging, inspiring, and invigorating –  how I describe the Digital Media East  conference that I attended last week in the DC metro area.  Let’s face it, some of these confabs leave a little to be desired – shop worn topics, the usual suspects peddling the same presentations.

This was not one of those conferences. The Digital Media Conference is produced by Digital Media Wire, who run a number of smart events throughout the year, in addition to newsletters and media focused on the business of digital media.  If you’re interested in the future of media, I would urge you to attend one of their events.  My only complaint is that they packed so much valuable content into one day, that I was forced to choose between great sessions that took place at the same time.

Takeaways: Data Points to Strong Future for Digital Media

My personal takeaway from the Digital Media Conference is that the data, the investment, and the innovation in action-based advertising all point to opportunities for entrepreneurs to create new internet TV networks and for legacy media to engage new audiences in creative ways.  Here are the panels I was able to attend:

  • Research Presentations: Top Digital Media Trends
  • Keynote: Steve Case,  AOL, Revolution LLC, The Case Foundation, Startup America
  • Investing in Digital Media: VCs Speak
  • Cutting the Cord: Checking in on the Revolution
  • Cross Platform Video Distribution
  • Branded Entertainment

Notable Quotables from the Digital Media Conference

I managed to jot down some salient points from the various panels that resonated with me.  To find more conversation about the conference, you should check out the #DMCE hashtag on Twitter.

Steve Case Keynote

people will be watching more television through the internet

imbalance between where people spend their time and where advertisers spend their money

– Steve Case – Co-Founder, AOL Chairman, Revolution LLC Chairman, The Case Foundation Chairman, Startup America

Research/Data Panel

next iteration of TV advertising will be centered on reaching and engaging consumers via internet-enabled devices

Consumption trends among young consumers will drastically alter distribution and business models

– Heather Way, Research Analyst, Parks Associates

when we’re flooded with information, discovery becomes king

– Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist & Director of Research, CEA

Venture Capital Panel

the environment has improved a lot so that means more money going into startups

– Thanasis Delistathis, New Atlantic Ventures

Subsctriptions are going to make a comeback as a business model

– Don Rainey – Grotech Ventures

Don’t try and be the ‘Facebook of X

– Tige Savage, Revolution, LLC

(Social Media) “one of the most overfunded areas of the internet

– Thanasis Delistathis, New Atlantic Ventures

Cross Platform Video Distribution

at the end of the day, you want to make it easy for the publishers to use the content

– Alvin Bowles CEO Grab Networks

everything about doing this for mobile has been very very hard

– Jon Brendsel VP Products, PBS on app development

(on ad revenue) it’s peanuts right now… the missing piece is just scale

Richard Bloom – SVP Biz Dev 5min Media/AOL video

Branded Entertainment

what we see coming… fully interactive experiences that do incorporate video… that actually allow for you to participate

– Jeff Gomez, CEO, Starlight Runner Entertainment

(on product placement) if the tone is correct an there is some smart thinking behind the brand then yes it is ok

– Jeff Gomez, CEO, Starlight Runner Entertainment


Paths to Success

Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback at the Digital Media Conference East

So what we see here are fragments of a robust, growing, and maturing ecosystem in the digital video space.  The actual conferences sessions filled in all of the blanks with quality panels guided by engaging moderators. While none of this is easy – this is a complex and evolving space – there are succes stories. I had the opportunity to meet Jim Louderback of Revision3 at the conference.  He is one of those success stories.

I caught up with him to ask him how his company has become successful in this emerging marketplace.

Q&A with Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3
Q: One of the VC guys on an earlier panel said he’d never back an ad revenue based venture, yet at the same conference another Steve Case said there’s a disconnect between where ad $$ is being spent and where people are watching (digital). Are you optimistic about the future of ad supported internet TV? Why? Where do you see this stuff going?
A: Absolutely, ad support is a key component of media in general, and it is only going to increase. I’m optimistic about ad supported internet video because the viewing percentage compared to regular TV is so much higher than the revenue percentage – and it’s proven to be a better branding and action-based environment than both the internet and traditional TV
Q: Established, linear media are using social extensions of their brands to engage new audiences and create loyalty. Emerging, upstart internet TV plays have lived on the web and have built their brands there. How essential is social tv to both legacy and emerging media brands. How do you do it “right”? What is “social TV”?
A: All media is social, internet delivered media has the advantage of using the direct social tools already available to spur the kinds of social connections we already use to talk about traditional media. Doing it right means focusing on your audience, what they want, and listening to them, rather than shoving social down their throats.
Q: You travel about as much as I do, how important is it for you to attend conferences like Digital Media Conference in terms of building brand awareness about Revision3?
A: It’s very important to talk to people face to face and to listen to them talk about their ideas, visions and products. I get inspired by what others are doing, and it makes me envision things in ways that I couldn’t just sitting at home playing with Facebook and Twitter.
Q: What makes you guys so successful, what’s your secret sauce?
A: Lots of hard work, listening to the audience and not being afraid to make mistakes

So as I look back on the conference, the engaging panel discussions, and meeting great people like Jim Louderback, I’m energized about the future of digital media. What about you? Are you a digital media entrepreneur? Are you entrepre-curious? What is you’re path to becoming a micro media mogul?

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  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com Donna Maria Coles Johnson

    This sounds like a super interesting event. Thanks for the synopsis. I wish I’d been there to hear more about the over-funding of social media and especially the “come back” of the subscription business model. Even though they were probably talking about it from a media company perspective, it’s interesting to me since some of my business model is membership/subscription based. Thanks again!

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