Beachfront Media and Playlist Live

The Beachfront team just returned from Playlist Live Orlando, the sold out event that attracts fans, YouTubers and supporters of online video.  The three day event was jam-packed with fun meetups, performances, dance parties and events.

The team had a blast hanging out with some of the industry’s most popular YouTube and Vine stars in the Beachfront Media hospitality suite. Visitors enjoyed our slow-motion video booth. Check out these fun videos:

Adam from Epic Meal Time – Chewing Gum in Slow Motion

Laina Morris + Connor Manning Show Off Some Serious Dance Moves

Bryan + Johnnie Have an Epic Battle

Our feet are still sore from the VIP dance party and we are excited to kick off some great video apps for many of the creators that we met at the Playlist Live VIP party. As we say goodbye to this fun event, we can’t wait for the next one!

For more videos captured at Playlist Live check out our Instagram and YouTube channels.

Ready to turn your video feeds into apps? Check out Beachfront Builder

Introducing The Taste App

The Taste

Earlier this month, Beachfront Media and Kinetic Content worked together to create a mobile video app for the popular TV show The Taste.

This is becoming a growing trend with many TV shows. Creating a mobile app has several obvious advantages:

  • It engages viewers on a second screen, both while the show is airing, and afterwards.
  • It’s a further point of engagement after the series ends. TV shows generally last only a few weeks… but apps can last all year long.
  • TV shows capture far more content than can ever be used on-air. Mobile apps are an effective way to push this content out to loyal fans on a regular basis that might otherwise never live on past the cutting room floor.
  • TV shows are some of the most discussed topics on social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Apps are able to aggregate this social content and enable further engagement and discussion within a community that very much cares about the show and its personalities.

With that in mind, The Taste app hits all the right notes. Videos include behind-the-scenes outtakes, profiles of mentors (Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre, and Marcus Samuelsson), overviews of the contestants, cooking tips and other instructional videos, social integration with Facebook and Twitter, and even recipes from both the judges and contestants. And much of the behind-the-scenes content is exclusive to the app.

Whether they’re an extension of a YouTube channel or a cable channel, mobile apps service the same purpose—audience engagement. The creator of the video can draw viewers from a platform owned, managed and controlled by another into one they’ve created themselves. Video viewers are not exclusive to any one device or platform, so why not have a presence wherever they reside?

Check out The Taste app on iOS and Android.

Beachfront.iO Monetizes TV Apps

The video advertising is a highly fragmented one which can make monetizing video experiences across all four screens fairly daunting. App developers and content publishers typically rely on several different ad networks, exchanges, and direct ad sales to monetize their experiences across the various platforms where they reside. That’s just a reality of today’s market.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t manage all those ad networks through a single platform to bring some level of convenience to the current  ecosystem. That’s why we built the Beachfront.iO ad mediation platform, and that’s why we’re proud to announce today that Beachfront.iO is expanding to Connected TVs.

The Beachfront.iO platform allows app owners who use it to manage multiple ads and sources of ads in their applications, optimized for the different devices their app appears on—such as mobile phones, tablets, or now… TVs. They can use their own directly sold ads, ads from other ad networks, ads from ad exchanges, or back-fill to our Marketplace. There’s no need to commit to just one, which results in a faster time to market, more relevant and effective ads, and better monetization across the board.

Beachfront.iO Key Benefits:

  • Maximize Revenue – Increase revenue with access to hundreds of ad sources or leverage your own video ad inventory & optimize yield across all sources with back-fill to Beachfront.
  • Advanced Targeting – Target ads by platform all the way down to zip code and more.
  • Maximize Speed – Ultra-fast serving of video ads, all done in real-time and dynamically.
  • Multi-platform Support – Control and deliver ads across iOS, Android, Kindle, mobile web and Connected TV devices including including LG, Samsung, Google and Roku.
  • World-Class Ad-Serving with Lightweight SDK – Develop, test and deploy. Control mobile video advertising inventory in a single dashboard.

Adding Connected TVs to this mix is an important milestone. As we saw at CES this year, Smart TVs & Game Consoles with Internet and app capabilities are on the upswing, quickly replacing 3D as the must-have feature for the next generation of home entertainment systems. As Internet video continues to find a home on living room entertainments sets, viewership will increase, and the opportunity to earn more revenue from that activity will only grow. Go try out Beachfront.iO here.

PS> Frank Sinton, our CEO and other members of the Beachfront team will be at the NATPE event this week. Let us know if you are interested in learning more by contacting us at bizdev@beachfrontmedia.com.

 

Beachfront at NATPE

Beachfront Media CEO Frank Sinton will be attending the upcoming NATPE conference in Miami next week, armed with several topics to discuss.

For starters, Frank is will be speaking on the panel “Television Everywhere: How Will Profits Grow as Screens Diversify?” Frank, and Beachfront Media, feel monetizing multi-screen distribution is a key topic that will define the coming year. Frank will break down the various strategies for doing so (subscription vs. a la carte vs. advertising) and provide some insights into the advertising model based on both the Beachfront network and the Beachfront.io platform.

(Speaking of the iO platform, Beachfront is expanding the ad mediation platform to support additional devices. Stay tuned for an announcement on that early next week.) The panel takes place Monday, Jan. 27, from 12:00 – 12:45, and features additional speakers from Vevo, Yahoo, and FreeWheel. Hope to see you there.

Frank will also be on hand to discuss the recently launched app for the hit show The Taste. Creating mobile apps out of TV content is a growing trend. Not only does it increase user engagement beyond the show’s airtime and season, it also lets show creators get additional exposure for their on-air content as well as offers a channel for unused content that otherwise would never get beyond the cutting room floor.

It’s an exciting time to be in the video business, as is reflected with the exciting program and lineup for this year’s NATPE conference. In addition to Frank, Beachfront’s EVP of biz dev Lisa Connell and VP of monetization Alexander Kozak will be around as well. We’re excited to be attending and participating. If you’d like to meet up while there and discuss these and other issues, hit us up at bizdev@beachfrontmedia.com.

 

 

CES Preview – What’s Happening in Video

CES_2014_LogoThe 2014 Consumer Electronics Show is just getting underway, but before the annual technology gathering even started it managed to raise more awareness for high-definition video streaming than ever before.

Called 4K, or Ultra HD, this technology allows video streams at nearly four times the resolution of 1080p. While it’s been a hot point of discussion in tech circles and those of us in the streaming video space, it’s not gotten much consumer press attention because until recently there’s been no consistent way to view or stream 4K content natively.

That’s now changing for several reasons. One is technology focused, with YouTube announcing it will deliver 4K content using the VP9 technology from parent company Google. VP9 is a royalty free codec designed to deliver 4K quality content more efficiently, specifically by cutting in half the amount of data needed to stream the format and reduce buffering times. YouTube has struck deals with 19 partners to support the technology.

That leads to a second reason 4K is gaining traction—controversy. The Google/YouTube move on VP9 sets up a format fight with the existing “standard”—HEVC. The few devices supporting 4K today use HEVC, as do content streaming services like Netflix. Google is hoping to muscle in on this space by offering VP9 for free, while HEVC charges a fee. It’ll be interesting to see how the market reacts.

Finally, there’s the devices. This is CES after all, and for all the talk about technology and content… this show will always be about the gadgets. And sure enough, we’re already seeing TVs with 4K support. Vizio debuted its first 4K units on the day before the official start to CES, and other brands are sure to follow in the days ahead. What’s interesting about this is that the TV manufacturers now believe there’s a consumer path to 4K content, and that path is streaming video. With YouTube now on board, the world’s largest provider of streaming video, expect an acceleration of both consumer and industry adoption.

PS> Beachfront CEO, Frank Sinton will speak at Digital Hollywood/CES tomorrow at 10:30 on mobile advertising with fellow panelists including Google’s George Meredith, WPP Group’s Shawn Fenton, David Berkowitz of MRY, Possible’s Andrew Solmssen, Time Warner Cable Media’s Fred Bucher, and Skype’s Al Kallel, with IBB Consulting’s Jonathan Weitz moderating.

Headed to Vegas? What are you looking forward to?

The Connected TV Disconnect PT II: Xbox One & the Console Opportunity

With the recent introduction of both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One next-generation game consoles, the conversation around Internet-capable devices bringing connected TV-like features to non-connected TV sets is gaining momentum. And while there are some serious opportunities for video apps on these types of devices, the same problems that plague connected TVs affected connected consoles.

As we discussed last week, connected TVs suffer from two major problems: lack of a defined leading platform and a lack of market penetration. Both result in wariness by content providers to create apps for connected TVs designed to reach viewers directly. This is particularly true for MCNs, who have proven decidedly more interested in creating mobile and tablet video apps than in doing the same for connected TV apps.

The connected console space is different in many ways. For starters, the companies making these devices have been far more vocal and aggressive in educating viewers about their ability to stream video directly from them, also known as “over the top” (which is just another way of saying “cutting the cord”). That’s not exactly surprising given that their main purpose is to deliver such content. In fact many, like the Roku, Apple TV, NetGear, were created solely because few TVs at the time had the ability to stream OTT.

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The Connected TV Disconnect PT I: Smart TVs, Dumb Usage

As we enter the holiday period, expect to see lots of sales and lots of stories focused on connected TVs or TV add-ons designed to bring connected experiences to TVs. And while the discussion around connected TVs will center on the ability to “cut the cord”—or stream video directly from Internet services rather than the traditional cable company—in reality this is more hype than actual practice.

That’s because while the technology may be there to deliver video directly to viewers via the Internet, content providers have yet to make doing so a priority. And the reason that they haven’t is because a clear standard or leader has yet to appear amid the many options and devices available. As a result, most content providers—and as a result app developers—are sitting on the sideline waiting for the winner to emerge.

In this first part of a two-part series, we’ll examine the reality of the smart TV market—TVs with built-in Internet connectivity and app ecosystem. Next week, we’ll turn the lens to game consoles and other devices designed to bring Internet access to non-connected TVs. Both scenarios have their strengths and weaknesses, but the underlying theme throughout is they are fragmented markets that have yet to attract publishers or developers in the kinds of numbers needed to change mainstream viewing behavior.

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Beachfront Announces the Mobile-First social platform for Video – Beachfront Builder 2.0

iphonemock
Ever since we launched Beachfront Builder, our goal was to create the best platform for publishing extremely engaging, native video apps across the all App ecosystems. Over the past year, it has become clear that video creators need much more than a way to distribute videos across various devices. Instead, videos are part of an interconnected and every-expanding social world.

Based on these insights, today, I’m proud to introduce Beachfront Builder 2.0 — the next evolution of our video app platform that adds a dynamic new social media interface that connects our users content to their fans’ social channels all from within the app they’ve created. With Beachfront Builder 2.0, not only can content publishers control the environment in which their video is aired, they can now take a proactive role in engaging viewers through their social presence as well.

It does this by enabling YouTubers to create communities where fans can interact with video and social content within a single interface, essentially creating their own mobile community. Simply enter a YouTube username and all the account’s content will instantly appear in the app. From there, users can create channels and curate their content with Beachfront’s video management interface before adding the social experience by linking their Facebook and Twitter accounts directly to the content.

Once linked, viewers can share, Like, Tweet, leave comments and more, not only within the app itself but also reflected on the broader social network used (such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more).

In addition to driving views and engagement around video, the addition of these social channels will create new revenue opportunities never before seen in a mobile app. And through it all of course is Beachfront’s measurement features that let publishers monitor the resulting traffic and make changes in real time based on the results.

Facebook

At Beachfront Media, we’ve witnessed firsthand the power of social networks, not only as a video discovery tool, but as a fan engagement and content monetization tool. The more we can do to bring this power to our users, the better, and this is just the first step.

Beachfront Builder 2.0 benefits include:

Social Interactivity

  • Add social feeds including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts as channels in the video app.
  • User login through Facebook, Google, or email allowing for greater personalization abilities such as:
    • Cross-platform watch later lists
    • Commenting
    • Social sharing

Analytics

  • More detailed activity allows for more targeted ads, improved CTR and revenue potential.
  • Name, gender, email, location, in-depth video and social tracking.

views
Monetization

  • Beachfront.io Built In – Every Beachfront Builder app has the Beachfront.io SDK integrated – meaning you can monetize your app with the most advanced mobile-first video advertising platform on the market today. Beachfront.io allows you to mediate & optimize your own video ad relationships & tap into the Beachfront Marketplace to reach higher fill rates and CPMs on your mobile videos.
  • In-app purchases – moving beyond advertising, Beachfront Builder apps can offer In-App Purchases such as music downloads and other digital merchandise, in a frictonless environment.
  • Merchandise – Bring in your mobile web store, enabling your users to transact on physical goods directly within your app.

Beachfront Builder apps can be deployed into the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore. To find out more about Beachfront Builder, go to www.beachfrontbuilder.com.

Eating What We Cook: Introducing FamilyCook

FamilyCookBeachfront Media is proud to announce FamilyCook : a new in-house app designed for food lovers, both cooks and eaters alike.

FamilyCook is the most comprehensive source of videos about food, recipes, and cooking, which we’ve aggregated into one easy to use hub so  you can quickly and easily find what you’re looking for.  We scour the YouTube and the Web for the most appropriate videos every day so you don’t have to, and display them in categories based on cuisine.

Recently, our CEO Frank Sinton penned an article for ClickZ advocating for a greater focus on content verticals as a means of increasing both user engagement and subsequent ad rates (“Content, Context, and Curation: Why Focus Matters.”) This new app is a prime example of doing exactly that, leveraging Beachfront’s content and technology expertise to create new products.

We used our MeFeedia platform to filter out content by type, in this case… food and cooking. We then narrowed that huge list of videos down to the most popular, based on metrics like overall views, channel subscribers, and so on. But we didn’t stop there. To fully ensure our curated videos were of the best quality and highest relevance, we added an editorial layer that relied on real people to hand-select the final content that appears in each category.

The result is the creation of a new marketplace of specialty themed content that becomes its own marketing vehicle for not only the content itself, but for targeted advertising that’s more relevant for the intended audience.

It’s a model we’ve adopted several times to date, such as with Kids Video and TodoVision, as well as with partners, such as BigFrame’s Forefront app. And we’ll continue utilizing our expertise in video curation to create new products going forward as we identify the right niche content and audience.

At Beachfront Media, we don’t just advocate others using our platform to create their apps. We’re eating what we cook, as well.

It’s live today on the iPhoneiPad and Android devices as well as on the Web.

Beachfront Unveils Social Video Pulse & Integration with MetroPCS and Cricket

socialvideopulselogoBeachfront Media now has a video discovery app called Social Video Pulse. And now, the app is available on MetroPCS and Cricket Smartphones for video search across all online video channels for English and Spanish content.

These apps allow the carriers to secure new streams of revenue through on and off network video viewing. Subscribers of both operators will now have access to the entire suite of Social Video Pulse content, which aggregates the top socially trending videos from across the MeFeedia network into one easy-to-use app… including the Spanish-language Todovision.

Users can save their favorite videos to a watch list, share them with friends on Facebook and Twitter, and more. Social Video Pulse is available from either the carrier’s mobile web portal or their smartphone app stores, and under the deals become the default search and discovery engine for video. And it’s free.

SocialVideoPulse

What’s really interesting about this is the way we give wireless operators a way to manage, track and monetize the videos that its subscribers are viewing. Mobile video generates around 50% of the data traffic on mobile networks today. That can cause an overwhelming strain on the network for carriers like MetroPCS and Cricket, and become a very costly problem. But with the Beachfront solution, both operators will instead share in the revenue for ads placed on Social Video Pulse videos, regardless of whether they’re streamed via their wireless networks or via a WiFi connection. And subscribers gain access to millions of videos from more than 33,000 video sources in both English and Spanish from one source using one video discovery engine. (We’re also now available on Google Play).

This is a classic case of turning a problem into an opportunity. Rather than restricting subscribers video usage, or increasing fees for data transmission, MetroPCS and Cricket are finding a way to give customers what they want (video) while not only mitigating the cost of delivery, but actually turning it into a new revenue channel. We’re grateful to be a part of it, and look forward to pursuing similar solutions with other mobile operators in the near future.