An American Idol Producer Predicted a Trump Win, And Won Big

An American Idol Producer Predicted a Trump Win, And Won Big

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If you don’t understand what happened last night go read or watch The Big Short.

Two weeks ago I sat down to Netflix and chill.  I clicked on The Big Short, re-watched it, read this Bloomberg article (link in comments) while watching (I’m a millennial – that’s what we do), connected all the dots of the new media landscape, and knew a Trump win was inevitable.  Just like Mark Baum I yelled about it to everyone around me who would listen, and just like Mark Baum, I bet on it and won big.


People like Gary Vee and me have been loudly preaching about the difference between the new and old way of doing business.  A new set of rules where content is king, where you are only as strong as your brand, and where the old media playbooks are thrown out the window. I repeat: Content is king, content is king, CONTENT IS KING. 

Politics used to be a money game. The more money you raised, the more commercials you could buy on traditional TV, and the more you could influence people to vote for you.  Yesterday proved that winning takes more than money, as Hilary out raised and outspent Trump by nearly twice as much.  But why?

Politics, theatre, and business are now one and the same and the traditional gatekeepers of the media have been shoved aside.  The Trump campaign hired people who understood the power of Facebook, the power of Twitter, and the power of Instagram.   They hired smart, young kids who “got it,” and their campaign blew Hilary’s social presence out of the water.  They created unique, engaging, and current content.  They understood where the eyeballs were.  They understood what those eyeballs would respond to.

Think about how many days Trump won the news cycle.  Translation: think about how many days the media repurposed and widely distributed his content  He was always producing content.  It doesn’t matter how offensive the content was, the old PR adage that “no publicity is bad publicity” proved once again to be true.  Tweeting about sex tapes is content.  Delivering a line’s about building walls while cameras are rolling is content.   Claiming that, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” is content.

They created content.  They won the conversation.  They sold their product.


How Live-Streaming Creates Olympic Hype for NBC

How Live-Streaming Creates Olympic Hype for NBC

While NBC was gearing up for the Rio Olympics it faced a grim reality: there were significantly less people across the US with cable in their homes than there were in 2012 when the London Olympics aired (56 million in 2012 vs 49 million in 2016).  In order to mitigate this loss of traditional viewers, NBC made a push to capture millennials with live-streaming of Olympics coverage.

"To reach the younger audience, we all know that we have to reach into the social sphere," NBC Olympics President, Gary Zenkel, told reporters in July as reported in Adweek. "We also know that if we're going to do it effectively, we've got to do it with a sensibility designed to engage that audience." 

To combat the drastically changing behaviors in media consumption, NBC Olympics CMO, John Miller, aimed to make this “the most social games ever” in order to better target millennials. To do this, NBC deployed live-streaming services through every major social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram) for the first time in Olympic History. With 32 Venues at the Olympic Games which often hold simultaneous events, NBC took on the wildly ambitious task of coordinating 24/7 digital coverage of all events. Furthermore, NBC utilized Snapchat to include takeovers with Olympians, so the general public can see the behind-the-scenes life of an Olympic athlete.

NBC has been using an official Facebook Page, NBC Olympics, to aggregate content from the games including multiple daily live streams, produced video segments, highlights, fun content like this clip of Zac Efron meeting Simone Biles in Rio.

So what is NBC's end game? It's hope is that by providing more access and coverage of live events at the Olympics it will increase the hype around the event, thus bringing millions back to their TV sets or VOD programming. If you look at data from the London games, you actually can see that as users watch on multiple devices, their time spent consuming content increases exponentially.  Comcast subscribers have had the best Olympics viewing so far on it's X1 Platform showcased in the following video.

The question is now: when will networks begin to see that television ratings are becoming less important in this increasingly digital world?

Why Live-Streaming Works for Real Estate

Why Live-Streaming Works for Real Estate

A Beverly Hills home listed by Mercer Vine.

A Beverly Hills home listed by Mercer Vine.

As you drive past a for sale sign in your neighborhood, don’t you always wonder what the house is actually like on the inside?  Now there’s a way you can know without having to drag yourself to a 10:00 am Sunday open house.  The latest innovation in the real estate market is live streaming of open houses which allows people who can’t be there in person a good look inside the property and offers an open and direct line of communication with the real estate agent.  Even if you don’t feel like asking questions yourself, much can be learned as a fly on the wall watching a live stream where others are asking all the hard-hitting questions.

For real estate agents, this method is genius because it allows them to showcase the property in a way that can’t be shown through photos.  By following the agent through the door and up the stairs, you will better be able to understand the layout of the home than trying to piece it together through floor plans and photos posted online.  Streaming on Facebook allows agents to reach a wider audience than just active home searchers, some of whom may forward the properties on to friends or family.  How much more interesting would an episode of House Hunters be if it were filmed in your neighborhood?  With Facebook Live, it basically can be.

Brian Griffin, a Los Angeles estate agent at Mercer Vine, explains how his company has embraced the power of Facebook Live,

"An agent's ability to expose his or her clients' home to as many eyes as possible is what the job is all about. The more people who see and interact with my listings the better price I will get for my clients.  I've added "Facebook Live" as one of my marketing advantages for my listing meetings in the past 3 months and explain to clients the benefits of "eyes-on" tech.  Those of us who find a way to create this open house content will be the beneficiaries and our clients will be the winners."

Although the use of live streaming in real estate is not yet popularized in the US like it is in Australia,  some of this may have to do with the fact that the majority of property sold is Australia is often via live auction which can attract hundreds of people to a neighborhood home.  These auctions air on television with live bidding and property tours.  Now the action has moved to the internet with live feeds of auctions gaining up to 300,000 viewers on Facebook alone.

Staging a home and having it professionally photographed has worked wonders in the real estate world, now you can take it to the next level and have your open house live-streamed by television quality cameras and producers at Vego Pictures.

Vidcon 2016: Emerging Trends in Digital

To kick off Vidcon, USC NEXT: The Digital Advertising Alumni Association and Trojan Entertainment Network held a panel with industry executives discussing the future of digital media at Feldspar Ventures in Downtown Los Angeles.  Here are a few of the key highlights from the panelists:

"In traditional media, decisions are made by a few and broadcast to many.  Live streaming is an opportunity for the audience to participate and shape the story."

-- James Creech: Co-Founder & CEO, Paladin Software; Creator, All Things Video Podcast

"In the music industry right now, there is more fragmentation, but also more opportunity.  Touring, merchandise, and other revenue streams are more important now because of music streaming.  We didn't have data in the past, you didn't know who bought your album at Sam Goody.  Now Linking Park is on 16 different platforms, so you know who your fans are, but we are figuring out how to track them across all the different areas they would touch like album purchases, tours, and social media."

-- Kiel Berry: Executive Vice President, Machine Shop Ventures

"History has shown us, that first comes technology then comes content. People with the networks were far more valuable than producers, but over time that switches and content producers make technology more valuable and tech becomes commoditized.  The end is now for CBS, NBC, and Disney.  Where there is chaos, there is an enormous amount of money to be made, and I would bet on Google all day long."

--Toper Taylor: President, Network of One; Co-Founder & former President / COO, Cookie Jar Group

"Big data will create challenges for next generation that we can't get our arms around.  That's what technology does to society, and that is something we need to think about.  For first time in history, stories will not be linear.  It will take genius filmmakers to find a way to tell the story.  We need twenty year old geniuses to try to unlock the creative potential of VR or whatever it may be."

-- Marc Gareton: Executive Vice President, Local Productions, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Vidcon 2016 in Anaheim, CA