Introducing ZoomTilt Analytics

Today, we’re pleased to announce the beta release of ZoomTilt Analytics – a self-service software tool for A/B testing videos to help users identify and optimize their top-performing video content. The goal of ZoomTilt Analytics is to help businesses and video creators:

  1. Make better, more audience-targeted videos by compiling feedback and data from real, relevant viewers;
  2. Make smarter decisions about what videos to create, how to edit them and how to release them; and
  3. Increase video marketing return on investment.

The trial version of ZoomTilt Analytics, which allows experimenters to easily set up and run video A/B tests from YouTube, is now available as a free service on ZoomTilt.com. In addition, our ZoomTilt Analytics Premium service now gives brands, agencies and media companies the ability to create and customize video A/B tests around specific target audience profiles and marketing metrics.

We’re very excited to share ZoomTilt Analytics with you, we have plans to introduce lots of new features and capabilities, and we welcome any feedback or questions you’d like to share with us. Interested in learning more about the benefits of ZoomTilt Analytics Premium for your business? Contact us today to get started.

Check out the video below for a demo of ZoomTilt Analytics in action:

YouTube Creator Academy: What is a MOOC?

This past Monday I began taking my first ever MOOC with the YouTube Creator’s Academy.

What’s a MOOC? Well, its a Massive Online Open Course, of course.

I took an online course at Harvard Extension School a few years back, it wasn’t the best experience for me. A MOOC is different from what we’ve seen with “web-based education” to date because unlike online courses from selected colleges, MOOCs, don’t have a cap on the number of registrants.

In order to better understand a MOOC and how the creative industries can benefit from them I took to my Emerson College colleague, Loudon Sterns, who is also a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Loudon has been teaching online courses for several years now and recently dove into the grand task of organizing and instructing his first ever Music Production MOOC with Coursera.

@TheeAmyDee: I know you had experience with a Massive Online Open Course, can you tell me why you chose to get involved with one? Seems really daunting to organize.

@LoudonStearns: I have been teaching online for 4 years now through Berkleemusic.com. I found the transition from classroom to online teaching quite easy. At BerkleeMusic I have class sizes of 20 people or less and I have weekly contact with every student through e-mail, assignments, discussions, and realtime audio video chats. With the introduction of MOOCs that has become the traditional online class. It is kind of funny that we now have “traditional online teaching!” Berklee is creating a series of MOOCS in partnership with Coursera.com and asked me to author one. I jumped at the idea because I love a new challenge. It was a chance to experiment with new modes of education and have a wide impact on the world. Also, as a music teacher I think I have a responsibility to try new teaching methods. Hopefully what art educators discover works(and doesn’t) can provide examples for other disciplines.

Personally, I was also very interested on what impact this would have on the teacher. It seems like a huge amount of exposure, which is unusual for a teacher. I was curious how being a public figure like this would impact the rest of my life. As a musician I am comfortable, even excited, by this type of exposure. In the end the personal impact wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, but that was one of my reasons to get involved.
@TheeAmyDee: What were some of the take-aways for you? Any lessons learned? or Advice you would give someone on how to maximize the potential of a MOOC?
@LoudonStearns: Humans are amazing! Every day, as the MOOC ran, I saw people helping each other, treating each other with respect, and working hard to understand this difficult topic. The community was wonderful and I was blessed to be part of it. The biggest lesson would be the need for research and iterative design. We can’t expect to know how to do this right the first time. Every class I have ever taught got better after 3 or 4 runs as I refined my presentation and what I expect of the students. The same must go for a MOOC. Teaching here is quite different. The teacher must think statistically instead of personally. A single student’s problem is my problem in a traditional classroom, but in a MOOC I must focus on the community. This shift is tough to adjust to, and I think any teacher will need to run the MOOC, adjust it and run it again before the MOOC will really work perfectly. We are running my MOOC again later this summer and I am really interested to see how the course changes with the adjustments we are making to the assignments, grading, scheduling, marketing and class communication. The other big lesson was the importance of a team working together. In a traditional classroom the space belongs to the teacher and the teacher is largely autonomous. In my MOOC experience I realized how important it was to have a strong team working together to make it work well. Because of the large community and the teaching team, it felt that success of a MOOC really revolves around communication. Clear communication between the team members and within the community is essential. Because of the highly international student body the communication must be carefully crafted and I found myself really examining how I communicate with that community in mind.
@TheeAmyDee: As an artist, it seems strange to think about a MOOC. I’ve been concerned with this as I dive into the YouTube Creator’s Academy; do you think that MOOCs have the capability to promote individuality?
@LoudonStearns: They definitely promote the teacher’s individuality! The thousands of students that finished my course watched 83 videos of me teaching music production, so they got a good dose of Loudon for sure.
I think there are opportunities for students to promote themselves. Within the class forums is a large community of fellow musicians. I am not sure that was the best place to promote their music, but it is a great place to get honest feedback about their music. In looking through the forums I found many great supportive comments and some insightful feedback.
On the whole, I think people were at my MOOC to learn. While it is a community, and socialization is part of that, the most important thing is to create an environment focused on learning. I had expected more socialization and personal relationships in the course, but there is this huge crowd feel to it. And now that I think of it, I have rarely met someone within a huge crowd that I have maintained a lasting relationship with. I think to really promote individuality we need to find ways to create smaller groups within the crowd. This is a known issue with MOOCs and one that I tried to solve in a few ways while running my MOOC, and I know of other teachers that have tried it with various amounts of success. Really, I think it is a design problem, and this is an evolving learning/teaching format. As it develops teachers and students will work together to improve the environment. Right now I feel that we are just starting to understand how this works. We should be careful about judging the success or failure of this format for a couple of years. Give the teachers and software developers time to identify and solve the issues. Right now there is amazing support for MOOCs from colleges and they are creating so much of this amazing content and supplying it to the world for free! We really owe a huge debt to the colleges, like Berklee, and the individuals that are taking the risk to create these classes. Creating these classes takes time and money and the rewards are uncertain. I could go on and list other issues with the current MOOC situation, but that pales in comparison to the one thing that I do know: thousands of people were able to study with me, a Berklee professor, for free, and that is an amazing thing.
@TheeAmyDee: Thanks so much Loudon! This has certainly made me more excited about participating in the YouTube Creator’s Academy MOOC. I’m going to keep an open mind and embrace it with full force.
________________________
For more from Loudon Stearns follow him on Twitter: @LoudonStearns. You can also register to be apart of his next Music Production MOOC with Coursera here:

To stay up to date with our experience and opinion on the YouTube Creator’s Academy follow ZoomTilt on Twitter: @ZoomTilt

Can You Predict a Viral Marketing Video?

Volkswagen Star Wars Super Bowl Advertisement

As a first order of business, the thunder-stealing, lead-in answer is still “probably not.” That said, this week we’re pleased to announce the launch of a new video analytics tool for ad agencies and video content marketers that brings this predictive digital marketing dream one step closer.

Video Analytics Screenshot

Our solution is a first-of-its-kind tool capable of performing targeted, simultaneous algorithm and audience-based testing of a single video, multiple videos or even multiple edits of the same branded content spot. By enabling digital advertisers, video marketers and content creators to specify audience goals such as age, gender, income level, zip-code and/or video “share rate,” then quickly test their videos against those goals and audience profile, our scoring tool brings scalable marketing automation, big data analytics and a rapid-prototyping feedback loop to video production, video audience measurement and video performance forecasting. Beneficial ways to use our new video analytics tool include:

  • A/B testing different video concepts or video edits to determine which performs best for a given campaign/activation goal or audience profile.
  • Test and compare your videos against public videos from competitors on key metrics like audience retention and viewer click-through rate (CTR).
  • Pre-release testing one or multiple pre-roll or TV ad spots earlier to proactively reduce the risk of negative brand exposure, campaign under-performance, mis-targeting and/or distribution over-spend.
  • Evaluating branded entertainment and web series pilots with richer tools, deeper insights and a faster feedback loop (so you don’t have to play the Netflix game and order seasons up front at $4.5 million an episode).

Best of all, by connecting your YouTube or Wistia video hosting account (plus more hosting platforms on the way), users will also be able to compare and back-test predicted video virality versus actual, real-world earned media rates, social media mentions and referral shares, and easily generate reports.

The tool is currently in private beta, with a broader, public release planned in May. To apply for early access, contact ZoomTilt via email or visit our video analytics signup page .

6 Important Innovations in Video Spotted at 2013 CES

CES 2013

Every year the CES conference showcases new technologies and campaigns from the biggest names in technology. Video, TV and transmedia integration were high on everyone’s minds this year, spanning two-screen advertising to smart TVS to cloud-driven video recording.  With thousands of attendees, three expo halls (plus tents and a few food trucks), the CES was, at times, overwhelming, so we’ve broken down a selection of important media innovation developments from this major tech gathering as part of ZoomTilt’s 2013 CES recap:

1. Cisco: Videoscape Unity
Videoscape Unity is a new and expanded video services delivery platform which will allow companies to provide a synchronized multiscreen video experiences. It will also provide unified search, discovery, and viewing functions to allow consumers to watch premium live and on-demand content on any (service provider managed or unmanaged) connected device regardless of location.

2. Audible Magic: Content Recognition
Audible Magic will bring an advanced television advertising solutions including interactive and addressable advertising across smart televisions, set-top boxes and second screen devices. This will provide an interactive advertising solution which will use the company’s SmartID ACR technology to identify ads in real-time watched by users and will then display supplemental, promotional and additional informational options.

3. Google TV: 3rd Generation Streamers
In its race to reverse second-screen the TV into the “new monitor,” Google TV debuted its latest generation streaming device, the ASUS Qube with Google TV media streamer, alongside OEM partner Marvell.  The team watched a few ZoomTilt web series episodes at the Marvell both, and, needless to say, Google TV’s new boxes are hands-down the most convenient and enjoyable way to watch ZoomTilt shows in big-screen HD.

4. Accedo: TV Everywhere
Accedo’s T.V.E Solution will provide an integrated solution, which connects content distribution and management platforms with attractive Pay TV applications on any connected device. Additionally, social networking integration through TVE app will allow for an enhanced user experience.

5. YuMe: Click-to-Ngage
The Click-to-Ngage icon located on an advertisement will allow users to see more information and options from that brand.  Although it remains to be seen if this type of feature will catch on (clearly the quality of the content alongside it will be of critical importance), YuMe’s approach is clearly looking to combines the big screen, couch-based TV viewing experience with the interactivity and measurability of online video.

6. AT&T Enters Online Video Streaming Fray
A telecom heavyweight is wading into the streaming TV space? It would certainly seem so.  The phone company’s upcoming U-Verse television service will start offering an online video streaming service called “U-Verse Screen Pack” for an $5 a month, available to U-Verse television subscribers.  The bundled offering appears likely to offer a content library similar to Netflix at a slightly lower price point, although it remains to be seen if AT&T intends to win customers based on a differentiated experience (and/or content), or simply hopes to entice its existing telecom subscriber base to pick up streamed TV at a slight discount.

See anything else new and noteworthy at the 2013 CES? If so drop us a note in the comments section.

An Open Letter to Shark Tank Boston

Dear Katie Rae, Mike Troiano, Pete Backlow, Fred Destin and Dharmesh Shah and One Anonymous VIP Shark/Investor,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Amy. I am just shy of turning twenty-eight; I was raised in North Jersey and educated in New York City, where I began my career.   Currently I am a full-time MFA graduate student at Emerson College, a freelance filmmaker, and “Maker of Happened Things” at ZoomTilt (because, well, I make lots of things happen), one of the 70 odd-something companies listed for the Shark Tank at FutureM.

I write to you today not to tell you to pick ZoomTilt; but rather, to tell you why I choose ZoomTilt and trust by the end of this letter that you will understand why we deserve to be on the stage with Shark Tank.

You saw the generic run-down of my credentials above, but that is just skimming the surface of my resume. I’ve been involved in public relations since PR was considered the “new advertising.” I’ve worked for large agencies representing Fortune 500 clients, I’ve been in-house with an internationally recognized diamond retailer and I launched smaller brand campaigns as an employee of a boutique PR agency. When I transitioned my career into film production I backtracked a bit, working first as an assistant, climbing the ranks to senior assistant and then finally, producer. I moved to Boston two years ago to pursue independent filmmaking and since then I’ve created an array of digital content and received thousands of views under my own LLC, Greenview Entertainment. I’ve studied with theater institutions around the globe, and my work has been nominated and recognized at film festivals throughout the country. I am also a YPC Member for the Cancer Research Institute and I am a published writer.

So, you are probably asking yourself with all this success and accomplishment and amount of work on my plate, why did I seek out ZoomTilt at the end of August 2012 and demand that I join the team, working, as most start-ups and entrepreneurs do, for absolutely no pay?

At a basic level, my interests are strongly aligned with the work that ZoomTilt is doing, so it’s a no brainer that I wanted to work for Anna Callahan and Chris Bolman. But for me it goes beyond my passion for filmmaking and why, even though I am a full-time graduate student with my own production banner I have officially taken on the role of the “Maker of Happened Things” over here at ZoomTilt.

ZoomTilt is a digital entertainment studio that provides filmmakers with the opportunity to get their work seen and paid for. Anna Callahan, the company’s founder, is an experienced filmmaker, who knows as well as I do, that the current model and economics of “Hollywood” and “Big Studio” do not work anymore. Today, it’s brands and advertisers that bring both funds and recognition to filmmakers and video creatives on content platforms like YouTube.  Content-hungry brands are the new funding engines that creative professionals use to present great, original, episodic content to audiences.  To feed this hunger and reinvent the economics and experience of both filmmaking and video advertising, ZoomTilt is spearheading a digital empire to fund independent, digital TV and video that also provides brands a more compelling, more engaging and lower cost way to tell their story to consumers.

The reason why I love ZoomTilt is because it aligns everything I’ve worked for over the years. A good publicist, like a good filmmaker, is a storyteller.

Individuals such as myself, Anna Callahan and Chris Bolman are the media makers of the future.  And in the highly fragmented and noisy digital space, standout media content, my honorable judges, is king.  What ZoomTilt is building allows me, my colleagues and an entire industry of creative professionals to succeed – because media is how messages and experiences are spread.  Media is what sustains and enlivens culture, even more so now in this fast-paced, information driven, digital age than ever before.

At ZoomTilt, we have a unique way of connecting brands and filmmakers to create and distribute that media; marketing media that entertains, promotes ideas and drives revenue and ROI for brands with deep, deep pockets and big, big budgets.

Marketing media is the reason why FutureM exists. So, I’ll leave you with one last question to consider:

Don’t you want one of the six companies standing on the stage at FutureM’s Shark Tank to be the company that is fundamentally redefining media marketing?

Exactly.

Happeningly yours,

Amy DePaola

Maker of Happened Things
ZoomTilt
amy@zoomtilt.com
@theeamydee
@zoomtilt