Media Camp, a startup incubator sponsored by Turner Broadcasting and Warner Brothers, provides selected startups with mentors and recourses throughout an eight week-program, giving guidance and support to new companies poised to transform the way people consume digital content. I was fortunate enough to attend the Media Camp Demo Day in San Francisco last week, where each of the five companies demonstrated their products and services to a live audience. Each was impressive, and undoubtedly has the ability to change how you interactive with digital content on a daily basis.
Hugh Forrest, Director of SXSW’s Interactive Festival, opened the event by delivering sound advice to the featured startup founders (and to those in attendance in the audience). The exciting Watchup app was first. Doing for news what Hulu and Netflix have done for entertainment content, CEO Adriano Farano showcased the video news aggregator, which delivers content from all your favorite channels into just one place for easy consumption. I can see how this will save me significant time each week, usually spent crawling news sites for video content of interest to me.
Next (and probably my favorite) was Contextly. Ryan Singel, a former Wired journalist, and Ben Autrey, his brilliant CTO counterpart, created a really smart way to serve up the best and most relevant content for individuals users, turning the casual headline browser into a loyal and frequent content consumers for the digital publishers who cater to each. Contextly is raising intake percentages, getting visitors to read more articles per visit for its clients. The platform provides a smart data-driven engine that intuitively understands what consumers are most interested in and serves the content to them automatically — and at the right time. (Side note: In my opinion, the quote of the day came from Ryan Singel, who while sharing a case study about Modern Farmer readers interested in goat articles, said: “Goats are the new cats.”)
Following Contextly, Michael Masters from AdTonik talked about his technology solution, which offers marketers a way to tie together television and mobile advertising in a way that’s already generating compelling results for its customers. The majority engage with smartphones and tablets while watching television, and so AdTonik provides brands an easy and measurable way to take full advantage of that growing multi-screen experience.
Then came Matt Coalson and Kabriel Robichaux of Flawk. Both have many years of experience in the gaming industry and are now putting that talent and energy into creating an exciting new platform that enables big names and brands on Twitter to pull together large numbers of fans for live interactive Q&A events. During these, everyone can participate and it can be easily managed and controlled by the host.
Last was Locket. Founder Yunha Kim and her team created an exciting way to provide content on Android lock screens, and are getting rave reviews from users, publishers, and brands. On average, we’re all looking at our phones 110 times per day (!), and each time, we’re greeted with the same image. But with Locket, we get new content with each look at our screens, like updates from friends, news, weather updates, and more.
All in all, my experience at Media Camp Demo Day provided a great day of learning about some very cool, disruptive new technologies. It’s clearly an exciting time to be a digital publisher, a digital brand, and/or a digital content consumer. Thanks to Media Camp for a successful and informative event. I’m looking forward to the next one in Los Angeles on August 4th.
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