Cracking the code: Monetizing digital media

Image of nextMEDIA Conference logo
Recently, I attended the nextMEDIA conference in Toronto, which brings together the broadcast, content production, agency and advertiser communities with the goal of sharing ideas and insights on monetizing online content. My main reason for attending was to help our Multimedia Producer, Roz Allen interview many of the interesting speakers, but I was lucky enough to find the time to sit in on a couple of the presentations.

Among the more intriguing speakers were Susan Bonds, President and CEO of 42 Entertainment and Alexandra Levy, who leads the new Branded Entertainment initiative at Google.

Susan Bonds shared her experiences creating alternate reality games to promote products for companies such as Microsoft, Disney and Warner Bros. Alternate reality games involve complex on- and offline activities for the players to solve a puzzle or mystery and can take place on a global scale. Their goal is to raise awareness of and create buzz and excitement around a product launch.

In her presentation, Alexandra Levy walked us through the business model for monetizing video content from Seth MacFarlane (of Family Guy fame) on YouTube through a sponsorship deal with Burger King. There were no product ads involved, but the Burger King character was worked into the videos along with a “brought to you by” brand placement, targeting a specific demographic with this goodwill campaign.

In between presentations, we were able to get interviews with some great speakers, including Robert Montgomery, CEO of Achilles Media Ltd., Shelton Palmer, Managing Director, Advanced Media Ventures Group, Andra Sheffer and Rita Carbone Fleury from the Bell Fund and Missy Suicide, co-founder of the Suicide Girls. They each had interesting and unique perspectives on the current online landscape and communicated a firm conviction that we will soon be seeing many sustainable business models for monetizing digital media.

Read more about the Seth MacFarlane/Burger King campaign here:
“Seth MacFarlane’s $2 Billion Family Guy Empire