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Facebook Technology Just Made Content More Personal

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Who ever wanted to be a movie star?  Well now may be your chance with the launch of ‘Aim High’, an original piece of content co-produced by Warner Brothers Digital (TWX) and Dolphin Digital Media, Inc. (DPDM.ob). The program is the first Hollywood studio produced series that not only sports such A list players as McG (Terminator Salvation), Bill O’Dowd (Zoey 101), Thor Freudenthal (Diary Of A Wimpy Kid), Jackson Rathbone (Twilight Saga), Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights’) and Greg Germann (Ally McBeal), but it also utilizes a technology that now includes “you” in the cast. This new, hip and state of the art Hollywood studio production will be aired on both Facebook and AOL Inc’s Cambio (AOL) on October 18th and will run for six episodes. 

The storyline of ‘Aim High’ is based on high school student Nick Green (Jackson Rathborne) who spends his days as a normal high school student and his nights as a high-end government operative who partakes in exciting adventure.  Though this initial storyline may sound like other television programs or movies that you have seen, that is where the similarities between those programs and ‘Aim High’ ends.  What makes ‘Aim High’ different from other Hollywood studio productions is the fact that the original content is exactly that!  The content in this web series will be original to the end user.  This will be accomplished by pulling information from the end user’s Facebook page and incorporating that information into the web series.   For example, if an end user has their favorite picture, music or parks on their Facebook page, the web series will be able to pull that information from the Facebook page and incorporate it into the actual web series.   This first of its kind original content will allow for the end user to feel a part of the action as it will allow for them to personally be able to relate to the scenes, pictures and music being played during the program.

When we first heard of the interactive technology being used by Warner Brothers and Dolphin Digital Media in the series ‘Aim High’ we were set back.  The technology has taken the media experience to the absolute next level as now we can truly say that the program is interactive with its end users.  When was the last time that you were watching a movie and got excited about seeing a familiar park or familiar building? When that scene occurred in the movie, I am sure you left with a memorable experience.  When was the last time you watched a program and listened to a soundtrack tailored to your preferences and saw pictures of your loved ones and friends on the walls and billboards? I think it would be safe to say for most of us that has never occurred, however, if it did it would additionally leave you with a memorable and enjoyable experience.  Let’s also not forget the opportunity to be essentially “featured” in the same program as your favorite stars, which we believe is attractive to the tween, teen and yes you adult communities out there as well.

In addition to providing a fun, entertaining and exciting experience for the end user, this type of media additionally leaves the content producers and distributors with many ways to generate lucrative revenues. Looking at the media world today there are two revenue drivers that excite us about such original content being aired in the online environment:

Direct Advertising and Sponsorships

-          This type of “original content” will draw consumers and advertisers / sponsors alike. In this case the content producers and distributors will be able to synergize their capabilities to ensure that ad sponsors will be able to accurately and effectively determine not only the interest in the web series, but the types of pictures, music and demographics that are specific to the end user.   Having the ability to have very targeted ads significantly increase the premiums that such advertisers and sponsors will be willing to pay. 

Distribution Outlets

-          In addition to creating the online web series, the content producers and distributors in this case have the ability to up sell their product in the future through different verticals (DVD, TV and potentially even feature status).  This can lead to significant upside potential for all parties while also significantly reducing the risk profile of such upstream movements due to having a previously established audience and fan base. 

We believe that the talent of the producers, directors and actors in the ‘Aim High’ series will in itself allow for the program to be a great success.  However, we believe that the talent, quality of production and technology of the content producers and distributors will allow for the ‘Aim High’ series to be a game changer.  If Warner Brothers and Dolphin Digital Media and can continue to produce content of this quality, while also being able to combine with the latest technology and distribution by the pairing with the likes of Facebook and AOL’s Cambio, they will be companies that will be a major factor in the online original content sector for years to come.

Disclosure: I am long AAPL, AOL, OTCPK:DPDM.