10 STREAMING MEDIA November/December 2017
behind the screens
Using Live Video to Pull in Fans and Brands? Genius
“My impression is that it was
a great opportunity for them to
be involved with a real, authentic music moment with someone who is a real veteran and
has a ton of respect, and to have
their brand associated with that
is something that we were excited to do,” Frederick says.
This kind of authentic moment is what today’s brands are
clamoring for. The online audience is savvy and fickle, and
often uses ad blockers to tune
out online distractions, Frederick says. But the Genius Level series presents content with
substance about a topic viewers
care about. It lets fans educate themselves on
musical history. Being part of that is a real opportunity. It’s also the rare music event that
appeals to both younger and older music fans.
Older fans know the guests from their early
days, while younger fans want to hear how these
icons influenced a new generation of talent. It’s
musical history made relevant for today, and it
bridges a gap between fans.
The first episode was viewed more than 2 million times. It also garnered Genius a wealth of
social media activity—about 8. 5 million social
impressions across various platforms. The second episode was released only shortly before
this interview, so the numbers weren’t all in yet.
Based on what he was seeing, Frederick thought
views would be around 1 million.
“We’ve certainly had more successful videos,
but in terms of trying to show the younger generation how exciting these icons can be, I think
this has really exceeded our expectations as
far as how much of an impact it can make,”
Following the live events, participating
brands were happy with both the on-site foot-
print and the reach they got with at-home view-
ers. The challenge for a live event, Frederick
says, is not only pleasing the few hundred in the
room, but extending that to the millions of po-
tential streaming viewers. His company pulled
it off, and the brands noticed.
Genius distributes videos on its site using a
Brightcove player, and also through You Tube,
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It doesn’t put
full shows on Instagram and Twitter, but posts
highlight clips designed to pull in the viewer.
Twitter has a video limit of 2 minutes 20 seconds, so Genius looks for stories that work in
that space. The Facebook audience skews a bit
older, so Genius posts clips there that will appeal to older fans. Sponsor branding appears
even on highlight clips.
While Genius has only done two episodes so
far, there are plenty more to come. Frederick
plans for it to become a bimonthly event, and
has several possible guests under consideration. Eminem, a longtime friend of the site, is
his dream guest, he says. This means brands
that want to get involved in a live event involving millions of passionate music lovers will
have plenty more opportunities to do just that.
Troy Dreier ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is senior associate editor
of Streaming Media and Onlinevideo.net.
Comments? Email us at email@example.com, or check the
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the Genius Level
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(Photo: Mary Kang)