Best American Media Companies: A Tour Diary

Between September 28 and October 8, we visited 15 companies in three US cities as part of the corporate tour for the management team of 1+1 Media.

Between September 28 and October 8, we visited 15 companies in three US cities as part of the corporate tour for the management team of 1+1 Media. 

The tour Best American Media Companies for the management team of 1+1 Media involved: 

  • 15 visits of the leading businesses in the fields of video-streaming and television;
  • Three states and three cities (NY, SF, and LA);
  • 14 participants from one of the leading Ukrainian media holdings. 

Here, we will share what new tasks we have set before us, what we have learned about digital transformations, and the stories of successes and failures of the best media and streaming platforms in the US we have discovered.

The management team of 1+1 Media
Day 1
Meeting with an expert on creating business models, visit to Bloomberg

Meeting with an expert on creating business models for media companies

Our tour began with an expertise from the Vice-President of a company that has developed an application called Tunity with 1.6 million downloads. Tunity allows users to listen to live audio from muted televisions on their mobile devices in public and private spaces. Our expert also worked for Time Warner and Dish Network TV

At the meeting with the 1+1 Media team, we were told about different business models media companies use and the mistakes they make in addition we had an expertise on market development and launching new products. 

 

Visiting Bloomberg 

Their main product is Bloomberg Terminal that gives access to current and past prices on nearly all the world’s exchanges and many kerbstone markets. The number of subscribers totals 350,000, while the yearly subscription is 24,000.

The company has launched the Bloomberg TicToc project designed for 20 to 25-year-olds. The goal of the new product is to gain access to an audience that Bloomberg did not have before. They are solving this problem by creating short 30 to 60-second news segments adapted for social media and their website.

Day 2
We were still digesting everything we had seen and learned on the first day of our tour, when we embarked on the next, no less eventful or interesting day. So, moving on to New York and its companies.

Visit to ROKU

On this day, we were welcomed at ROKU.

Visit to ROKU

ROKU is a specialised operating system for SMART-TV and a device that can be connected to any screen. This newcomer to the media market is already breathing down the necks of such giants as Apple, Disney, and Netflix. 

If you’re wondering why, the answer is simple. ROKU makes it very easy for users to find any content they want, even now, when there are about 10,000 online channels in the US.

Currently, ROKU has 32 million accounts, each of which has about 2.2 devices. Such a large base allows ROKU to receive fresh updates for all applications, thus retaining users and attracting new partners. 

Day 3
Visit to Google and meeting with the Professor of Stanford University 

Visiting Google 

We have already written more than enough about Google as a search engine and advertising platform, but the company also works with machine learning and infrastructure. One of its most promising businesses is Google Cloud

It’s the company’s fastest-growing business. Cloud solutions provide more opportunities for companies in terms of storage, analysis and machine learning.

 

Google’s main competitors are Amazon and Microsoft, but the company isn’t going to remain third for long.

At Google

Meeting with the Professor of Stanford University 

This lecture was an overview of the changes and redistribution of power in streaming services on the media market. 

This meeting gave us enough insights to analyse over weeks to come, but here we are going to highlight just a few of the most interesting ones:

  • Since 2012, the number of films and TV shows for online platforms has increased by 950% and is projected to continue to grow. 
  • Sports-related content is becoming an important competitive advantage for platforms, because it generates an incredible amount of views.
  • Pricing is the main weapon of streaming service leaders, which is why Apple+ unexpectedly enters the market with the lowest price offer among competitors. 
Day 4
Visits to TiVо and Vidgo

Meeting TiVo

TiVo Corporation licenses its intellectual property in consumer electronics.

The company has more than 6,000 pending and registered patents and provides analysis and review platforms for the video industry. 

 

TiVo continuously develops and implements innovations and invests in digital entertainment technologies that develop the industry for different consumer groups such as retail buyers, television service providers (who are offered numerous solutions), consumer electronics manufacturers, streaming and digital media portals, content producers and advertisers. 

Visiting Vidgo 

Vitgo is a first-rate streaming service offering next-gen technology for live streaming. The company’s unique product is Next Generation TV, an application that records TV shows to a cloud-based DVR, which can be accessed from several devices simultaneously, and allows the user to have an extensive on-demand catalogue of content. 

Day 5
Visiting to Youtube and other important meetings

Visit to YouTube

On top of monetization, increasing engagement and improving brand recognition, YouTube is an excellent platform for brief video content audiences find interesting in addition to one that already exists. 

YouTube Original Team is now actively working in three areas: Learning, Music and Personalities, which is why they are releasing more and more unique content. Given that YouTube is part of Google, it has a pretty good chance of winning the video streaming war. 

YouTube has a pretty good chance of winning the video streaming war

Meeting with a founder of the blockchain technology BlockVerify

Our speaker is a founder of the blockchain technology BlockVerify and he is also  an investor and entrepreneur. He worked for Apple (iTunes) for more than five years, as well as at Yahoo, eBay and in Silicon Valley

He also has his own investment fund in the media market, and here are some statistics for the activities of this fund: 

  • The average film margin is 15-20%, often 300-600%
  • There have been no failed projects in the last 10 years.
  • The average cost of a film is $ 10 million.
  • The maximum value in their portfolio is $ 80 million.

 

Meeting Gracenote’s EX CTO

This speaker was responsible for all content production and content technology development (in the fields of music, video, television, games) at Gracenote. Now, he is the CTO and founder of Social Standards, a marketing research company.

We had an expertise on content and knowledge management, cognitive and descriptive systems, search and navigation technologies, data visualization, sound and image processing, distributed computing and enterprise IT management.

Day 6
On this day, we met an expert from Amazon Prime and Disney+
After the meeting

Our expert was one of the originators of Amazon Video & Music and he has spent the last couple of years preparing for the launch of Disney+.

One key insight of this meeting was that business content should always be data driven. In-depth analysis of data leads to a better understanding of the audience, which expert opinion alone cannot give.

 

It doesn’t mean that experts are becoming unnecessary. It’s just that there are two ingredients to success now, data (60%) and expertise (40%). 

Day 7
The final day of the tour saw us visiting Netflix HQ and ArchStone. 

Visiting Netflix HQ

Netflix is a unique company with a distinctive corporate culture, insanely fast growth and billions of hours of content. Here’s how this happened: 

  • As of January 2019, the company had 139 million subscribers all over the world. 
  • Every day, Netflix shows approximately 250 million hours of video in 190 countries.
  • About $ 10 billion a year is spent on upscale content. 

Here, everything is analyzed, from Netflix user preferences to the most popular films on pirate websites. This gives the company a clear understanding of its audience, so that it can offer the most popular products.

Getting to know ArchStone

Archstone offers one of the most unique services in sales and distribution. It supplies quality theater films and documentaries around the world. 

Archstone has also entered into an amicable product release settlement with Sony Pictures. 

Share your experiences and your company’s innovative progress is guaranteed. FastForward team will gladly help you on your way to success! 

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Participants’ impressions of previous management tours:
Having already taken part in educational tours, these people are happy to share their knowledge and impressions.
Anton Nesiforov
Anton NesiforovProcess Manager for fruit and vegetable preservation, beverages, and alcohol

On our tour of Germany, we visited the most famous food exhibition, the Green Week, as well as numerous retail chains and enterprises operating in various interesting industries. We have a lot to learn. We must take the best and use it. Thank you, FastForward, for your careful approach to creating this tour.

Alena Nesiforova
Alena NesiforovaUnified Concept Manager for Izbenka and VkusVill

We visited several retail stores in Germany, as well as manufacturing facilities. What we liked the most about the stores we visited was the high quality standards of German retail. Retailers know how to sell high-quality goods at affordable prices, and this is probably the main secret of Germany's retail success. As for production, we were inspired by some of the small family businesses we saw.

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