Fashion Week Los Angeles Gets a Streaming Video Makeover
“One way that we were able to get around some of those exorbitant fees was to use cellular bonding products. What they do is they basically give you a backpack with a small computer in it and about eight or more LTE cards. There will be some from Sprint, some from TMobile, some from Verizon. They aggregate this bandwidth,” Roskin says. “On a clear day, when you are not in the middle of Fashion Week, you can get multiple, multiple, multiple megabits per second out of this thing. The LTE connection can sustain a few megabits. You could probably get 25 to 30 megabits out of this solution. While you are doing Fashion Week and everybody is on their phone, we still found that it goes pretty good. We found that you can still get at least that three if not five or six out at any time. There is a monthly fee, in general, and you can find places where you can rent this solution.”
While costs vary per service, cellular bonding is usually cheaper than going with a fixed line, Roskin says.
Pain Point 2: Metadata and Organization
The problem of UCA’s disorganized locally stored terabytes of video files will be largely remedied by moving to an OVP with some kind of content management system (CMS).
“When you go to a CMS and you have all the metadata available for all these videos, and then you need to pull something together, it’s really easy. They will at least force you to enter metadata. You have to upload a video and put a few pieces of metadata, so that things don’t just get called, like, Test One, and then all of a sudden somebody forgot to change the name and you are putting out production footage under Test One. You’d say, LA Fashion Week 2016 and then there would be a who, what, when, where, why, so then you could go back to search,” Roskin says. “All that stuff is in there because you had to put it in. It is annoying while you are running around, but it’s necessary.
“I would guess that the level of contact management that you would need would be fulfilled by one of those OVPs,” Roskin continues. “If for some reason you run into a problem there are many companies that do nothing more than a content management system, but at some point the costs of going to these dedicated guys might start to become a little too cumbersome.”
Pain Point 3: Monetizing Assets
UCA has been pouring a lot of money into FWLA streaming for years, without making much return. But the company is offering highvalue content to an attractive demographic, and Roskin gave Ferrigno ideas on how to monetize it.
“At MTV we had sponsored cameras. For example—just using L’Oreal as an example—L’Oreal would come to us and we would create a separate feed with a separate production team, and they would get exclusive footage,” Roskin says. “A part of the red carpet would be the L’Oreal part, and all the interviews were L’Oreal property. On top of the regular MTV.com feed there was also another camera that the viewers could watch that was sponsored by L’Oreal.
“It is always easier to get something set up when somebody else is paying. If you take it off of YouTube, you can earn more money by selling ads and experiences around the page itself,” Roskin says. “YouTube is great because they give you this whole platform and everything just works, but it is not great because you don’t really make any money from it. If you can own your own landing page and push people to that page, then you can sell all of the ads around there, including any ads that you can get brought into the video itself, maybe between shoots. Let’s say a fashion show just finished and the next one is going in 7 minutes. In that 7 minutes you could have a quick commercial.”
If selling ads to multiple vendors is hard to manage, UCA could offer exclusives.
“The other thing you can do is go to one company,” Roskin says. “If you don’t want to start doing all this ad sale work, you can go to a company, like BMW, and you can say, ‘I’ll give you the top banner ad and I will give you two ads on the side, and I will give you a commercial in the video player, and everything is going to be BMW. We’re going to sponsor our entire site BMW and have only your stuff there, but we are going to need an exclusive level of money to do that.’ Your content is so premium, there are not a lot of people living below the poverty line that are tuning in every time to Fashion Week. I think you have a good chance to make some good money on this.”
Pain Point 4: Background Music
Ferrigno’s final pain point was the previously mentioned YouTube Content ID system, which causes his streams to be disconnected because of the runways shows’ background music tracks. That issue disappears entirely if UCA takes its streaming off YouTube and goes with an OVP.
“Unless, the OVP also has a copyright filter in its upload, but I would assume that most of them don’t,” Roskin says.
In the end, Ferrigno was hugely grateful for the advice, which could take his Fashion Week streams from cumbersome money losers to streamlined profit centers. This article was completed just before the March FWLA streams. While Ferrigno hadn’t had much time to institute Roskin’s advice, he said he was looking for a cellular bonding solution and talking with CinemaNow and FilmOn about handling storage and distribution. He’ll have more time to put changes in place for the October 2016 runway shows.
This article appears in the April/May 2016 issue of Streaming Media magazine as "Fashion Week Los Angeles Gets a Streaming Video Makeover."
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