Mashable Media Summit Reflections

Social Media Marketing

I attended Mashable Media Summit in NYC on November 5th, 2011. It was a very well attended event and Mashable brought in great speakers to talk about various issues and trends in the media industry for 2012.  I wanted to recap some key points that would help all of us who are interested in social media and how it can help brands and media publishers alike.

Keynote session by Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable

Pete took the stage at the beginning of the event and walked us through his thoughts on 2012 trends.

  1. News aggregator applications – these applications provide news and information in an aggregated fashion from multiple sources. Pete gave examples of Flipboard, Pulse, Zite, Edition, Livestand.
    1. The prevailing business model for these applications is the split in the advertisement revenue. For example, if New York Times has its content on Flipboard and there is an advertisement within its content, then both Flipboard and New York Times will split the advertisement revenue.  Who manages the ad network can be a question, but my thinking is that either app provider or media publisher can do it.  The challenge he cited was there could be no control for the media publisher on content placement.  There could be competing content as an advertisement.  Publishers are using Adobe Publisher to deliver their content to iPad.
    2. Subscriptions are another type of business model and Newsstand is using that model.
  2. Beyond iPad – Pete mentioned that though there is a lot of buzz around iPad, he clearly sees publishers adopting other tablet devices such as Kindle Fire. He also identified Windows 8 as a potential entrant to the tablet space, given HP’s inclination to work with Windows 8.
  3. Social gestures – Social gestures such as frictionless sharing introduced by Facebook are enabling increase in engagement and sharing. For example, Washington Post’s Social Reader application shares the information on what content is read by a user on his/her wall without asking for permission. There is no explicit sharing of the information by user under this new scheme.  There is another application by Wall Street Journal (WSJ Social) that takes advantage of frictionless sharing. Key issues here are risk specific to privacy.  Pete noted that any web application can take advantage of this capability within Facebook.
  4. TV Everywhere – TV is coming to all experiences including web and mobile. He cited examples of Dish and CNN.  CNN offers live TV on laptop, iPhone, and iPad devices.  There could be a push from cable providers in this area as they see this as an effective way to compete against streaming providers such as Netflix and Amazon.
  5. Second Screen Experiences – Second screen applications have taken off to ensure that audiences are glued to a specific show whether they are watching it on their TV or playing with their laptops, iPads or smart phones. Second screen apps will take advantage of users desire to multi-task when they are watching TV.  For example Disney has launched Bambi application.  Another example given was MTV’s Watch With.  The idea behind these second screen applications is that while the show is going on, users can use the application specific to the show and get more information on actors, storyline, past episodes and backstage information.  In addition, the second screen applications will enable social behavior like sharing, liking and rating.  A couple of other examples were given on Bravo New and NBC Live.
  6. Movie + TV Marketing Applications – applications have become the new standard for media distribution.  Based on this trend, almost all TV shows and movies are creating applications that will enable content distribution in interesting ways to the targeted audience. The rise of application markets is also playing a major role in this phonomenon. A few examples are given are Super 8 and HSN Diner Dash (created by PlayFirst).
  7. Social Music – the social music services such as Spotify, which is available through Facebook both as a free and a subscription service are another key trend to watch in 2012. Question is their viability in the long-run, according to Pete.
  8. HTML 5 – now that applications are being built for almost all major platforms at once, cross-platform portability has become essential and Pete expects HTML 5 to play a major role in this.
  9. Content Licensing clash – The content distributors such as Netflix and content providers such as Starz are clashing for more piece of the pie.  Pete noted that Netflix type services are heavily dependent on what content they can provide and there is a power shift going towards content providers at the moment.
  10.   Car applications – there is a potential for different applications for cars, though this may not be a significant 2012 trend.
  11.   Flexible displays – these are the displays that can provide better user experience by having flexible displays such as bended displays. Pete likes these possibilities though they may not be materialized in 2012.
  12.   Apple ITV is another potential trend that may happen in 2012.
  13.   Location based news is another potential trend that may happen in 2012. For example, Wall Street Journal provides a special New York City edition on mobile phones.
  14.   Media consumption via Near Field Communicaitons (NFC) – through NFC, there is a lot of opportunity for both purchases and media consumption. Google Wallet is cited as an example in this area.

AT&T was the sponsor of the event. Larry L Soloman of AT&T spoke about the trends they are seeing:

  1. HTML 5 is a big deal for AT&T
  2. Opening the network for different players
  3. APIs and Application developers. To enable AT&T to work with developers, they hosted developer summits in various parts of the world. The APIs are focused on billing, messaging and location based services
  4. 4G networks bring a lot of opportunities such as real-time video gaming and HD video calls
  5. Applications and content will be contextual and relevant (for example, time of day, day of the week)
  6. Apps are becoming natural companions to do various tasks in our daily life
  7. Hardware is becoming less important and content and cloud are becoming more important


Emily Chang of Bloomberg TV interviewed Evan Cohen of Foursquare.

Key takeaways from that conversations are:

  • Foursquare is making progress and working hard to go beyond check-ins to deliver value.
  • Foursquare could potentially face off against its daily deal partners like Groupon based on where they are going
  • Foursquare allows brands to create page on Foursquare web site to drive more interaction / engagement with their brand. Brands are also launching applications that can provide Tips and Reviews based on the location information from Foursquare. For example, History Channel shows tips based on the check-ins.
  • Loyalty deals and discounts are natural ways to deliver value to merchants
  • Foursquare is working on several merchant tools
  • Foursquare is also interested in delivering more value to their users
    • Deliver relevant control
    • Tell about friends about their preferences and recommend locations
    • They are also thinking about auto classification of information for easier consumption
  • Foursquare is about to launch “Save To Foursquare” button for web sites to let the site visitors to ‘bookmark’ the web site to Foursquare.  Evan claimed that this would be like ‘bookmarking the real-world’ though that aspect is not completely clear.

Mashable Media Platform

Mashable announced that they are introducing their Media platform to distribute 3rd party content through Mashable properties.  They have some initial partners on this who include ClickZ, GeekSugar, iJnet,, PocketNow, UX Magazine and PSFK.

Some interesting stats on Facebook by Michael Lazerow, CEO Buddy Media

Michael took the stage to talk about Facebook marketing and talk about the trends he is seeing.

  • 800Millions Facebook users
  • 50% log in everyday
  • 1B more than # of Google searches per day
  • 31% of ad impressions in the USA
  • 16% of the total time spent

He gave the following advice to marketers:

  1. Setup and optimize your social presence
  2. Socialize all content and eliminate dead ends in the experience
  3. Use social to monetize today and eliminate silos.

Final Comments on Mashable Media Summit

There is a renewed enthusiasm in media industry to drive revenues and engagement by utilizing various trends like social media, social TV, marketing applications.

  • There is an emphasis on the user behavior and expectation that live TV still matters, along with streaming content.
  • There is an interesting tussle between media and e-commerce as there has been a separation thus far (like church and state), which is crumbling. Many magazines are entering e-commerce either directly or through separate entities (Esquire). And many e-commerce providers are focusing on editorial content (Gilt Groupe).  As a result, there has been a shift in resources from media to e-commerce (Gilt pulled away multiple key figures from Esquire), which is putting a drain on media, which is already under tremendous pressure to adopt digital completely.
  • In media industry, every body’s job changed to an extent. Hence, there is a focus on roles and how they fit in with each other.
  • Real-time analytics and understanding the impact of campaigns and initiatives is very much on the radar for media companies.
  • There is some confusion on ad monetization through Facebook applications. Facebook community manager has cleared the confusion for the record that publishers get to run their ads and keep the proceeds.

Written By

Lauren Gould, Product Marketing Manager with ReadyPulse.