VIDEO: From the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Steve Waskul talks with FlixMaster Co-Founder and CEO Erika Trautman about the future of online video.
VIDEO: From the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Steve Waskul talks with FlixMaster Co-Founder and CEO Erika Trautman about the future of online video.
There’s a lot of great news coming out for FlixMaster today. First, we’re thrilled to announce our solution for the growing need for more creative uses for video content. Enterprise video technology has, thus far, been primarily focused on video distribution and content management, yet content quality and increased viewer engagement is what is at the forefront of the minds of creative professionals today.
As a result of our great strides to meet that need, we were recently commissioned by HBO to develop an interactive online experience for the newly launched Cinemax series, “Banshee”, that incorporates FlixMaster video technology and makes heavy use of the Player API. The online destination, Banshee Origins, gives audiences an enhanced viewing experience, driven by interaction with the video player itself. This gives them an opportunity to explore the show and interact with its characters and themes.
This partnership follows our recent work with the USA Network show, “Covert Affairs”, where our technology was the driving force behind a new and acclaimed web experience. This is the very kind of viewer engagement that corporate brands are also seeking, and it’s why FlixMaster has seen significant interest from major brands that are tired of conventional video, brands that want to increase engagement and leverage online video as a broader sales or business driver.
Here’s what Erika Trautman, our CEO and Co-Founder, had to say about the news:
“The promise of Enterprise Video has been high engagement that converts interaction into action. The problem is, most videos simply transfer a conventional TV-like experience to the web, and even though most viewers go to the video first, they’re gone in a matter of seconds. Brands need to produce interactive video experiences that draw viewers in and keep them there. And companies need to be producing those experiences at scale and at a reasonable cost. That’s what FlixMaster offers.”
Second, we are excited to announce the launch of new industry modules for our innovative video editing and deployment platform, specifically designed for online retailing, corporate customer service, and media markets. Online retailers currently make up about 30% of FlixMaster’s overall enterprise customers, and we are thrilled to be expanding our offering to further meet the needs of this unique and growing market.
Finally, FlixMaster is announcing today that we have secured $1.125 million in additional funding from a syndicate of investors, led by New York-based investment firm Golden Seeds. We are looking forward to the developments that this investment will lead to, and are committed to continuing our efforts to turn out services and technology that change the way companies interact with their audience through video.
This is an exciting time for us, and we hope that you will keep checking back with us here so that we can keep you updated on the latest from the FlixMaster team. You can also follow us on Twitter @FlixMaster.
Here’s to making waves in the world of online video. Thanks for your support!
Boulder CO, January 23, 2013 – FlixMaster, the creative platform for Enterprise Online Video, today announced it has secured $1.125 million in additional funding from a syndicate of investors led by New York-based investment firm Golden Seeds.
The company said the investment would be used principally to expand sales and marketing efforts, particularly in the corporate enterprise markets. The company also announced it was launching new industry modules for its video editing and deployment platform designed for online retailing, corporate customer service and media markets.
FlixMaster is addressing the growing need for more creative uses of video by corporations and media properties alike. To date, Enterprise Video technology has been primarily focused on video distribution and content management, but as those technology challenges fade, creative professionals are looking for platforms that improve content quality and increase viewer engagement.
“The promise of Enterprise Video has been high engagement that converts interaction into action,” said Erika Trautman, co-founder and CEO of FlixMaster, a Boulder, CO-based graduate of the prestigious TechStars program. “The problem is, most videos simply transfer a conventional TV-like experience to the web, and even though most viewers go to the video first, they’re gone in a matter of seconds.”
“Brands need to produce interactive video experiences that draw viewers in and keep them there. And companies need to be able to produce those experiences at scale and at a reasonable cost. That’s what FlixMaster offers,” she continued.
FlixMaster has enjoyed success in media markets where creativity and innovation is critical, as producers aim to translate the quality of their broadcast shows into dynamic web experiences. The company was recently engaged by HBO to develop an interactive online experience for the newly launched Cinemax series, “Banshee”, that incorporates FlixMaster video technology and makes heavy use of the Player API. The online destination, Banshee Origins, provides audiences with an enhanced viewing experience, driven through interaction with the video player itself, and gives them an opportunity to explore the show and interact with its characters and themes. Last summer, FlixMaster’s technology powered an acclaimed web experience for the USA Network show, “Covert Affairs.”
That kind of viewer investment is exactly what corporate brands are also seeking and why FlixMaster has seen significant interest from major brands that have grown tired of conventional video and want to increase engagement and leverage video as a broader sales tool.
“About a third of all online retailers, for example, have hundreds and sometimes thousands of videos, some of which are productive, many of which are not,” said Ms. Trautman. “We’re delivering capabilities like clicking on products in a video and dropping them directly into a shopping cart or launching product specifications right from the video.”
“The trick is to capture a viewers interest and get them to act without forcing them to another page. This is a subtle but fundamental shift in presenting video as an active medium vs. a passive experience,” she said.
Online retailers constitute about 30 percent of FlixMaster’s enterprise overall customers.
About Golden Seeds
Golden Seeds is an investment firm dedicated to delivering above market returns for investors through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs. Its member angel network, consisting of 240 men and women nationwide, is the fourth largest in the US. Golden Seeds Fund II, an investor in PromoJam, closed in December.
FlixMaster is the creative platform for online enterprise video. FlixMaster makes online video an interactive experience, allowing creative professionals to produce content at scale that is highly engaging, converts interaction into action and provides significant ROI.
Based in Boulder, CO and a graduate of the highly acclaimed TechStars program, FlixMaster’s cloud-based technology enhances enterprise videos with the click-through power of other web experiences and creates viewer-engaging and revenue-producing assets for retailers, technology vendors, media companies and other organizations.
We’re excited to have a lot of new creative folks using the FlixMaster platform to create next-generation, interactive videos and thought it would be fun to offer some assets for creating your first Interactive Holiday Video Postcard! In this post we’re including all of the video assets you need to create your own simple Interactive Video Postcard like this one and, for those of you who want to take it to the next level there is an Advanced User Content Pack that will give you the flexibility to take this simple project to the next level!
Please leave questions, comments, ideas, or post your projects on our Facebook page and also keep track on twitter for more great content packs, tips, tricks, tutorials, and ideas for creating engaging interactive videos. And if you haven’t signed up yet, check us out at FlixMaster to get your free account!
Happy Holidays! Have fun!!
We thought it would be fun to offer an interactive holiday card to our friends, family and users. Later today we’ll also be breaking down how easily we made this project, offering a creation template, and providing a link for downloadable assets so you can make your very own! So be sure to join the FlixMaster Facebook community and keep your ear open for updates on Twitter!
We’re proud to announce that FlixMaster has partnered with Sony Creative Software to offer an exclusive, limited-time discount to Sony Creative Software users interested in taking their online videos to the next level. As the easiest and most powerful platform to create e-commerce, entertainment, and e-learning projects, FlixMaster adds a world of opportunity to Sony Creative Software users, and at the amazing price of $19.95/month there is no longer any reason not to take advantage. It’s also FREE to build and publish with up to 250 “video plays” so anyone and everyone can take a spin. Check out the FlixMaster partner page on Sony Creative Software’s site here.
The partnership was announced today and Sony Creative Software plans to roll out an email notification to its millions of users starting tomorrow. They’ll also be hosting a webinar on Thursday November 15th to go over the basics of building a project using FlixMaster so be sure to sign up! “If you believe, as we do, that online video is going to be interactive in the coming years, then FlixMaster is the platform that is going to get you in the game, ahead of the curve,” said Dave Chaimson, vice president of Global Marketing for Sony Creative Software. “The partnership between Sony Creative Software and FlixMaster presents our users with the most state-of-the-art means to exercise their creativity in ways never before possible. It will spark project creation that will amaze, and meet a broad diversity of consumer needs.”
FlixMaster CEO Erika Trautman is also thrilled with the opportunity. “FlixMaster frees video producers from the constraints of a linear storyline, and we think Sony Creative Software users will be astonished by what they can do with the platform. We’re honored that Sony Creative Software recognized the ingenuity that FlixMaster put into its platform to drive the next generation of online video, and excited that for the first time, it’s being made available to the a very broad creative market via this exclusive partnership.”
In addition to the amazing price point, FlixMaster has removed “video play” limits for these exclusive users - opening up their projects to be viewed and shared by millions!
Click here for the full press release.
FlixMaster and Sony Creative Software Partner to Offer Sony Creative Software Users Access to FlixMaster’s Game-Changing Interactive Video Platform
Easiest and Most Powerful Platform to Create E-commerce, Entertainment and E-learning Projects Available for a Limited-time, Sony Creative Software-only Promotion
BOULDER, CO–November 14, 2012–FlixMaster (www.flixmaster.com), the first user-driven online video platform that radically changes the video experience for producers and viewers alike, and Sony Creative Software (www.sonycreativesoftware.com), a leading global provider of professional editing and authoring applications, announced today that the two companies have partnered to offer Sony Creative Software users exclusive access to FlixMaster’s cloud-based interactive video creation and editing platform for only $19.95/month. For a limited time, Sony Creative Software users can experience the enterprise level power of FlixMaster’s interactive editing platform at a fraction of the cost.
Sony will offer this special Sony Creative Software group-only subscription rate to its millions of users via its monthly user newsletter, scheduled to be emailed November 15, giving Sony Creative Software users special access to FlixMaster’s enterprise-level, interactive editing platform, which offers the best cloud-based interactive building tools for scalable e-commerce, entertainment, corporate, and e-learning projects. The special rate includes unlimited project building, unlimited views (sharing with others) and 10GB of storage, allowing anyone in the Sony Creative Software group to try for themselves FlixMaster’s unique visual branching video creation tools that make video non-linear, participatory and social. In addition, Sony will promote FlixMaster in a Webinar on Thursday, November 15, at 9:00 a.m. PT.
“If you believe, as we do, that online video is going to be interactive in the coming years, then FlixMaster is the platform that is going to get you in the game, ahead of the curve,” said Dave Chaimson, vice president of Global Marketing for Sony Creative Software. “The partnership between Sony Creative Software and FlixMaster presents our users with the most state-of-the-art means to exercise their creativity in ways never before possible. It will spark project creation that will amaze, and meet a broad diversity of consumer needs.”
FlixMaster is the only interactive editing platform that combines the following features to offer an end-to-end video creation experience:
· Simple, visual branching video creation
· Free to build
· Instant project updates via drag-and-drop map editor
· Player API
· Social Sharing
· Powerful Analytics
· Built in Native HTML5
“FlixMaster frees video producers from the constraints of a linear storyline, and we think Sony Creative Software users will be astonished by what they can do with the platform,” said Erika Trautman, CEO and co-founder of FlixMaster. “We’re honored that Sony Creative Software recognized the ingenuity that FlixMaster put into its platform to drive the next generation of online video, and excited that, for the first time, it’s being made available to the a very broad creative market via this exclusive partnership.”
The FlixMaster platform was adopted earlier this year by NBCUniversal/USA Network for a first-ever interactive online video prequel created for the network’s hit TV series “Covert Affairs.” In October, One Kings Lane, an online home design flash sale site, began using interactive video created with FlixMaster to help consumers learn more about its products in an experiential way and to appeal to a new user base.
FlixMaster’s next-generation capabilities enable producers to create non-linear video with multiple navigation paths, and its player API extends the reach of the video outside of the player to interact with the actual website – creating a new paradigm where the video player can be the main navigation point for an entire website. Its drag-and-drop interface allows content creators to link videos to other videos, add links to outside URLs, and leverage its powerful player API to easily create professional-grade, highly interactive projects that drive engagement and e-commerce ROI. FlixMaster videos can quadruple viewing engagement and increase clickthrough rates by up to 800%, and unlike other solutions that require producers to relinquish creative control by sending their videos to “experts” who complete them according to predefined specifications, FlixMaster allows producers to retain complete control from start to finish. FlixMaster handles all of the transcoding and optimization and can either host the published videos or integrate with the company’s CDN of choice. These dynamic, interactive projects can then be embedded on any website or easily shared through social networks. FlixMaster is built in HTML5 to integrate seamlessly with iPads and other tablets.
FlixMaster (www.flixmaster.com) is a pioneering interactive video platform that offers a radically new video creation and viewing experience. With FlixMaster, anyone – from individuals to businesses – can create and share next-generation videos that inspire, engage and interact with viewers. Unlike complex and costly video creation tools, FlixMaster provides a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows the producer to easily create videos that are non-linear, participatory and social. FlixMaster-made videos get significantly higher clickthroughs, engagement and ROI than their standard online counterparts. Finally, video is freed to act as an interactive educational tool, a powerful e-commerce engine, or as the ultimate entertainment vehicle where viewers can create their own adventures and choose their own story outcomes. Headquartered in Boulder, CO, FlixMaster was co-founded by an Emmy Award-nominated producer and a video game designer, and is a TechStars 2011 company.
Krista Van Lewen
An interactive choose-your-own-adventure-style mystery, HUNCH is a FlixMaster-powered web film about romance author Kaitlyn Camrose, who mysteriously dies in what seems to be an empty hotel room. She’s vacationing with her older husband and his son. As the viewer, you direct Detective Kyle Marquette’s murder investigation from beginning to end, choosing his actions at crucial decision making moments during the story.
Do you inspect the body or interview witnesses? Listen to audio recordings or review surveillance video footage? Each option has a ten second countdown, limiting your opportunity to weigh the choices for very long. Writer/director Ryan Hunter Phillips and producer Doug Landers believe interactive content is the future of entertainment and advertising. We might be biased but we tend to agree.
Think you have what it takes to help Detective Marquette crack this case? There’s only one way to find out:
If the web had no links, it would be a terrible experience. Most online videos today are dead ends; a single viewing experience with no options to navigate elsewhere. Linking videos together with other videos or maps, photos, stills, or forms captures information. We call this technology “branching videos.”
In our pitch a year ago at TechStars demo day, we used the example of Domino’s Pizza’s sedentary video versus an interactive one by a much smaller brand, Hell Pizza. Hell Pizza had a mere one fifty third of the annual budget that pizza giant Domino’s utilized yet their video had 4M hits to Domino’s 800K. Why?
It’s simple. Videos that are branching are sixteen times more likely to receive at least 200,000 views (the benchmark metric for a successful viral video). People also spend twice as long watching them. This deep engagement leads to a doubled conversion rate.
Fox, Universal, Burger King, Honda, Old Spice, and E-Trade are just a few of the major brands that are capitalizing on branching video but with FlixMaster, you don’t have to have a major brand’s budget to create compelling content. Why shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for an experience you can’t reuse?
The benefits of interactive video are tangible. Built in HTML5 and powered by a passionate team in Boulder, FlixMaster makes video as rich, connected, and interactive as the rest of the web.
You probably aren’t surprised to hear that Old Spice has hit another ball out of the park with their new interactive video of Terry Crews, former NFL star and brand identity, controlling a host of percussion instruments with his muscle flexes. The video was uploaded last week and already has 4.7 million views, 10,000 likes on Vimeo, and is referenced in over 29,000 places online. For only a few days of play, that is an impressive return on investment.
What makes this video so popular? How is a single piece of flash content so compelling? Let’s walk through the process.
Short but illustrative
Upon first click, the average viewer might not even realize the video is interactive. For a minute and sixteen seconds, we see Terry create an ab-powered drum solo, occasionally yelling, “Danger zone!” When the video concludes, the option to create your own drum solo, powered by Terry, appears. Pressing random keys causes a flex to occur, resulting in drum beats or words like, “Sausage!” and “Internet!” shouted.
It’s a drum solo fueled by twitching biceps. The biceps belong to a famous athlete who now spends his days as a sitcom actor and reality star. If the magnitude of anthropomorphized cat videos reigning over the internet aren’t already a dead giveaway, people embrace all things preposterous. The more absurd, the better.
We have talked about this one in depth. Audiences want to engage!
The opportunity to create your own video and then upload it to Vimeo streamlines the sharing process because no download is required. Less is more. If you then share your video, you’re spreading the Old Spice gospel and driving even more traffic back to Old Spice’s original content. It’s a win-win for them.