For more on The Cable Show 2013, please check out Cable in the capital, a Special Report recapping the show.
The Cable Show fully embraced all things digital for the consumer in 2013, including video on demand, personalized content recommendations, second-screen social media applications and targeted advertising.
But Red Touch Media CEO Wayne Scholes thinks that when it comes to internal communications — between content providers, media buyers, retail partners and advertisers — the move to digital has been painfully slow.
“We are about the most analog industry that you can possibly imagine. We still give DVD screeners out. We still send out VHSs sometimes,” Scholes said during an interview at Red Touch’s Cable Show booth. “We’re talking to the consumer and convincing them that it’s all digital, and yet internally, we’re all DVD. That’s not communication. That’s sending out a packet once a week.”
Red Touch’s solution is called Bridge, a content management and distribution platform that can be customized to fit a particular company’s needs. Scholes said Bridge beats the DVD screener in several ways: Content is delivered digitally, eliminating the costs of producing and mailing DVDs, and is protected by digital rights management technology. Bridge also allows providers to track who’s watching the content, how long they’re watching, and where they paused or rewatched a scene.
“It’s really about connecting the right content to the right people, and knowing what people want,” he said.
The platform enables the connections, but it’s back-end analytics that will drive the conversation. Content providers, such as Red Touch client Sony, will know more about buyers’ habits and preferences, and can adapt their strategies on the fly to increase engagement.
“[Providers] know what [buyers] like about the content. They know where they watched it. They know what promos they watched and what they didn’t watch. … It means the marketing team has to talk to the sales team. It means they’re going to have to talk to the executives.”
Red Touch’s network, which manages more than 2 billion files each month, isn’t limited to TV shows and movies. E-books, games, software and music — all kinds of consumable content is supported.
Scholes said his company recently worked with a school in South Africa to help them manage their digital content. The Bridge platform allowed teachers to track whether students read their assignments and reward those who completed tasks with free content such as music.
“Schools these have been very good at bringing in digital content, but their problem is they don’t have any way to manage it,” said Scholes, adding that Red Touch can help them to “deliver the content, protect it, track it and give the analytics on the back-end.”
But for Red Touch, which sponsored the red carpet at the Daytime Emmy Awards this past weekend, shaking up the entertainment business remains the primary goal.
“We’re a process-driven industry. We like our processes: ‘[Someone] asks me about [content], I take their details, I send them their DVD or I send them 40 DVDs. I call them three weeks later, and I ask them if they’ve watched the 40 DVDs. They pretend they have, and then we have a conversation.’”
“We’re the ones that come in and go — we can change the process.”