DIGITAL MEDIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT: My focus is digital content -- production, distribution, collaboration, innovation, creativity. Some posts have appeared across the web (HuffPo, Tribeca's Future of Film, The Wrap, MIPblog, etc.). To receive these posts regularly via email, sign up for my newsletter here.

Entries in television (16)


Hello, New York: Upcoming Talks

I’ll be in New York City in September (a gift, IMHO) for two talks and booking meetings during available times 9/16-19. Pop by the following, or ping me if you’d like to grab some time.

FAN-POWERED MEDIA: Inviting your audience into the story with is an interactive entertainment startup whose flagship product enables the creation of crowd-sourced online storytelling. The cloud-based system allows show creators to create and manage a story environment in which audience members can create characters, respond to story prompts, engage and share their content. Recent examples include the steampunk adventure Aurelia: Edge of Darkness; USA’s Psych Social Sector and “Wecome to Sanditon,” the sequel to the popular web series “Lizzie Bennet’s Diaries.” 

STORYCODE, September 17, 7pm at Ogilvy Headquarters - 636 11th Avenue (btw 46th and 47th St). Also presenting: Elaine McMillion, with interactive documentary “Hollow.”

See if U can find me....


It all starts with the content: the TV networks, the online video websites, the buzz on social media. This panel focuses on creating content that works on digital platforms.


Rich Cusick, Vice President of Entertainment and Women’s Lifestyles, Yahoo!
Reid Genauer, Chief Marketing Officer, Magisto
Shane Rahmani, VP, Corporate Development, Electus
Nick DeMartino, Head of Business Development,
ModeratorPaul Kontonis, General Manager, Magnet Media Originals and Chairman, International Academy of Web Television

DMW Future of Television Conference, September 18, 10am - Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place





Curating the Week's Best in Film, TV, Video, Transmedia & Digital Business

Each week I offer my own (human) curation of links, posts, and articles that have informed me in the markets in which I actively consult -- film, television, video, transmedia, and digital business. You can scan the summary, click through, or go to my Twitter account (@nickdemartino), where the items below are among those "favorited" with a star. 


  • It will be interesting to watch the new TV venture from Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, CAA and AEG, reported here in Variety (a gated community). 
  • Long Tail Video created a really excellent overview of HTML5 by cramming a ton of info into easy-to-digest charts and graphics. This is a model of clarity in presentation, especially  if you're into tech subjects.
  • Cable networks are emerging as the most innovative users of social TV apps, as noted in Mashable's rundown of efforts by FX and USA.
  • As part of Netflix's resurrection campaign the company noted that its streaming service is now available on more than 800 devices (!) and that mobile is taking over. 
  • Think Netflix is worried about Hulu and Amazon catching up? Nope, the threat is "TV Everywhere," according to this TNW post.
  • Maybe they should worry more about Apple TV, which GigaOm asserts is finally gaining marketplace traction. 
  • I loved this piece on the impact of VOD binge viewing on future TV business models, posted on WIRED. I'm a binger, aren't you?  
  • YouTube's Reach Begins to Eclipse Television, claims Read Write Web, based upon recent data.
  • As it shifts towards more professional content and a channel-based interface, YouTube reached out to its base of member-creators this week
  • John Seabrook's analysis of Robert Kyncl and YouTube: Will it Revolutionize Television? New Yorker 
  • Perhaps in reaction to YouTube's strategy, Vimeo this week released new features, including a new player and a streamlined look. 

  • One YouTuber who is jumping quite a shark is Dane Beodigheimer's ANNOYING ORANGE, which announced a deal with Cartoon Network this week. 
  • Video is powering a global classroom, according to this story from Mashable.


  • Check out this beautiful display of components that comprised the "multilayered transmedia campaign" in support of HBO's GAME OF THRONES by Steve Coulson who presented this week at the newly named STORYCODE meet up group at Lincoln Center. 
  • Finally, SXSW announced the finalists for its Interactive Awards with a list of links to products in each area, including activism, amusement, art, business, community, education, experimental, film/TV, music, motion graphics and so forth. So helpful if one wishes to actually check out the sites.


  • With the announcement of the Oscar nominations, we move into the home-stretch of the movie biz annual race. the web awash with analysis and predictions, like this one from the Reporter, offering "key factoids." 
  • At the other end of the biz --perhaps in honor of Sundance which is in session-- check this out: Jeffrey Winter, Sheri Candler, and Orly Ravid, three of the four authors of "Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul" offer another batch of DIY distribution success stories, posted on Ted Hope's blog.
  • Indeed, Sundance's Robert Redford opened the festival with a nod to alternate distribution. 
  • Cinedigm joint venture seeks to help indie filmmakers compete in the digital space. 


  • Apple's entry into the textbook market got lots of attention last week, including a nice post from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, "The Day the Bookshelf Shook." 
  • Though "the network effect" may be the holy grail for digital business, maybe not so much, according to this really smart post from the Business Insider. 
  • The impact of the epic struggle over SOPA has resulted in some interesting long-view posts, including Chris Dorr's analysis, which centers on the fundamental differences between the technological networks employed by the adversaries (Hollywood, Internet). 
  • The Hollywood Reporter dives into "what went wrong" for Hollywood in a nice piece of reporting by Kim Masters. 
  • One sign that a company is important is how much new it makes when it introduces change to its user base. Hence, Twitter made news with a shift in how it "withholds" certain tweets -- is it censorship? The twitterati are atwitter.
  • That will be nothing, however, compared to the online flutter that will attend to the long-awaited filing by Facebook of its long-awaited Initial Public Offering, rumored to be as early as next week.

Digital disruption in the local TV market

If forced to pluck a single theme from my talk to a group of local television station executives this week at Disney World it would be this one: "TV is just another application." Today's consumer still loves TV, make no mistake. But technology provides more and more choice -- both types of content (games, messaging, non-TV video, and so much more) and the way it is delivered (phones, tablets, laptops, IP-TVs, et. al.).

The trend is clear -- TV viewing as we know it will evolve dramatically in the coming years into some new form. Think about the evolution of radio, from the central focus in the living room to a driving companion under the onslaught of TV. 

Over time, the explosion of choice and technologies will necessarily erode incumbant providers -- disruption in publishing, music, movies, and network TV. But what about the local TV broadcaster, lynchpin of the American system of distribution? If I can get the shows I like over the internet, and I can, why do I need my local channel? 

Local broadcasters still have immense brand power in the marketplace, derived not only from habit but because they deliver news, weather, traffic and often live programming like sports which are unavailable from other sources (for now). These and other strengths must be leveraged in the new digital marketplace, which is crowded by all sorts of competition, fueled again by the Internet. Hyper-local websites, blogs, networks and "deal" sites are going after advertisers and viewers. 

Local stations must think like digital natives and bring their brand and content to audiences where they live, especially younger consumers who may simply not have developed the same TV viewing habits as their parents. Some of my suggestions and analysis are contained in this presentation, including an endearing photo of me as a young media activist (aged 12), my first angry letter to a TV station.


Week's Best Posts: Long Reads, Best-of Lists, TV & Movie Biz #NGIF

We're in a New Year, and it's time for the first edition of "Nick's Great Information Friday," my weekly curation of the best posts and links in film, television, technology, and all the things I follow. I promise, this will be the last installment filled with other people's lists. Going forward, of course, we have to put up with all the damn awards!


  • If you've been following my blog lately, you'll know that I've written "best-of" posts for television, books, software, and now movies, with the last of the four coming out as late in the year as I could make it in order to include pictures from the December glut. This post gives you links to all four sets of reviews.
  • Anyone can make their own list (including me), but these guys curate a list of the best lists. I like it, notwithstanding the source:  a quirky website called Crabby Golightly.
  • To review the best sci-fi and fantasy books of 2011 from ion9 ("We come from the Future") here's a good list -- not my prime genre, but worth a look.
  • Check out “A Year in Transmedia,” Simon Staffans’s free ebook colllection of posts about the emerging t-m field, including an interview  with your truly : download here.
  • The best of 2011's tech writing is collected for your consideration by Thomas Houston at The Verge.
  • The Guardian offers "the top 50 iPad apps." 


  • The Next Web offers its own tidbits in "What 2012 Holds for Online Media."
  • Book-obsessed website The Millions posted a very informative rundown of the most anticipated books of 2012.
  • Fortune's "Guide to the Future," notwithstanding the sheer grandiosity of the headline, is a useful predictive wallow, highlighting a few trends I hadn't considered. 


  • Amid the predictable hand-wringing over the predictable year-end bad news about movie box office, The Wrap's editor Sharon Waxman jumps in with some obvious and sensible advice, and renews her call for "bold" moves by the studios in digital (WB's acquisition of Flixster? "come on, I said bold!" sez Waxman.)
  • Meanwhile, serial entrepreneur and start-up guru Steve Blank slugs Hollywood a bit harder in his post "Why the Movie Industry Can't Innovate and the result is SOPA."  Truthfully, Blank does a great job of showing that Hollywood doesn't innovate, but doesn't really tell anyone why they can't. It's a good read, nonetheless.
  • The Atlantic's Derek Thompson dives deeper into Hollywood's business model by asking "Why Do all movie tickets cost the same?" 
  • Indie Producer Ted Hope spotlights a cool infographic that displays virtually all possible film distribution options.
  • IndieWire blog THE PLAYLIST itemizes its 50 most anticipated films of 2012


  • Want a quick gloss on the Changing TV Landscape? Go no further than this lovely infographic, covering the dawn of digital broadcasting (2009) through social TV. 
  • Deloitte puts some numbers to the cord-cutter chatter. 
  • Broadcom chip to be introduced at CES would embed a host of  "over-the-top" functions in next-gen set-top-boxes alongside regular cable channels, reported in some tech detail here
  • Reports are that reality-TV king Mark Burnett taps his scepter upon social TV start-up ACTV8.
  • BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield claimed this week that  Nielsen viewing data proves that Netflix is the 15th most-watched TV "network" in the U.S., and is second in Netflix homes.
  • Mobile Content Ventures hooks up with MetroPCS to deliver next generation of live mobile video. In related news, TV Technology looks at the evolving television experience, with a look at ConnecTV, another MCV initiative that seeks to bring TV to the tablet. The consortium of TV station groups and networks has an ambitious agenda


  • Speaking of curating, VentureBeat has compiled a really neat list of 2011's best tech-oriented "long reads" -- itself an interesting trend, e.g., countering the web's relentless info-snack quality with major explorations of interesting topics that were once the province of "quality" magazines. I had seen only a few on this list before.
  • Small press Tin House has reissued a really wild book called "Plotto: the Master Book of All Plots" a 1928 anthology that runs down 1,462 possible plots. Evidently studied by Hitchcock, no less.  


  • Can newspapers be tech incubators? asks this interesting GigaOm report
  • "A Web of Apps" offers a quick gloss of new apps that help with the challenge of discovering content.
  • Iconic blue chip company Kodak teeters on the brink.
  • With potshots coming fast and furious over the new Yahoo CEO, Fast Company posits that Scott Thompson, the company's fourth top exec in five years, could turn the stodgy web giant around by concentrating upon turning its tonnage of "big data" into gold.  
  • Never heard of Path? It's the buzzy "new" social network that offers a cozier alternative to Facebook.
  • Marshall Kirkpatrick gives an unqualified rave to curation tool "Storify" because it personifies an important trend of providing context from the tonnage of information.

• What Did You Learn This Week? Sharing favorite posts & links

As Christmas approaches I'm getting a head-start on my weekly round-up of favorite posts and links with this contribution to your mental lifestream. 

Best-of Lists

The lists, they just keep on coming, don’t they: reviews of 2011, predictions for 2012 and beyond. Among the posts that caught my eye this week were:

  • Walter Mossberg’s roundup of best 2011 gadgets.
  • Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read/Write/Web discusses the “Top 10 Feed & RSS Technologies of 2011."   Yes this sounds geekier than hell, but it's really more of a rundown of how one excellent observer uses web technologies to learn more about the world. I'll be making my own such effort in my year-end list of favorite apps, coming soon to this space. 
  • Innovative consultants and curators par excellence offered a slightly askew 2012 trend roundup from ten innovators. (As it happens Fortune Mag published a glowing review of PSFK, the consultancy of tomorrow --whew!)
  • The great Storify tool offers a step-by-step guide on how to turn your Facebook photos into the story of your own personal 2011, should you need a way to compensate for all those cards coming into your mailbox from people you didn’t send cards to (even e-cards).


Who are they trying to fool, anyway, those list-makers: we are in the midst of the High Holy Days of film, and it all leads up to the Oscars. The Academy has published its list of the 265 productions eligible for 84th Academy Awards.  

I’ve seen 56 and counting. How about you? BTW, I will publish my own year-end top movie list after Christmas (still have more to see), but if you cannot wait to read reviews of the movies I already reviewed, check out this link on Flixster.

Film Comment published its annual year-end survey of film critics and editors, naming Tree of Life as Best Picture. Secret sauce is the list of best unreleased films. Enough to keep you going through the summer months of comic book movies!


Tribeca’s Future of Film picked their Top 10 Transmedia posts of 2011, including two of mine!

Georgia Tech has posted videos from the Future Media Fest Conference, including the panel on the Future of Television in which I paraticipated. There are some good talks here. 


One of my very first and favorite Twitter discoveries was “Very Short Story” or VSS – inventive proof that one could say something “fictional” in 140 characters. Now you can read 300 of them in book form: Very Short Stories 300 Bite-size Works of Fiction.

Keep up with Apple’s plot to assault television as we know it, courtesy of some good reporting from the Wall St. Journal.

The Wrap profiles YouTube sensation Freddie Wong, one of the many young creatives whose popularity on the video sharing site have pioneered another method beyond conventional Hollywood.

Inc. Magazine names Evernote as Company of the Year. (Note: Evernote is one of my favorite apps, to be detailed in yet another forthcoming year-end post).