Day one. The anticipation and excitement that comes with fresh starts and new beginnings. Coupled with a distinct sense that this is something important, something meaningful that could be big. After all these years I’m back to my entrepreneurial roots – early stage. It’s been approximately six weeks since I joined ICX Media, a pioneering digital media software company with a vision to change the way video is created, distributed and monetized. I’ve done a lot of listening since joining, and here’s what I’ve heard.
Everywhere I turn, there’s a voracious appetite for better data. In this case as it relates to video, I mean more data particularly from social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to ultimately inform improved insights. The requests I hear are similar, regardless of whether I’m sitting with a consumer products company, media company or agency. How much can you tell me about my current audience and their sentiment? What about my target audience for the new series, product or brand I’m launching? Who has influence over and access to them? I’d also love to know what else my audience is watching, as well as when they are most engaged. And how I stack up against my competitors and peers. The more I listen, the more I realize the enormity of demand for cross-platform video data intelligence.
One of the rewarding things about listening is that sometimes you actually hear. On my listening tour, I hear very clearly that everyone wants to be a storyteller. My uncle was a fantastic storyteller, and as a kid I’d get a kick every time he pulled me and my cousins under his spell. There are many people like this, creators for whom storytelling is an inborn talent. Creativity comes naturally to these artistic souls, and their works inspire and engage us. But when it comes to large companies, how many can you say are great storytellers? A few come to mind, but not many. What if brands could tell their stories in more captivating and authentic ways? And what if they could tap independent video creators to help them do this? What if Hollywood studios and production companies could better understand their target audiences before they invested a hundred million dollars in the next big-budget theatrical release? Or better yet, what if this understanding informed a new focus on shorter-form content, like the kind that enthralls my teenage daughters.
At ICX, we envision a day when machine learning and creativity collide in symbiotic harmony. We call this Data Inspired Storytelling. When the knowledge that companies and creators alike can glean from the predictive learnings of our ActiveInsights SaaS offering inspires the creative art form to be more genuine, targeted and effective. A day when brands view video as more than just the medium for ad spots. When a brand’s true enthusiasts can have their stories told professionally. A day when brands invest strategically in video on social media platforms as a core competency and primary means to reach their increasingly atomizing audience. When the velocity of video moves from several segments per year to several segments per day. And for ICX as a result, a day when our complementary ExactMatch service empowers a vibrant marketplace where buyers and sellers of video content seamlessly collaborate and exchange.
Will brands be the storytellers of tomorrow? Or will professional filmmakers be tomorrow’s influencers? I’m not certain but one thing seems sure – new forms of storytelling will emerge. Here at ICX, we intend to play the role of protagonist, charting the course for the early adopters who will lead the way. All good stories have a beginning, middle and end. Fortunately for me, this one’s just getting started. I can’t wait to see what happens next.