Super cars, $50K chips in top casinos, amazing ocean, Cuban cigars, a chopper that takes you from the airport to the conference, Prince Albert, French cheese, amazing vibe in the air, and the crème de la drème of media executives spending three days together. Please allow me to introduce to you to the Monaco Media Forum.
Invitation-only-attendees are phenomenally curated A YEAR in advance by a guy answering the name of Spencer Reiss, also known as contributing editor at Wired magazine. To put things into perspective, Spencer had seen me speak on a panel here in NY, talked to me numerous times over the phone, cross-referenced me with some other folks he thought about putting together on a panel, met me twice (once over a cigar), met the lady I share my life with -- and (only) then invited me to speak on a panel about Video Discovery, Distribution and Monetization.
I was fortunate to be invited, and I figured it was my duty to report. Here goes.
To start -- if there is one thing that was very apparent is that not every day you witness an event with folks like Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO; Yuri Milner from DST; Benjamin Barokas, founder of AdMeld; Maurice Levy from Publicis; Nikesh Arora from Google, and many others flying from all over the world to a conference with the purpose of actually speaking to each other, and exchanging thoughts on “what’s next in media.” Nobody was out of reach. If you got invited, you were conversation-worthy. So people did -- they actually conversed.
Everything was organized so well it reminded me my old days in the Israeli Army. Landing, welcoming, eating, speaking, gathering, breaking, regrouping, dining, and in the background the most gorgeous Monaco, making it look even more detached.
1. Here is the agenda http://www.monacomediaforum.org/event.html
2. Some pictures http://agoldsin.com/?p=499
3. There was a good amount of discussion on CPV (Charge Per View) -- essentially creating two to three minutes of content that is created/sponsored by agencies and can pay few tens of cents per view, which equals few hundreds dollars CPM. Companies like Alphabird, Visible Measures, Tremor and others were on panels and had a lot to offer in this space. This is the same space where companies like GoViral got acquired by AOL for $100 milion earlier this year.
4. Live streaming is only getting stronger. Companies like Livestation have an interesting angle where they combine the power of aggregation of content with live streaming technology.
5. Nikesh Arora’s answers to the question of what are the big next things: (1) Device revolution; (2) personalization.
6. Tremor Media’s Jason Krebs emphasized the meaningful advantage advertisers have when buying on the web versus TV: data and analytics.
7. Ran Harnevo at AOL Video says producing video content is risky, as it’s near-impossible to be profitable on expensive production. Harnevo recommended cutting costs and looking for ways to get enough traffic to stay in business. Andy Plesser from Beet.tv reinforced that, saying he is in the production business for 5 years and it is possible to affordably create niche content and win traffic and revenue from it.
I’ll finish with something Ben from Admeld told me. Something that has nothing to do with media, and has everything to do with the folks involved in it (that’s all of us). We’re lucky to be doing something we just love and affecting people’s lives -- from advertising technologies, discovery engines, to social platforms.