Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Television

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Fan to Fanatic: True Blood's Marketing Hook

    by Liz Henderson, Sabrina Caluori, Erica Stall Wiggins and Zach Enterlin

    Television series' such as True Blood start with a great idea, a great script, and great actors. But what happens between concept and phenomenon? HBO has capitalized on the momentum the show has gained throughout the first three seasons with some of the most creative marketing campaigns ever, including a Tru Blood drink campaign for a beverage that had yet to exist, creative that “hacked reality” and spoke to the vampires living among us, a Jessica Hamby character video blog, opposing web sites for the American Vampire League and Fellowship of the Sun, and merchandise ranging from Lafayette's "L" necklace to Sookie's Merlotte's apron. Attendees will follow the story of True Blood from the inception of the series through the creation of the "immersion" fan experience through the mediums of Print, Television and the Internet. They will learn the selling points, the marketing tools and the magic that "turn" fans into fanatics.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • It's Not Tv, It's Social Tv

    by Lila King, Chloe Sladden, Timothy Shey, Gavin Purcell and Fred Graver

    How is social media changing the TV experience for good? Over the past ten years, we've seen television become truly interactive, from SMS voting on American Idol to real-time audience feedback via Twitter and Facebook becoming a part of everything from CNN to Oprah to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; at the same time, web series have built millions of viewers on places like YouTube, iTunes, and XBox Live. Now a new wave of always-connected mobile apps, set-top boxes, and gaming platforms are making entertainment more social, location-aware, and connected than ever. Our panel of television and web producers and representatives from top social networking platforms will talk about how they're enabling social viewing and collaboration between producers, stars, and audiences in real-time to create new kinds of TV experiences.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Hill Country AB, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage note

  • Re-Thinking Public TV: The WORLD Channel

    by Chris Hastings, Kavita Pillay and Robert Lyons

    What if you took a national digital public TV channel, re-focused it on a younger, more diverse demographic (median age 36), created an open source, media-rich web presence to feed it, and invited anyone with public media content to play (including creative types without transmitters).

    You’d see strong growth, a batch of exciting new talents, boundaries erased between radio and TV, and some innovative technical breakthroughs. Two key participants in shaping and running this project will share the ideas, the successes, the challenges and some hard-won wisdom from one of public media’s most promising new ventures.

    WORLD was first created in 2007 as a 24 hour digital non-fiction, news and documentary channel for Public TV stations: a partnership of WGBH, American Public Television and WNET, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    Then, in July of 2010, these partners launched a highly focused but ambitious
    re-thinking of the project, aiming to reach and engage a much broader audience and younger demographic across multiple platforms.

    Bob Lyons, the Director of New Media for Radio and TV at WGBH, oversees the project’s online platform, and Kavita Pillay, an independent film maker, was drafted as Managing Editor and chief editorial muse of the web presence. In this session they’ll share the strategy, research, surprising discoveries (good and bad), and inspiring content examples. Public media-minded content creators are most welcome.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol View Terrace, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • The Last Broadcast: Entertainment is Social – What’s Next?

    by Brian David Johnson

    Once upon a time there was traditional entertainment. And there was the Internet. Traditional entertainment was aimed at pleasing the masses with neutral programming, or incendiary programming if it was a sweeps week. The Internet was shaped by the masses creating their own content – a heavy use of irony captured on shaky flip cams. Until recently, they stayed in their respective corners, occasionally duking it out over rights and ownership.

    As new technologies are introduced and our devices are getting smarter, more mobile, television and the Internet need to play nice. So what will come of this new allegiance? Will television and movies shift their focus to user-created content? Will LA executives check Twitalyzer before Nielsen? Will the Internet be able to maintain its Wild West ways or will content creators need to act more like Hollywood moguls with legions of lawyers and lunch meetings? And most importantly how can the rest of us take advantage of the burgeoning opportunities of this new media landscape?

    This panel will be a discussion of the future of new media and entertainment by top-thinkers in all affected industries, from computer chip makers to the guy selling TV’s to regular folks. Each panelist will bring real-world examples and a vision of the future of entertainment.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Room 18ABCD, Austin Convention Center

  • We Are Browncoats: Leveraging Fan Communities for Charity

    by Michael Dougherty and Steven Fisher

    “One Film, Five Charities and No Sleep” is another great title for this panel discussing Browncoats: Redemption, the independent film based in the world of Firefly/Serenity created by Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible).

    The mission of the project is two-fold: create a new film making model and raise over $500,000 for five charities supported by the cast and creator of the original TV and movie.

    There is a desire for many to make films and for others to do charitable works. The creative team of the film project Browncoats: Redemption have found a way to leverage a passionate and dedicated community to call for volunteers, build a community, promote a film, and raise tons of money for charity.

    Over the last two years 160+ volunteers, many with no film industry experience, have filled 200+ roles in different phases of the project. The thing that ties them all together is that they are fans of Firefly. They are Browncoats.

    The film’s creators will discuss the project along with how they leveraged online media distribution models and social media tools to build the community, recruit volunteers from all over the country to be a part of the production, and most important, grow the audience and momentum in preparation for the film’s release.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In TX Ballroom 1, Hyatt Regency Austin

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Infinite Jest and the Internet

    by Amanda French, Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Matt Bucher

    David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel _Infinite Jest_ imagines a not-too-distant future in which the equivalents of Hulu and Netflix streaming kill the advertising business to such an extent that the government decides to save the economy with "sponsored time": hence, a great deal of the novel's action takes place in the "Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment." The book is deeply (if hilariously) pessimistic about people's chances of connecting with one another in a culture built on one-way media consumption -- this pessimism, of course, is represented most baldly by The Entertainment, a technology-enhanced movie so entertaining that anyone who once sees it becomes incapable of doing anything other than watching it over and over again.

    This panel will, broadly speaking, address the question of whether David Foster Wallace was or would have been a Clay Shirky fan. In other words, would (did) Wallace believe that the Internet is better for us than TV because we are active participants in the creation of Internet content? Why are the digerati enamored of _Infinite Jest_, and what can the book tell us about the Internet's potential to help or hinder human connection?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Hill Country AB, Hyatt Regency Austin

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Subtle Sexuality: NBC.com Adds Spice to Shows

    by Joya Balfour, Dana Robinson, Neal Pollack and Carole Angelo

    NBC.com creates unique content and interactive experiences that enhance/support NBC's on-air television programming. From Chuck's Mission: Chuck Me Out to The Office's Subtle Sexuality webisodes, the staff at NBC.com builds relationships with the shows to create compelling content and communities for users to engage with beyond the standard 30-60 minute time-slot on-air.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 14th March

    In Salon F/G, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • TV + New Media = Formula for Success

    by Andrew Hampp, Jesse Redniss and Dulé Hill

    Today, show creators, actors and networks all have something new to consider when they move to launch a new program – new media/technology. From Facebook, to Twitter to mobile and games, new media has completely changed the way TV is consumed. Fans are no longer satisfied with on-air programming. They think about their favorite characters beyond the program, they’re interested in the people behind the scenes and they want to share their passion for their favorite shows with others.

    USA Network and Oxygen Network are two of the leading cable networks that truly understand what fans are looking for– the networks are cutting edge in how they approach technology to extend the reach and life of programming. This panel will bring together several of USA and Oxygen Network’s executive producers, digital executives, show creators and actors to discuss how new media is integrated throughout all aspects of a shows creation. Some will discuss how immersive gaming experiences tied to the show actually drove inquiries on cars for one of the US’s biggest automakers to more cars then they had to sell, another will address how being involved in live webcasts, podcasts and behind the scene tours with citizen journalists and bloggers have made them come from behind the scenes to the forefront, and finally, one actor will discuss how new media has changed the meaning of celebrity.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Salon F/G, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • How Small Screens are Making iTV Big

    by Colombene Jenner

    Established players in TV technology have long struggled to make TV interactive, with limited success. However, the promise of iTV is being realized with technologies that MSOs, content providers, and set-top box manufactures didn't anticipate in their previous attempts to make TV interactive — mobile devices, tablets and other portable devices are not only being used as alternative screens to traditional TV, but are flourishing as screens that are used while the TV is on, as companion devices to the TV set. This trend allows people the control and convenience promised (but seldom delivered) by iTV while allowing people to enjoy the passive and communal aspects of traditional TV watching.

    Focusing on user experience and social dynamics, this panel will look at inspiring executions for concurrent screen TV experiences. We'll look at strategies that offer the most for today's audiences and explore a range of opportunities to integrate interactivity, marketing, and content to build these new experiences.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:00pm to 12:15pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • GoogleTV to iPad Apps: The Connected TV Experience

    by Richard Bullwinkle

    It’s been a big year for the connected TV—even Google jumped into the market—and it’s looking like it is going to get even bigger. DisplaySearch forecasts that by 2013, 100 million connected TVs will be shipped, up 546 percent from 2009’s 15 million. The connected TV opens up the door for consumers to access content beyond traditional broadcast TV to include Internet content and online video. While the pay TV ecosystem grapples with the threat that over the top content brings, it’s using devices like the Apple iPad to infuse cool apps for consumers to interact with their TV: Comcast has shown how the iPad can program a DVR and search for shows. And networks are going straight to consumers with the ABC and Hulu apps. But so many questions remain: It can be difficult to find stuff to watch with 300 channels, but what about when connected TVs can access thousands of Internet channels? And what about that elusive remote control that’s lost again somewhere in the family room—will we be using another device? This session will cut through the clutter of the ever-growing connected TV landscape to help form a clearer picture of what’s coming up on those three (or four) screens in your home.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:15pm to 12:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • Personalized Interfaces and the Arrival of Smart TV

    by David Maher Roberts

    2011 is going to be the year of the 'smart' connected TV: providing us with access to a vast amount of content (web video, live TV, TV catch up and on demand services). To navigate through the mountain of content we are going to need more than the current 'spreadsheet' approach to navigation. With the advent of Smart TVs comes the need for intelligent, personalised filters that will help us find and discover the content that we are going to right at that point in time.

    This panel will bring together the people behind the best video services that can be consumed through the TV (e.g. embedded in TV, next generation Set-Top Box, game console, etc...), experts in personalisation/recommendation technologies and social media gurus.

    The panel will chart the key changes in TV's evolution from 'dumb' to 'smart', highlight the best examples of smart, personalised TV services available today and predict how these (and future) services will change the way we consume and interact with TV forever more.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 12:45pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • Second Screen: TV Meets The Web Backchannel

    by Utku Can

    Over 30% of 15 to 30 year-olds watch TV with their laptops open. The web is now the de facto backchannel for engaging and conversation around TV shows. But this is only the beginnings of an emerging trend. Where before audiences made do with existing tools, more and more, we are seeing the creation of bespoke platforms and applications for second screen interaction.

    Interest from investors and support from television networks, coupled with rising audience numbers online while watching television makes this an area set for massive innovation, opportunities and growth in the very near future. We will be discussing what’s been done so far, what’s being done now and what will be possible soon.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:45pm to 1:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • The Intersection Between Mobile and TV

    by Craig Negoescu

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:30pm to 5:45pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • TV Networks Extending Interactivity for Fans

    by Brad Stone, Owais Farooqui, Kris Soumas, David Luner and Noah Hawley

    For decades, TV show fans have sought ways to extend their connection to their favorite show characters with things like branded cereals, toys, board games, music or the like. Fans often can't wait for the next episode and especially dread the time between seasons. They want to interact and even play along with their favorite shows. This is a reality that TV networks are creating through branded online games and social games. This panel, consisting of online gaming experts and digital leaders at TV networks, will explore how TV networks are keeping fans engaged between episodes and seasons with quality online games that extend the show's brand and interactivity with fans - taking TV entertainment to the next level. The session will sample real case studies from experiences over several seasons with shows and branded games like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Biggest Loser, Survivor, and others. Panel members will also explore how games enable an additional channel for TV networks to reach global fans via social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Hi5 and Bebo, especially as we're seeing games being the number one used applications on many social networks.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In TX Ballroom 2-4, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • The Convergence of Traditional and Internet TV

    by Todd Weaver, Michael Petricone and Ned Sherman

    With Google TV and other over-the-top (OTT) services hitting the market, service providers (cable and satellite) and many broadcasters are expressing concern over cord-cutting and other issues at the intersection of television and the Internet. This session will look at the legal and business issues surrounding OTT services, including the protection of the broadcasters' content and advertising, as well as the issues surrounding ivi TV, the Seattle-based company that is being sued by a group of broadcasters who are seeking to stop it from retransmitting their over-the-air content. How should the courts and policy-makers act or not act to ensure the right balance between content protection and innovation at the intersection of television and the Internet?

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Room 13AB, Austin Convention Center

  • How to Influence an Online Revolution

    by Amanda Coolong

    The way we consume content is radically changing like never before. Currently the public is bombarded with over 500 channels of premium-content, most of which it doesn't even want. The landscape is changing with the advent of high-speed Internet connections, streaming video platforms and devices like the iPad, Boxee and video-enabled smartphones, consumers can truly enjoy their entertainment experience when, and where they want it. Join those at the forefront of live Web TV as we explore this new age of entertainment and the unique opportunities it offers for engaging audiences.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 4:30pm to 4:45pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

  • What We Really Want In Web TV

    by Jim Funk

    The fight to define the future of the living room is heating up, with Internet-enabled televisions and devices serving as the next battle ground. Yet as more devices and companies enter the fray, the question that has yet to be answered is exactly how much of the Web consumers actually want on their televisions. The ability to stream movies, webisodes, and archived television series have proven popular, but do we also want email, web browsing, and other full internet capabilities enabled? Companies are racing to add expanded features and capabilities to their Web TV devices, but are they doing so at the expense of simplicity for consumers really want?

    In this panel we will discuss the future of web TV, both in content and hardware, and assess where the industry currently stands and where it is headed in the future. What web content do consumers want on their televisions? Is cable cutting really a viable option for mainstream viewers, and what will the relationship between cable, isp, and content providers with Web TV companies look like? Or will Web TV simply be part of a larger vision of the universally accessible digital locker?

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:30pm to 5:45pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center