Sramana Mitra: In which direction do you think the business is going to go? Is it going to be that movie executives would want to chop up their content and distribute through your website or YouTube for marketing purposes? Or do you think this is going to be the kind of monetization opportunity you were talking about, video-on-demand and so forth? Is this going to be another way that they’ll want to monetize by selling certain clips for licensed usage?
David Aronchick: It’s funny because I think it’s going to be both. What you’re going to find is that the content owners are going to break it up, upload it to YouTube, Hark, who knows, IMDb and various places. But the interesting thing is that just as they go out and sell movie posters that are pure advertisement for the property, they’re also going to sell against this content. They’re going to do pre-roll, post-roll, next to videos, maybe they’ll take over display units as well. Maybe they’ll sell the content on their own so you can download it and use it offline or make it a notification message, things like that. I think they’re going to do both where they get people engaging but still charge them a few pennies in order to do it.
SM: Is that something you see Hark becoming an intermediary of, selling this content?
DA: Absolutely. We have an entire of people who help create this content. They find great stuff, break it up, put which meta data against it and identify it down to the actor and character levels. After that, we know, based on the traffic to our site, how interesting it is and how much people want to engage with it. And we’re going to help studios to monetize it by selling it.
SM: You’re doing the chopping, search engine optimization, meta data and all of that stuff, and you think that is of value to the studio executives in this merchandising and marketing process?
SM: Do you have evidence of studios buying into that value proposition?
DA: They already spend millions and millions of dollars every year producing clips. You can go to any place in Hollywood and find the place for chopping up your movie into sound bites or clips. Beyond that, we’re already writing and delivering six to seven figures worth of value to studios on a yearly basis, based on the advertisements that we’re putting next to our content. I would say the proof is in the pudding.
SM: What interesting entrepreneur opportunities do you see in this ecosystem?
DA: One of the biggest things I see is the opportunity to create works that leverage the needs these major content producers create. As great as “The Dark Knight Rises” was, there’s no way that Warner Brothers can think about every possible way to leverage the awareness of that content. Whether it’s that work with Warner Brothers specifically – you can pitch them ideas on particular apps or things like that – or leverage the awareness of this content by creating a Twitter research tool to analyze all the times these pieces of pop culture are being mentioned or an aggregator that helps pull this stuff together so people can look at it.
There’s so much interesting data and awareness of things out there that if you work at it and leverage the base level of what people are already creating, you can mash up an enormous number of things together and create something that’s new and for which there is already great super-heated fire of awareness ready to go.