Sramana Mitra: How does the consumer access that experience? Where do you show up? Does the stream show up on my Facebook page or on NBC’s site, where you are having an engagement with the Law & Order cast? Help us to understand how it is deployed.
Khris Loux: There are two answers. One of them is on a physical place, so you can see it. But the experience itself is on the website. It is ESPN forums, for example. If you go to interscope.com, that is Universal Music. You will notice that all of their pages have pin board visualization – it is a stream of photos, YouTube videos, Tweets, and blog posts about each of their 400 artists. That stream is Echo. This is an example of Echo. In that particular it is cloning interest.
SM: The same applies to the CNBCs and The Wall Street Journals of the world, with the same context?
KL: That is right. If you go to nasdaq.com and search for a stock symbol – FB, for example, which is Facebook – you will see the typical things like charts. At the bottom of each stock page you will see a real-time stream of people talking about that stock. That is the social stream. Then there is a tab that says “Top News.” That is a real-time stream of people writing articles about the stock. Those are two vastly different use cases, but in a way they are very much the same. They pull data from the wider world and display it in a way that makes sense for the content type.
SM: That would still require that I as a consumer go to ESPN, CNBC, or NASDAQ.
KL: That is right.
SM: The example you gave me was the Facebook page, which is my Facebook landing page, where you say that people are spending lots of hours on their pages. I am not spending those kinds of hours on NASDAQ and ESPN, right?
KL: Typically you are not. I would say not yet. Echo is in essence a Facebook infrastructure for ESPN. It allows ESPN to be the Facebook of sports. The reason you spend so much time on Facebook is your friends and family. It is not necessarily the place you want to go for sports, to get a finely tuned sports experience.
SM: So, you want to create the same experience where I can go and hang out with all the sports fans?
KL: That is right. Why have you not stayed on a sporting site 30 hours a month in the past? It is because it has been in the paper web. It has been static. There is nothing to do for 30 hours a month. As ESPN adds real-time streams of information, real-time trivia, real-time engagement with sports figures, real-time predictions of games, and real-time engagement with other fans during a game, all of a sudden you spend a lot of time on the site.
We have a great sporting example, www.cleveland.com/browns. It is a real-time stream of news about the Cleveland Browns football team. It turns out that during a Browns game fans and writers go on that page and stream gushes. In between each play someone has something to say: “Someone is injured” or, “There is a match-up between this quarterback and that quarterback.” It acts in real time and social, and the time on the site turns out from an hour to many hours.