Driving viewing and social engagement for PaleyFest, the greatest television festival in the world

Driving viewing and social engagement for PaleyFest

Each spring, PaleyFest brings television fans, casts, and series creators together for the greatest television festival in the world. More than 30,000 fans gathered at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood earlier this year to connect with the people who direct and star in critically-acclaimed shows like AMC’s Mad Men, CW’s The Vampire Diaries, and the Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.

Since they feature the complete casts of TV’s most popular series, PaleyFest events draw huge crowds. Throw in exclusive previews of upcoming episodes and behind-the-scenes stories direct from the producers — this year, Veep creator Armando Iannucci revealed why he avoids cameos from real politicians — and you’ve got all the right ingredients for off-the-charts fan engagement.

But not everyone can attend PaleyFest in person. Many fans experience PaleyFest via the PaleyFest app, which lets them stream festival events in real time from anywhere in the world.

In the past, enabling a live stream was a complicated process for PaleyFest producers. According to Tony Ciesniewski, PaleyFest’s director of technology, streaming vendors would arrive on the scene “with proprietary equipment and a large number of people.” It was a high-maintenance arrangement that involved a lot of coordination with third party teams.

This year, PaleyFest was able to deliver real-time streaming with just two laptops and software from Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS). No third party equipment. No big video crews. Just a simple, on-demand streaming service that Ciesniewski describes as “flawless.”

VDMS also helped PaleyFest increase viewership with data-driven insights about social media engagement. Using the advanced analytics in its Video Lifecycle Solution, VDMS identified the source of a specific traffic spike — in this case, a link from Twitter. By aligning that traffic source with viewer demographic data, the PaleyFest social media team was able to target users whose demographic profile matched that of users responsible for the initial traffic increase, resulting in:

  • 600% increase in aggregate hours streamed over the previous day
  • 800% increase in aggregate viewers over the previous day
  • 400% increase in both hours streamed and new viewers for broadcasts not promoted on the PaleyFest Twitter account

For PaleyFest organizers, meaningful social media engagement is critical for “advancing the conversation about media.” That’s according to Danny Berghoff, the festival’s VP of sponsorships and partnerships, who sees a “really strong digital partner” in VDMS. With advanced analytics and powerful, straightforward streaming technology, PaleyFest has the tools it needs to keep leading that conversation.

To learn more about the Paley Center for Media, please visit: http://www.paleycenter.org/

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