mike hudak

Women In Media – Dina Kaplan

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Women in Media Project profiles influential, decision making and visionary women in the new media business. This time we profile Dina Kaplan, from blip.tv. Why is she on the list? Read to find out.

dina photo new.JPGWho are you and what do you do? My name is Dina Kaplan and I am the  co-founder of blip.tv

Tell us a bit your history and background. Before blip.tv I worked in the White House, for MTV News, and as an on-air reporter for local NBC stations.

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Technology, Media and Celebs Meet at Rosh Pina Festival

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A gathering of international speakers from US and European media industry, startups, technology companies, interactive agencies, investors, TV stars and executives is taking place in Rosh Pina, Israel, on 5th-8th of November.

In the last 8 years, Rosh Pina Festival was all about the TV industry, positioning itself as the place to be for executives, creators and business people.

This year, Ami Giniger, head of Taya Media Group, the main organizer of the event, decided to extend the festival to digital media – and cover the effects of technology on the international media market. As a part of this change, Yossi Vardi became co-chair of the event.

Therefore, I was thrilled when asked by Taya to be the principal organizer of the digital track. For me, it is like being a kid in a candy store – creating an international conference in the topic I am so passionate about. Though require a lot of heavy lifting (and if you follow my twitter you know that), it is an exciting role, and I am happy to say that we are going to have an amazing event, with speakers from the local, US and European media and digital industry, research companies, and a lot of innovation and startups. And, yes, a lot of TV starts and celebs (let’s face it, geeks are cool, celebs are…. at least as cool…)

Some of the speakers are well known in the Internet TV circles – we managed to get Mike Hudak from blip.tv out of his lavish NYC offices to the stages of Rosh Pina, as well as Robert Millis. Jeff Pulver will talk about disruption in the media industry. But that’s not all. IDC Research will present NBC’s Internet strategy, ESPN will present its multi-platform activities, H3G will present mobile TV case studies,Newtek‘s CEO, Jim Plant, will discuss live broadcasting,  and we are expecting some exciting presentations from Microsoft.

We decided to add a lot of innovation to the event. Therefore, after every panel, we will present a startup that is changing the media landscape. This angle makes the event the place to be for startups, investors and VCs.

Please email me for more information (kfir@pravdam.com). If you are interested in blogging about it, let me know, and please tag all relevant content with the following tag: Roshpinafestival08

Feel free to join our Facebook group as well. 

Stay tuned for more info about panels, speakers and cooperation opportunities.

The TV Network Challenge Part 1 – Does blip.tv Have The Silver Bullet?

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Sitting on the couch at blip.tv’s offices in Manhattan, chatting with Dina Kaplan, the company’s COO and Mike Hudak, CEO, I realized that one thing that Dina said was the true story behind this small company – that probably their content and distribution is the biggest and most unnoticed threat to TV networks.

Blip.tv is a video distribution and monetization platform. it offers distribution services to its customers, such an embedable player, distribution to main video sites, twitter notifications, and cross posting to blogs. The company also cut sponsorship deals for its customers with brands, as well as using basic advertisement technology to provide CPM/CPC of deals.

Their uniqueness is in their business strategy – focusing on independent producers of online shows:

Independent producers are in most cases the ones who are not linked to major TV networks, the guys who just go out there with their own money (or, in some cases, investment money) and produce their own shows.

Shows are not the dog on skateboard videos you see on YouTube, but an episodic content, just like regular TV shows.

Blip is hosting different kinds of shows, such as cooking shows, drama, comedy, technology and news.

Here’s an example of such a show, Political Lunch:

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1067725&dest=-1]

So, what’s the big news?

Well, couple of weeks ago, Mike and Dina showed me one cool thing – their integration with Sony Bravia. Sony Bravia has an Ethernet socket. And what I saw at blip’s offices is their content on a large screen TV with blip’s menu and interface.

Though Internet and TV integration is not a huge news, blip’s move into this area is significant.

Till now, independent creators had to face two challenges:

– The limited user experience web video offers

– How to promote their shows without the huge marketing budgets the networks have.

Now, blip’s player is no longer confined to the limitations of web video viewing experience. If users can just as easily see Political Lunch or The Closer, the competitive landscape is fundamentally different that the traditional separation of Internet video and TV experience. And again – the key here is that the content we are talking about is not the regular UGC low end content, but well produced shows, that are not a part of the TV industry.

In this new deal, blip.tv challenges the TV networks as they are providing new kind of content, from a new kind of creators, but on the same display vehicle – TV. By breaking the walls around web video user experience, and increasing the exposure to independently created shows, blip.tv are on a heads on attack on TV networks. Sure, they don’t have the money the big guys have – TV advertisement models and price range are much more profitable than what blip.tv and other online video communities can get today. However, like every innovation, things might take time, but they are definitely changing the landscape in a fundamental way.

It is yet to be seen if blip.tv will be around 3 years from now. I believe that they will be successful and snatched by one of gorillas in this market.

However their success or failure will not only indicate if they are good business people. It would be a clear sign for things to come in the market niche of independent content creators.