MIPBlog: It’s been quite a year for Machinima. What were your highlights of 2012?
Philip DeBevoise, president & co-founder, Machinima: It has been quite a year, and we’re even more excited for 2013. Where do I start? One of many major moments that comes to mind was in June, when during (video game convention) E3, Machinima had one of its highest viewed days ever, with over 14 million uniques, 71 million video views, and over 250 million minutes watched. In addition, it was one of our largest weeks, with over 455 million video views, around 65 million video views per day, and over 1.6 billion minutes watched. The very next month in July, we broke 2 billion video views per month, which was only 8 months after we broke 1 billion video views per month! The growth has been exponential, which is due in large part by our extremely talented network of over 6500 channel partners and content creators. We also rolled out one of the biggest web series of 2012, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, which garnered over 26 million views in just 5 weeks and is currently nominated for quite a few Streamy Awards, including Best Drama Series and Best Action or Sci-Fi Series. (Comedy zombie series) Bite Me season 2 was also another highlight of 2012. We partnered with Lionsgate to co-produce the second season, and released it simultaneously online and on TV through the FEARnet channel. In addition, we teamed up with UCP and SyFy to distribute the wildly anticipated prequel to the loved Battlestar Galactica franchise, Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome (below), which gained amazing numbers and rave reviews. 2012 has definitely been good to us, and we’re looking to deliver many surprises in 2013.
> You spoke at MIPCube 2012 (video). What were your key learnings ? What were your key interactions with and learnings from the « core » (traditional) TV business in Cannes? How did they react to Machinima’s disruptive model?
We believe it’s absolutely crucial for TV networks and online distribution platforms like Machinima to work together. Machinima is the perfect destination for any TV network or film studio because we can help them stay connected to a whole new, forward-thinking, influence-driven audience via tune-in campaigns, successful shoulder content, etc… and/or, we can bring their content directly our massive audience because we’ve proven success with long form content online with series like Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (below).
> How do you accompany/advise producers who want to collaborate with Machinima?
We always encourage creators to not wait. If you feel you can create great, quality content, then put your skills to use and upload the content to YouTube. That’s how many creative talents are discovered, when their video gets global recognition after it’s uploaded on YouTube.
> A high-profile producer recently left online network Maker Studio, unhappy with payment terms. How is Machinima avoiding this sort of thing happening?
We have an entire department of qualified individuals whose sole responsibility is to be there for the partners and communicate with them regarding their needs, questions, comments, and so on.
> Machinima has done well in the US. Do you plan to expand globally? If so, how?
Absolutely. It definitely doesn’t hurt that Machinima is instantly global, but we’re starting to launch channels dedicated to specific regions throughout the world, and hiring community managers to curate those channels and recruit new talent. We launched the Machinima Brasil and Machinima Latino channels last October to great numbers. We also recently launched the Machinima UK channel, and are looking to launch more region specific channels in the future.
– You’re highly dependent on YouTube. Other partners, like Vevo, are moving towards having their own web presences. Are you too?
YouTube has been a great partner to us, and will continue to be a great partner.
> Machinima has already scored some big branded entertainment wins. Are you increasingly solicited by brands? Are they satisfied with results so far? How important will they be to your future revenue?
We are constantly working with brands across all categories, and are excited to continue those relationships and create new ones. We have recently had very successful original and organic campaigns with brands, IPs, films and TV shows such as Verizon Fios, National Geographic Channel, Need for Speed, Act of Valor, GI Joe, History Channel’s Top Shot, and The Walking Dead, just to name a few. The goal is to work together to create the future of advertising; entertainment experiences that audiences enjoy and brands can be involved in.
Philip Debevoise speaks at MIPCube 2013, Tuesday April 9 at 9.45, with fellow YouTube superstar Jamal Edwards. Full programme here.
And be sure to check out WIRED magazine’s excellent feature on Machinima, right here.