Major Media Companies and Global Brands Deploy Online Communities Using Akamai and KickApps
BET Networks, Scripps, HBO-Cinemax, and VIBE Magazine amongst over 4,000 customers using KickApps and Akamai for Social Media
NEW YORK, NY and CAMBRIDGE, MA - KickApps Corporation, the leader in hosted social media platforms, and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) the leading service provider for accelerating content and applications online, today announced significant industry momentum and adoption by media & entertainment companies and global brands for the Akamai-powered KickApps solution that is designed to allow companies to create and cultivate social media communities. During Q2 2007, companies including BET Networks, Scripps, HBO-Cinemax, and VIBE Magazine adopted the social media offering. The KickApps platform enables customers to rapidly deploy community functionalities, such as, user-generated content, social networking, editorial video, syndication of content using Widgets, and media and community management capabilities, on their own websites. These companies add to the over 4,000 organizations that have deployed the Akamai-supported KickApps solution.
“Media & entertainment companies and brand owners are realizing the value that social media delivers against their business objectives,” said David George, EVP of Business Development and Client Services, KickApps. “Whether to foster greater affinity for a brand or to generate increased advertising revenue, social media and editorial video are being embraced as effective tools by the industry. Working with Akamai allows us to offer our joint customers a solution that delivers social media on a platform that is specifically designed to handle large amounts of dynamic, rich media content from simultaneous media uploads, playback and user interaction.”
The advanced media moderation capabilities of the KickApps platform make it easy to manage the massive amount of content being contributed by communities. Akamai’s flexible and powerful social media capabilities are uniquely equipped to handle the needs of both site owners as well as technology providers through a blend of media management, content and rich media application acceleration capabilities, as well as the ability to optimize the ’wide footprint’ of social media content. Community and site owners can now focus on what they do best: create highly engaged, active and rewarding communities.
“Many of our customers are investigating and implementing social media initiatives,” said Bill Wheaton, Vice President of Digital Media, Akamai Technologies. “The KickApps platform is one of the most complete social media platforms in the industry and by leveraging both companies’ solutions, joint customers get the reliability needed when investing in high-priority social media initiatives. With Akamai, KickApps now has a platform for innovation that can effectively handle the sophisticated demands that user-generated content brings, such as uploading and transcoding of video, application sharing, and the spontaneous brushfire effect of viral media. We’re excited by the momentum so far this year and look forward to continuing to help our joint customers take advantage of the benefits of social media.”
Highlights of Q2 2007 Deployments:
* VIBE Magazine created Vibe Verses (www.vibeverses.com) to find the next great rapper. Sponsored by AT&T, community members submitted their own rap videos for a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize, a full page profile in VIBE Magazine and a recording contract from Actual Eyes Media. After the first round of the contest in June 2007, over one million videos have been viewed and over 200,000 votes cast. The ’rap battle’ continues through July 2007 with the winner announced on August 3, 2007. Due to the success of the contest and community, VIBE has announced a second contest.
* BET Networks deployed the solution for BET Awards’ “You Introduce” contest (youintroduce.bet.com). BET users submitted video introductions for various award categories and the winners, as voted on by the community, were aired live during the awards ceremony on June 26th, 2007. The contest demonstrated cross-platform (social media and television) opportunities that media & entertainment companies can utilize to engage their audiences. The KickApps powered site was deployed by Code & Theory.
* Scripps Networks launched “My Projects” for the DIY Network site (www.diynetwork.com). DIY and home improvement enthusiasts can join this community to upload and share videos and photos of their projects, get tips from other community members and meet people with similar interests. The site utilizes the KickApps social media platform to deliver a full suite of social networking functionality, including video blogging and message boards, which allow community members to easily add video from their web cam directly to their posts. Members can also syndicate the site’s most popular videos and photos using KickApps’ Widgets.
* HBO-Cinemax kicked off its “Sin City Diaries” (www.sincityonmax.com) video diary contest to promote its new series, Sin City Diaries. Contestants submit webcam video diaries of ’sexy thoughts’ like: your hottest date or what’s your favorite body part. The winner of the contest wins a trip to Las Vegas. Viewers can also view clips of the programming, delivered by KickApps’ premium video player and Akamai’s globally-distributed rich media platform. This site was implemented by KickApps’ partner eROI.
Adding social media capabilities to an existing web site is the best way to engage people who want to associate with particular content or a brand. By providing a platform where users can easily add, share and view content and profiles, communicate with other members, and virally syndicate content around the web, these companies are able to drive engagement on their site and keep people coming back.
“VIBE has been aggressively experimenting with how social media can impact the way our readers interact with the VIBE brand and also each other,” said John DeMarchi, General Manager, VIBE Digital Media. “The ease with which we were able to deploy KickApps and the breadth of the platform were an easy selling point for us. The results we’ve generated using KickApps have sealed the deal. Social media and KickApps are here to stay at VIBE.”
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