April 13, 2010

Napster's Innovating.


By Wendy McHale

You loved Napster. Admit it. You know you did.

You use to IM your friends with messages like, "You're not going to %&# believe it. I just downloaded the new ICE Cube track! Tell what's his face to check it out."

You owe Napster. It got you through college. It was, like, a secret club which made each and every member feel with it; a national and global Napster Sorority/Fraternity if you will, that gave you that Aerosmith "Livin on the edge" feeling that's normally reserved for only good students when they play hooky. It got your blood pumpin', even before you started listening to the music.

You felt like you were bad, Michael Jackson bad; you and your other 2 cajillion Merry Prankster friends who were also on the bus with you. There was nothing cooler. When's the last time you felt as excited downloading something from iTunes, or connecting with friends on FB. Right.


Napster created the first consumer-music file share social media download site which everyone and his brother, and cousin, and girlfriend, and her girlfriends and so on and so forth, became part of. You and your friends would giggle when you talked about it. You loved Napster, alright. And you're not alone.

Consider that you and the entire music industry, social media industry, mobile and mobile text industry also owe Napster a debt of gratitude for what it accomplished as it continues to lead the way into the quadrillion-sized social media audience and business, which marketers are thirst-quenching to figure out how to talk to in 2010 and beyond.

Check out what Napster is doing these days. They're talking to their customers and potential customers alike directly with Innovate.


They're working with Innovate Media, a full-scale online video production and delivery company to help the music download company deploy a video marketing campaign on its website that has netted the digital music-pioneer a windfall of new members.

The campaign running throughout this year has utilized Innovate Media's unique video overlay technology and one of its premier products, an online video spokesperson who "talks to" each new visitor when they land on designated pages at napster.com.

"The campaign was completely turnkey," said Robert Talbot, Napster's VP of marketing. "We provided script input, collateral and guidance. Innovate Media provided everything else including flawless delivery of the videos they produced. We couldn't be happier."


Napster and Innovate initially created the campaign to increase online conversions of its seven-day trial subscriptions. The company tested multiple versions of each video using different spokespeople and scripts, and then used the videos in rotation to determine the best performing video spokesperson. The results were significant. Napster continues to use the best performing videos, and subscriptions continue to grow apace.

Consider the number of talented actors and actresses of every age, gender, ethnicity, and personality who lives near and in LA. Needless to say, Innvoate taps into this base better than anyone. Their clients love it but so do the actors who they work with. Given Innovate's growth, the work is steady; a dream job for anyone looking to demonstrate their talent in front of a camera.

"We were very pleased with the results," said Jud Hogan, VP of Sales for Innovate Media. "Like the vast majority of our clients, Napster saw an increase in site conversions once the video was deployed. Napster's users responded positively to the friendly face and helpful information provided by the seamless delivery of our video spokesperson to their landing pages."

"After seeing the daily reports of how the tests performed with the Innovate Media Video Spokesperson on the splash page vs. no Video Spokesperson on the splash page, we were shocked to see such a substantial lift in our conversion trial rate with the Innovate Ads!" said Michelle Fields, Senior Marketing Manager of Napster.


No surprise from a company that's been offering the ultimate digital music package, offering unlimited on-demand music, streaming as well as downloadable MP3s for one's permanent collection playable on any MP3 compatible device, including iPod, iPhone and all MP3 music-enabled mobile phones. Owned by Best Buy, they purchased the company last year for a sweet $120+ million. As compared to other similar music services. Napster offers its customers the regular service and the mobile service for one price. Pretty cool, huh?

So is Innovate the full-scale production company that specializes in producing and delivering video for the web. Innovate's been at the forefront of online media with their video spokesperson, online video ad units, and premium video projects with a number of well known marketers.

We count ourselves as one of them. Check out the video we produced together for my screen debut on our consulting company's site at www.madavecon.com. Take a look at their site which we both worked on. Without question it is one of MadAve's most media buyer-friendly video sites, produced to help the industry understand how brilliant and uncomplicated it is to work with them. You'll also see other killer executions for products as diverse as MAD MEN, Canon, ditech and Legalzoom and eHarmony, www.innovatemedia.com.

If you haven't been in a while, you're going to love to new Napster. Admit it. You know you will.


Email John Cecil, Innovate's CEO, surfer, and a very cool guy at cecil@innovatemedia.com, or call him direct at 714.352.7222 and let him tell you why he says, "Video killed the rich media star."

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