Exciting line-up for our 2016 Digital Innovators’ West Coast Tour

If you haven’t yet booked your place, then after you read this fantastic line-up, you can still secure one of the final places available.

DI Tour 2016 companies visiting ()

Starting in San Francisco, we will visit Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. It is a freshly launched initiative by Google, to improve the mobile web and enhance the distribution ecosystem. It strives to enable faster, more flexible and more beautiful content, including more compelling and more effective ads. The AMP is designed to speed up access to news for readers, but it is also aimed at helping publishers to make money from a readership that has rapidly moved first from print to computer screen and now on to their smartphones. David Besbris, vice president of engineering and responsible for the AMP, will tell us all about it.

The Brown Institute for Media Innovation is a cooperative project between Stanford and Columbia Universities, and provides grants for research and development for both the fields of journalism and technology—most especially where the two meet. In partnership with Stanford’s engineering program, the Brown Institute encourages grantees to explore how technology can change the way media is created, distributed, or consumed. The deputy director at the Stanford Branch, will take us on a tour and inform us how virtual reality interfaces for museums, drone-led tours, and data processing structures for open-sourced content shape journalism.

Buzzfeed’s Open Lab brings in specialists from a broad range of backgrounds for one-year fellowships – artists, journalists, software developers, basically anybody who builds hardware or software tools. The fellows explore new ways of telling stories through hardware and software and make their products available to the public open-source and instantly. Their journalism technologist and the first fellow at the Open Lab will talk about the project he and his team is developing and how they will shape the future of news.

LinkedIn is not only the world’s largest business network but also a powerhouse of data analytics and increasingly also a publishing platform. We will meet with the head of business development  for the content ecosystem (Pulse, Feed, Editorial, etc.) and Learning (lynda.com). His team is the main point of contact with all of the major news and media publishers.

Contextly makes high-quality editorial tools for news sites and other publications – helping them increase engagement and page-views without tricks or low-rent paid links. Early clients include Wired and Cult of Mac. We will be meeting with founder and CEO, a former writer and editor at Wired.

Storied enables publishers to create custom app experiences for the mobile web. The cloud-based publishing platform, while still in public beta, is poised to take Snow Fall-like storytelling to its next level. Publishers can design interactive ads, brochures, magazines and websites that are dynamic across mobile devices, complete with tools to aggregate social media and other feeds and real-time analytics.

Optimizely is a website optimisation platform that enables publishers to make dynamic changes to their websites, test the variations to live traffic, gather immediate results, and start achieving goals. More than 5,000 enterprises have adopted Optimizely, including Starbucks, Disney, eBay, Weather.com, Demand Media, and Crate & Barrel. A staggering 190,000+ experiments have been run on the Optimizely platform and the number is growing rapidly, as more individuals and businesses alike realize the power of data-driven decision-making.

Moving on to Los Angeles, the tour will make a stop at the offices of Hello Giggles, an online destination for women co-founded by actress Zooey Deschanel.  HelloGiggles frequently publishes articles by young women under 18, and maintains a vibrant monthly youthful readership—today, averaging 17 million separate viewers a month.

Also addressing the youth market, Awesomenesstv is a multi-channel network with 90,000 YouTube channels and over 3,300,000 subscribers. The network creates media targeted at teens and millennials, and has partnerships with brands like The Coca Cola Company, Khol’s, Old Navy, and Royal Caribbean. With the addition of Awesomeness Music and Awesomeness INK to the Awesomeness brand, tour participants can look forward to an inside view on a company that now creates books, music, shows, feature films, and merchandise, and hosts events and concerts for a targeted audience with over 17 billion lifetime views since their start in 2012. We will be meeting with their Chief Digital Officer who is responsible for increasing distribution of AwesomenessTV and its partners’ content across all digital platforms and into international markets.

Digital native Tastemade, which bills itself as a food and travel video network for the mobile generation, reaches over 100 million monthly active viewers across its network, and is seeing over 1 billion views monthly, including views from Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube and other sites. While the company’s main focus remains digital – with a specific focus on mobile – Tastemade is one of a handful of companies who have completed the digital-to-TV migration by selling one of its shows to Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cooking Channel which is part of the cable television channel lineup. Join in the conversation to understand what it takes for content providers to successfully transition from one platform to another.

VICE is arguably the most successful millennial-targeted media producer in the industry, frequently the measure by which others are placed. Launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, VICE now operates out of 36 offices globally, and has expanded into a multimedia network, with an estimated value hovering at US$4bn. Don’t miss out on a rare opportunity to learn from a Vice insider exactly how this growth was achieved. We will have an interesting discussion with supervising story producer, Carlos Haynes. He oversees creative development and post-production execution for the broadcast TV show, “Huang’s World” which is currently in production. Before his present role at Vice Media, he was senior editor for branded content pieces for Beats By Dre, Marley Headphones, Microsoft.

Fullscreen is a global youth media company that develops online creators and produces multi-platform entertainment experiences. The company’s network, technology, and services change the way content is produced, distributed, and consumed by more than 600 million massively engaged subscribers. Tour participants will get a close up view of an interesting recent development. Fullscreen is teaming up with AT&T to develop what it calls the AT&T Hello Lab, a year-long project that will allow 10 different content creators to develop concepts and distribute them over a longer period of time. The effort will give AT&T credit for delivering the content while helping the creators use their mobile phones and social media to reach an audience.

One of the companies funding this new wave of startup activity in Los Angeles is venture capital firm CrossCut Ventures which recently added $75 million to its fund. Launched in 2008, CrossCut has 45 companies in its portfolio and 10 exits to date, supporting such startups as JustFab, Club W, Data Science, Narvar, The Black Tux, GumGum, Ipsy, Omaze, Shift, Verve Mobile, Docstoc, Lettuce Apps, Pulpo Media and Super Evil MegaCorp. Tour participants will be able to discuss what drives investment decisions and how CrossCut identifies winners and losers in the startup space.

Publicity is what makes the media world go round. That’s why visiting with ID PR should be an illuminating experience. The firm offers a full range of services including media relations, creative marketing, branding and digital strategy in entertainment, lifestyle and pop culture.  With offices in Los Angeles and New York, ID’s team of communications experts shape and define many of the world’s leading talent, brands, films, studios and companies.

Don’t miss out on one of the last spaces

There are still some places available, so if you don’t want to miss out on this fantastic line up, book your place today.

If you have any questions, please email Christine Huntingford or Jenny Stubbs.

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