Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How 50 Cent Uses Online Video to Build Brand Loyalty

This article was published a while back by Michael Miraflor of how 50 Cent Uses Online Video to Build Brand Loyalty.

I thought this article was so GREAT and really broke it down on how 50 cent is capitalizing on this digital world. READ. LEARN. APPLY!

50 Cent might be the most polarizing figure in contemporary pop culture. Love him or hate him, one thing is undeniable: 50 Cent, whose government name is Curtis Jackson, is a great businessman. From his platinum albums to his G-Unit record label and clothing line to his cashing in on Coca-Cola's acquisition of VitaminWater, "Fiddy" and his team never seem to get the raw end of a business deal. So it comes as no surprise that he has a long-term Internet strategy to help maintain and grow his personal brand.

50 Cent's online fortunes lie with This Is 50, a destination that's part hip-hop/pop culture blog, part fan community, and part original content destination. The popular site, which has grown by leaps and bounds since it was publicly released in October 2007, is built primarily on top of two free services. The blog and social network framework are built on top of social network platform Ning, while the primary video content delivery platform is Kyte. While using these two services may be unremarkable, how he uses them -- especially Kyte -- is revolutionary.

Flying High on Kyte

50 Cent and G-Unit have taken advantage of several user-behavior-oriented aspects of Kyte to great effect:

Real-time chat. Real-time chat within the Kyte player adds a new social dimension to the content viewing experience. Users that view 50 Cent and G-Unit content don't feel like they are watching in isolation. As I type this, a real-time audience indicator on the Kyte Player on This Is 50 shows 648 viewers simultaneously watching a new piece of content.

Since new videos are distributed on what can be considered a linear basis, rabid fans anxiously waiting new content consistently populate the chat room. Conversations often continue long after content is introduced, which keeps these engaged users within an insulated 50 Cent/G-Unit branded environment.

  • Production flexibility. Kyte allows video content to be professionally filmed and produced for subsequent uploading. More important, it allows video to be easily recorded or streamed live from mobile devices. This gives 50 Cent's production team the flexibility to film anywhere, giving fans a unique behind-the-scenes perspective of the rapper's day-to-day life.

    For example, backstage concert footage can be filmed on a Nokia N95, edited on the spot via Kyte's dynamic and intuitive mobile editing environment, and instantly uploaded to the Kyte Player on This Is 50 in seconds. Better yet, video can be streamed live through a mobile device for a truly unscripted experience.

  • Built-in distribution. The This Is 50 Kyte Player has been embedded on more than 50,000 Web sites globally, resulting in over 14.6 million aggregate views over the course of 69 shows. Again, since new content is released on a regular basis and the content is exclusive to the player, many of these sites either dedicate a site section to the player, feature it prominently in their design, or, in the case of blogs, embed the player every time a new piece of compelling content is released.

  • Such staggering numbers have made the player the distribution platform of choice for 50 Cent to premiere exclusive content. Chances are, when 50 Cent or a member of his G-Unit crew releases a new video, you won't see it right away on MTV, VH1, or BET. You'll find it first on his Kyte Player.
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