In hindsight, June’s news from Intelligent Content Enterprises Inc. (OTCMKTS:ICEIF) should come as no surprise. In May the organization announced it was buying Catch Star Studios LLC for the purpose of creating its own sports-related television shows that would be aired by broadcast as well as online. Now it’s begun creating that television content, following in the footsteps of much bigger original-content creators such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX).
What might comes as a surprise to existing and potential ICEIF shareholders, however, is how big highly-focused original television programming is now that the lines between the internet and cable television have not only been crossed, but erased.
May wasn’t just a pivotal month for Intelligent Content Enterprises because it’s when the acquisition of Catch Star Studios was put into motion. May was also the month Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported some stunning results of a new study about digital video-viewing habits and preferences. The key findings? Regular viewers of original digital video programming in the U.S. have grown from 45 million in 2013 to 63 million, and the advertisements displayed via a digital broadcast of such programming are liked and remembered by far more viewers than they are when part of a conventional cable television broadcast.
Said another way as far as advertisers are concerned, the world wide web is the new cable television. That’s not to say cable television has become irrelevant. Savvy content makers are now doing both, while also making a point of creating their own customized content now that the fight for viewers has gotten brutal.
Take Netflix as an example. It has a pair of smash hits with its self-produced ‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘House of Cards.’ Amazon.com is getting into the game too, with its ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ recently being awarded two Golden Globes.
This same paradigm shift has created an opportunity for Intelligent Content Enterprises as well, and the company is walking through it.
Those traders who know Intelligent Content Enterprises well will likely first and foremost see it as the name behind website Digital Widget Factory (www.digiwidgy.com) — a clever site that translates web content into several languages to in order to reach a wider audience. Better still, it translates the ads appearing on each page into an offer that’s more relevant and clickable to a reader in their locale.
It makes a difference. Common Sense Advisory recently noted more than 72% of consumers say they’re apt to make an online purchase if their experience is delivered in their preferred language.
Digital Widget Factory is now serving up content from over 500 traffic-oriented websites at www.didgywidgy.com, with more sites on the way.
The natural progression for the company from here is the creation of original video content for online as well as offline viewers, which is exactly how Intelligent Content Enterprises has utilized its new Catch Star Studios-made television show “Stars and PinStripes.”
The program began airing in August on the YES Network — the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network — with clips from each episode also becoming available for online viewing at digiwidgy.com. Stars and PinStripes takes in-depth looks at various celebrity experiences and memories of the New York Yankees. The 30 minute show, which is hosted by Nancy Newman, will be available to roughly 12 million viewers in the New York area… right in the heart of Yankees country. The web-based segments will be available on the web virtually anywhere and everywhere.
The on-the-air version is obviously a traditional commercial/network-supported airing. The internet version, however, taps into a relatively new technology called Clix Video(tm), which will be used to maximize that content’s revenue-bearing potential.
As the June press release noted, “Clix Video enables digital and mobile viewers to instantaneously connect to web and mobile sites by clicking on custom interactive tags within the video broadcasts to make social media connections, to review extra and exclusive content and make online and mobile purchases directly via the video broadcast providing a richer, deeper consumer experience related to the video content.”
Stars and PinStripes is just the first of what could be a large library of original programming created by Catch Star Studios for Intelligent Content Enterprises, however. Other programming and celebrity showcases are lined up, each of which presents more dual-use incremental revenue opportunity…. offline and online viewing. It’s the modern business model.
For investors, ICEIF may currently be an off-the-radar idea, but it’s got the tools to become a major force within the television studio world, giving it access to a multi-billion market. Even a small piece of that pie could prove to be a game-changer for the company and its shareholders. Stars and PinStripes is just the first step in that journey.