Thought Equity Motion, Raycom Sports Open ACC Vault
Following the successful launch of the NCAA Vault, Thought Equity Motion (TEM) has teamed up with Raycom Sports and the Atlantic Coast Conference to do it again. This time around, TEM has opened the ACC Vault, an online video archive of men’s basketball games from all 12 ACC member schools, for which the company digitized and metadata tagged more than 100 games, including championships and super classics, to reconnect fans with the past.
“Initially people thought that the NCAA Vault was just a buildup to the NCAA Tournament,” explains Kevin Schaff, CEO and founder of TEM. “But with the analytics tools that we’ve built into our platform, we were really impressed to find that the basketball conversation doesn’t stop post-tournament; it actually starts to spike again during the summer months with coaching and how-to. We wanted to create that level of access.”
The ACC Vault archive includes the full-length video of every ACC championship game and selected classic tournament and regular season men’s basketball games, dating back to 1983. All of the games are coded with player, school, and detailed play-by-play information, so that fans can search for and play specific game moments and share that video on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels.
“When you just post a game to a site, the average user spends 93 seconds with that content,” Schaff explains, noting that when fans already know who won, they do not commit to a full replay. “When you add metadata down to the frame level, the average user time goes to 14 minutes. That’s a huge increase in how people come in and consume the game in non-linear form.”
The ACC Vault metadata includes specialized channels, including dunks and ACC Stars, that allow viewers to jump to their favorite moments, and a Video Media Guide & Link Database provides direct URLs to every moment within the site. A selection of “Instant Classic” games from the 200-11 ACC season will also be added to the site throughout the winter.
New for the ACC
For the ACC Vault, TEM made some significant changes from its original NCAA Vault model, some of which will later be added into the NCAA version, as well.
“We added a highlight track so you can actually see blue dots at the bottom of the screen that express the different highlights during the game,” explains Dan Weiner, VP marketing and products for TEM. That highlight track is created by utilizing metadata moments, so an editor does not have to go in and create it.
The ACC Vault also includes a “My School” filter in the highlights section, so fans can watch the relevant moments just for Duke basketball, for example, and effectively create their own school-specific Vault.
“We’ve also added in historic and archival features that add some context around the games, such as interviews and profiles of great coaches and moments,” Weiner says.
“If you see a game-changing or record-breaking moment that’s historical, people talk about it,” Schaff adds. “So let’s connect that content into there so that people can see how important this moment was and really get the context.”
At this point, the ACC Vault will be kept separate from the NCAA Vault, but should TEM determine that fans want to flow between the two archives, TEM will connect them accordingly.
Second Time Around
TEM is no stranger to launching digital basketball archives, having successfully rolled out the NCAA Vault early in 2010. The biggest challenge the second time around, Schaff says, is determining a programming strategy.
“You have tens of thousands of hours of content, so the question is where do you start?” Schaff says. “We have to tailor our analytics packages to go through and ask what fans for this particular conference are looking for. We don’t want the programming of games and moments to be opinion-based. The programming lineup is designed around what people are searching for online, so we have to go through and figure out what that demand is.”
Any Screen, Any Time
Once the programming strategy is established, every link and search within the site is tracked so that TEM can keep tabs on the community and continue to program the Vault according to demand. If fans want more specific highlight channels, for example, TEM can monitor the social media conversation surrounding that demand and create the channels that fans want to see. In addition, the digitized and metadata-tagged games can be sent to portals outside of TEM’s own ACC Vault.
“The Vault is just one channel that the digitized content can go out to,” Weiner adds. “For interactive or connected TV, it’s the same idea. This content can flow to any screen and the tracks will already be set; the metadata will let you skip around and work through the content. Once the content is curated into our platform, rightsholders can deliver it to wherever the licensing can take it.”