OMDC Newsletter OMDC Newsletter
winter 2014

On January 16, 2014, over 200 of Ontario's leaders in media, culture and technology attended OMDC's fourth annual Digital Dialogue Conference, enjoying a full day of panels and mini case studies. This year’s Digital Dialogue panels focused on the new marketplaces for digital content, leveraging investment and exploring emerging business models and audience and community building. Author Clive Thompson engaged the audience in a keynote address that touched on how public thinking and the new literacies of the Internet have changed the way people think, and five fast-rising tech firms delivered speed-pitches during a Tech-Crunch Lunch.

Click on the links to watch video clips from the conference on OMDC’s YouTube channel.

Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Susan Ormiston, Clive Thompson, Karen Thorne-Stone; Alexandra Brown and Raina Wells

Welcoming remarks by Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO of OMDC   Opening remarks by Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Susan Ormiston, Senior Correspondent, CBC News, emcees OMDC’s Digital Dialogue 2014 Conference   Keynote Address - Clive Thompson, author, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing our Minds for the Better


Panel #1: Borderless Broad-casting
Digital media has grown up. Today, producers make content that easily crosses continents and spans platforms. Even the term “broadcasting” is borderless. It now encompasses conventional TV and radio as well as digital formats – innovative hybrids of traditional media and the Internet. This panel of digital leaders explored the range of new marketplaces for digital content. It also looked at the new multi-faceted relationships that have changed the way content is produced and delivered. How are industry players positioning themselves to stay ahead of the curve? Who is making the most engaging content online? What innovations and business models will fuel growth in the digital marketplace? And is there a new global digital supply chain?

Case Study #1: Julie Bristow, President & CEO, Bristow Global Media Inc.
Panel #1: Borderless Broad-casting
Moderator: Rosemary Westwood, The Star Business Club

  • Zack Smith, Senior Vice President, Alloy Digital
  • Adam Pincus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Production GroupM Entertainment NA
  • Vikas Gupta, CEO and President, TransGaming Inc.
  • Julie Bristow, President & CEO, Bristow Global Media Inc.

Panel #2: By the Numbers – Leveraging Investment
Ontario’s creative industries have benefited greatly from a wide range of investment tools. But the digital divide has created intense competition for limited funds – placing the sector under greater pressure, both from content creators who are calling for increased support, and critics who are calling for cutbacks. How is funding best invested and leveraged, and for what economic and industrial outcomes? This panel of experts dissected the numbers to assess the impacts, results and future prospects for investors in the publishing, music, gaming, film, television and digital media industries in Ontario.

Case Study 2: Michael Schmalz, President, Digital Extremes
Panel #2: By the Numbers – Leveraging Investment

Moderator: Andrew Giosa, Senior Account Manager, RBC

  • Michael Schmalz, President, Digital Extremes
  • Jayson Hilchie, President & CEO, Entertainment Software Association of Canada
  • Brian Topp, Partner, Kool, Topp & Guy, and Co-Chair, FilmOntario
  • Lucie Lalumiere, Founder, Lalumiere Media


Panel #3: Of Kingdoms and Communities
Fans build digital communities, which are today’s kingdoms. The merger of content, social interactivity and platforms is transforming the way content is created and marketed. Whether you are a publisher, label, gaming company or filmmaker, your biggest challenge today is building active and engaged communities that can be monetized. This panel featured industry leaders with innovative strategies to gain and retain fans and followers. How best to use social media to build audiences? Who are the ideal platform partners? How do you measure success? Is it the quality or quantity of your community that counts?

Case Study #3: Andrew Gunadie, aka Gunnarolla, YouTube sensation
Panel #3: Of Kingdoms and Communities

Moderator: Chris Unwin, CEO, Our Free Agency

  • Naseem Hrab, Director of Marketing, Kids Can Press
  • Jeffrey Remedios, Cofounder, Arts & Crafts
  • Tessa Sproule, Director, Digital, CBC
  • Andrew Gunadie, aka Gunnarolla, YouTube sensation

Panel #4: Cents & Sensibility: Money Matters
From branded content and e-commerce strategies to Kickstarter campaigns: new pathways to monetization are emerging in the digital media sector. How do digital producers and artists decide what revenue streams to prioritize or financing opportunities to chase? This panel looked at the emergence of new business models for content creators including subscriptions, time-based access, e-commerce and branded content campaigns. Are brands the new tastemakers? Can better e-commerce integration support content creation? And what kind of content attracts investors of the crowd-sourced kind?

Case Study #4: Dan Kurtz, Producer/Bassist, Toronto band Dragonette

Panel #4: Cents & Sensibility: Money Matters
Moderator: Carmen Lago, Co-Founder & President, BCT Inc.

  • Janet Bannister, The Coveteur
  • Dan Kurtz, Producer/Bassist, Toronto band Dragonette
  • Ayah Norris, Lead, Marketing and Community in Canada, Indiegogo
  • Mark Skapinker, Brightspark Ventures

Alexandra Brown, Vice-Chair of OMDC Board of Directors, thanks our speakers, panelists and moderators.