Moving Beyond Social: Emotional Media To Power The Warped Tour

Possibly the most fascinating aspect of the Internet is that we’ve likely only scratched the surface of what can be done with the medium. The Web we know today will not be the Web we know in ten years, or even five.

Los Angeles-based animation and media tech company Divide Nine has put imaginations together to speculate what the next generation of the Internet might look like.

Divide Nine co-founders and husband-wife team Krishna and Lisa Gopala founded their studio in 2008 with the idea that everything they create must entertain, captivate, and inspire. They want to emotionally engage global audiences — through feature animation, mobile games, and social technology platforms. Their company is also centered on giving back to society.

Krishna was previously senior executive at Phillips Electronics and chairman at Cafedirect, while Lisa drew on her previous experience as vice president of finance at Ticketmaster and as CFO of Intermix Media.They, along with their team, have created a platform called Vixlet that will power the Warped Tour website this year — to bring music fans a more emotionally engaging experience on the Web.

What Is Emotional Media?
Believing there was a life of the Internet beyond social, the Divide Nine team pondered over social media, where it has brought us, and where we could go beyond Facebook and Twitter.

“Why don’t we think through what will happen after social media?” said Krishna, noting that Lisa first started this thought-provocation — leading them to ask: What’s the purpose of social connection in the first place?

Their concept of “emotional media” is hinged on the idea that people are looking to connect with more depth — beyond a retweet, a like, or a share. The idea that social media, in its current state, has left people with a pretty flat experience and left craving something more.

“From a brand standpoint, it’s media that will actually engage audiences. It stirs something inside you and makes you want to act,” said Melani Deyto, Divide Nine’s Vice President of Brand Engagement. “It’s media that gets you off your feet.”

“In the natural evolution of the Internet, the early challenge was to connect,” said Krishna. “Social networks pioneered connectivity. There’s value to that. But once achieving that, what’s the philosophical value of connecting? It’s the quality of the connection. We are trying to improve the quality of those connections.”

This jump to emotional media aims to move toward the soul of the Internet. With that, events — or moments in people’s lives — often become powerful connection points.

A Partnership With The Vans Warped Tour
Possibly one of the most emotionally engaging experiences you ever have is your first concert.So it makes perfect sense that Divide Nine’s first partnership is with the Warped Tour. Founded in 1995, the tour is the longest consecutive running music festival in North America.

Officially the Vans Warped Tour since 1996, the festival celebrates the California lifestyle, has helped launch the music careers of many successful artists (such as Sublime, No Doubt, The Black Eyed Peas, Kid Rock, and Paramore, among many others), and consistently draws the 13 to 19 year-old demographic. Philanthropy and charities are also a big part of the festival. Often exposing a younger generation to charitable organizations for the first time.

The Warped Tour was one of the first music properties to have a website, but founder Kevin Lyman felt the tour site, over time, had become a bit stagnant and wanted to deliver something truly immersive.

Lyman said, “We want fans to have a better experience. We want to refocus them back on the Warped Tour site, instead all over the Web. Making it a destination spot. We also want to stay connected with the fans year-round.”

“The concerts help the fans make so many great connections in real life. But there was no where to meet up later.”

This thought process led Lyman to partner with Divide Nine to provide a social platform to power his website, revolutionize the Warped Tour experience online, and give the fan-base something they’ve never seen before.The partnership marks two pioneering spirits joining forces to move the needle of what’s possible on the Web — with music, video, and fan engagement.

 By Lori Kozlowski



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