The Communication Studio

The Center for Digital Multimedia

(November 4, 1993)

This was our proposal to establish Manhattan as a "center for excellence" in the newly-emerging interactive multimedia arena.

The Mission

"Multimedia" is a popular buzzword at the moment. The term describes the point of market convergence and integration for a wide range of established industries (as well as some newer entities with critical design and conceptual skills). One of the Center for Digital Multimedia's key tasks is making business aware of its existence. A sponsored promotional disk using interactive multimedia is an effective and appropriate way to do this.

Multimedia professionals in New York have the imagination and skills needed to make multimedia work. However, many key New York industries do not yet understand how to apply multimedia to their businesses and lack connections with the State's multimedia professionals. The promotional Direct Marketing Disk (DMD) we propose ..

• ... gives key decision makers a basic grounding in multimedia
• ... is a marketing vehicle for the NY multimedia industry
• ... is an information resource which lists NY multimedia product and service providers
• ... demonstrates successful uses of interactive and multimedia
• ... places the Center for Digital Multimedia at the center of the newly identified industry

We propose to provide market analysis & research, concept development, design, production, distribution, support of the disk, advertising sales. Given the dynamic nature of the emerging multimedia industry, we expect to update and redistribute the DMD annually.

Marketing & Distribution

We expect that the majority of our mailing list will be provided by participating governmental agencies, organizations, and from the advertisers. DMD participants will provide us both their marketing mailing list and their membership mailing list as a requirement of participation. We may also consider purchasing targeted mailing lists, as well, to ensure adequate reach within specific industries. Breadth of reach, both in-state and to relevant out-of-state businesses (promoting NY multimedia), is critical to the advertising component of our proposal.

A multi-step program of market research, questionnaires and mailings will help to identify and target the mailing lists and potential audience.

The disk would be distributed for free to our mailing list, as well as to all advertisers, participating organizations and directory listings (Additional disks may be purchased by these groups at cost.) Distribution is negotiable, as some organizations might prefer to mail the disk directly to their membership/mailing list.

    • Approach industry market areas as potential advertisers and for mailing lists. These groups include: Education, corporate & industrial training, publishing, museums, point-of-sale, travel & hotel, public spaces & events, entertainment, direct marketing, medical & pharmaceutical, advertising, broadcasting, graphics, photography, printing, video, music, insurance, real estate, libraries,etc.
    • Approach industry organizations and governmental agencies to provide mailing lists for distribution. These groups include: Production services, consultants, product providers, professional organizations (ITVA, IICS) , industry organizations (IMA, DMA), media marketers, educational institutions, governmental & public agencies (NYS Telecommunications Exchange, NYC Commission on Public Information and Communication, local Economic Development agencies), conferences
    • Approach industry technology/media providers as potential advertisers and for mailing lists. These groups include: Video, graphics, CD-ROM, CD-I, Game platforms (Sega, Nintendo), interactive TV, online, cable, sound/music, animation, diskette.
    • Form co-marketing deals with appropriate industry actors (especially hardware and software providers like Apple, Sony, IBM, Philips, etc.) to market & distribute DMD. These industries could provide a multimedia "starter package" bundled with the disk.
    • Marketing materials are synchronized with CDM efforts to advertise their courses, seminars, & conferences.

Funding & Income Sources

• Center for Digital Multimedia provides an organizational umbrella, meeting and demonstration facilities, printing and mailing resources, production support and access to production resources through the Digital Multimedia Lab and seed capital.

• Participating Institutions pay for inclusion on the disk. For example, an industry organization like IICS would pay a flat fee for information section about their organization and its role in the multimedia industry. They would also pay a "per head" fee for each member listing in the directory. Each directory listing includes a free diskette.

Advertising & Sponsorship permit a larger budget and allow a broader and more elaborate presentation. We project income on several levels: Enhanced Directory Listings, Sponsorship of an Information Module, Infomercials & Advertorials, "Full Page" Advertisements, Hypertext Connections

• NYC & NYS Offices of Economic Development might be willing to provide distribution funds for a mailings to businesses (both in-state and nationwide), making them aware of the multimedia opportunities in New York State. There are also possibilities with the newly-created NY Telecommunications Exchange and NYC Commission on Public Information and Communication (COPIC) in the Public Advocate's office.

Multimedia Disk

The DMD uses multimedia to explain multimedia. Therefore, all sections of the DMD will be extensively cross-referenced through hypertext linkages, which allows the vast range of the information on the DMD to be more readily accessible to the viewer. The DMD operates as an "enhanced Yellow Pages", offering extensive listings of relevant businesses, organizations, and governmental resources. The viewer can easily customize their exploration of the multimedia industry by market, application, media or technology.

The Center for Digital Multimedia acts as the unifying "host" to the range of information on the disk, providing structure and interpretation of the information, possibly as the "agent" (see "How to Use the DMD" below).

• What It Means Interviews with NY-based industry leaders (s.a. John Scully, Ed Schlossberg, etc.) as they expound on realistic applications today and implications for the future

• What It Is Examples of successful multimedia applications are demonstrated for each of several selected target areas

• How It Works Scholarly papers (perhaps tied in with CDM's plans is to publish a periodic journal on the subject of multimedia), infomercials, advertorials and case studies explain technical, operational, design and marketing aspects of the industry.

• Who's Who Directory Listings of key players in the multimedia industry in NY

• Advertising Enhanced "Directory Listings", Infomercials, Advertorials and Sponsorship of articles in "How it Works", Sponsorship of examples in "What It Is", Enhanced Hypertext Connections, Advertising "Pool", Scrolling Advertisement Slideshow "Screen Saver", Viewer "Service Card" (a "FAX-back" request more information)

• How to Use the DMD The DMD can be actively responsive and helpful to the viewer. The "agent" entity assists the viewer through the DMD by helping "make connections" to relevant materials and providing reminders and hints. Usage tracking and simple queries at appropriate points on the DMD allows the agent to focus the viewer's experience. The less experienced or less directed novice viewer will also be able to take structured "tours" of DMD topic areas.

Keyword Topics

The keyword topics identify the key terms by which the issues are addressed. The viewer can use a range of criteria from several topic areas for selecting their "view" of multimedia.
• Markets/Applications
• Media/Technology
• Businesses/Organizations

Technical Parameters

• It is graphically sophisticated, incorporates high resolution images, sound, limited full-motion video and animation .
• It provides the viewer with printing and modem-based communications capabilities.
• It will be available on both Mac and Windows platforms.
• It will be distributed both as CD-ROM and multiple-diskette package.

Disk Table of Contents

How to Use the DMD

Operational Overhead (Agent, Help, Questionnaire & Order Form)

Who's Who

Organizational Overview
Directory Listings

What It Means

Interviews with industry leaders

How It Works

Sponsored articles & scholarly papers
Infomercials & advertorials


Enhanced Directory Listing
Full-screen Ads

Obviously, we would prefer to be able to distibute the DMD on CD ROM, however, we cannot be sure that a significant number of our potential audience have the hardware to handle it. We need to find out what hardware is out there. Our multi-step marketing program allows us to both "get out the message" about multimedia and to gather necessary information about our audience.

The first iteration of the DMD will be distributed as a high-density diskette, containing a basic introduction to multimedia, a directory of resources and a limited amount of advertising. The Introduction to Multimedia section identifies the "market focus" areas. Each viewer receives with their initial "basic" diskette an invitation to select a "market focus" diskette, as well. This encourages them to fill out their questionnaire fully. They may also order additional "market focus" diskettes at extra cost.

Advertisers are offered the opportunity to place their message not only on the "basic" diskette but also on "market focus" diskettes that are focused on a specific market area (Their advertisements can appear in several "market focus" diskettes). Potential "market focus" areas include: Education, corporate & industrial training, publishing, museums, point-of-sale, travel & hotel, public spaces & events, entertainment, direct marketing, medical & pharmaceutical, broadcasting, graphics, printing, video, music, photography, insurance, real estate, advertising, libraries,etc.

The style and content of ads on the Basic diskette is constrained by space; ads on the "market focus" diskette can be far more sophisticated. The "market focus" diskettes contain explanatory articles, infomercials, multimedia examples, product samples and advertisements. Although the diskettes cannot really handle full-motion video, they do allow for high resolution photographic images, animation, and sound. The "market focus" diskette material has a "modular" design which allows the data on the diskette to be seamlessly integrated with the material on the Basic diskette.

This "modular diskette" technique allows us to offer advertisers the opportunity to target their marketing message with fewer production constraints. Note: There is nothing to prevent our providing several diskettes worth of material in a given "market focus" area.


Authors: John Vaughan and Tom Lowenhaupt