In 2007, Sony met with Devious Media to discuss a monumental undertaking of building out the digital media presence for their three international cable networks – AXN, Animax, and Sony Entertainment Television – on a truly global scale.
The project so far encompassed over 90 different websites across 50 countries, in over 30 languages and across 8 different brands. Devious Media guided the entire strategy for Sony International’s networks in the digital space. Whether it was launching a new website, building a mobile presence, implementing innovative interactive technologies, or expanding awareness and achieving deeper audience engagement through social media, Devious Media built a world-class, global digital media presence for one of the world’s leading brands.
AXN, Animax, and SET are viewed in over 450MM households worldwide. Each as well as country the networks appear in has its own culture, language, and people, its own relationship with digital media. A project of this scale would need to be built with a comprehensive but multi-purpose approach; no off-the-shelf proposal would be able to accommodate the different needs of each of the three networks across their global footprints.
The project began with an immersive six-month world tour for the Devious Media team. Animax Asia was the first planned site launch, but the project was so comprehensive that the planning phase also required extended stays in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In each country, Devious Media conducted a top-to-bottom analysis of the existing digital media components, available resources, and long-term expectations, along with a thorough competitive analysis across high-impact touch points like creative, editorial content, functionality, and back-end technology. And as expected, each country was incredibly different. While always on the lookout for business synergies and cost-saving options, Devious Media recognized early on that a template approach would be an impossible sell.
The Devious Media team scoped out a project plan that encompassed everything from site development to marketing to ongoing operational support. The planning process took another half-year with a team assembled to drive the Sony project exclusively, and all of the pieces began to fall into place. Devious Media coordinated a dedicated project manager, open source developers, and a versatile design team to support the widely disparate creative needs across the key constituents. They integrated a host of top-tier partners for the sites – Ning for a robust, flexible community; Brightcove for stable video support; Arkadium for a broad range of revenue-boosting game experiences; DART for key advertising functionality. After troubleshooting the existing analytics suite in use by the networks, Devious Media incorporated customized Google Analytics into the basic platform to allow for deep dives into the ever-increasing amounts of data being collected. The number of sites grew, so did the number of visitors.
Development took the Devious Media team another eight months and was accomplished on time and on budget. Each country had different requests for functionality, look and feel, editorial style, and more – and all had to be executed within a super-tight timeframe. Since almost every country needed translation for its appropriate languages, the platform Devious Media built allowed for speedy translation services for the site’s editorial content as well as its community offerings. Devious Media also took the lead in addressing country-specific legal requirements, including localized Privacy Policies and Terms & Conditions for each individual country and site implementation. Lastly, extensive operational support was provided by Devious Media for each launch; training, supporting documentation, and ongoing strategy meetings were required to get each site’s local team up to speed and ready to handle their own digital media efforts going forward.
Animax Asia was the first site to launch and encompassed a rich offering of video, editorial content, games, community, and social media elements. The underlying open source code and flexible partner integrations made the site easy to update and maintain. After Animax Asia, additional sites began to roll out – as many as six sites per week – a rate that would have been impossible without the smart forecasting and adaptable functionality planned out by Devious Media.