How KinoPoisk does its media

    This is a podcast with content makers and content marketing executives. The guest of the 15th issue - Lisa Surganova, editor-in-chief of KinoPoisk and the host of the podcast “In Previous Series”, talks about the development of her own media in the largest cinema portal.

    Lisa Surganova, editor-in-chief of KinoPoisk and host of the podcast “In Previous Series”

    alinatestova : Today we are talking about how to run a large content machine using the example of KinoPoisk, which has a huge amount of user-generated content and its own content, which is very interesting. But first of all, I would like to know this. All our listeners will probably imagine what the chief editor in the media is doing . But what does the editor-in-chief of KinoPoisk do? Tell me please.

    Elizabeth: This is actually not very different from any other media - in the sense of my work. I worked before in the traditional media - in, RBC, Forbes. And I'm trying to build my editorial board according to similar rules. It’s clear that Kinopoisk’s media is very different from the others, because it’s rather small media with a huge brand. Our audience is about 40 million people a month, and about 10% of this number read media. This changes your perception of work and life a little, because you need to be aware of the importance of media inside this large brand, and you have slightly less resources than usual.

    Where all editorial offices work with their designers and with their own development, we work with general design and development, which have another million tasks related to the product, business tasks, online cinema and so on. But [working this way] is very interesting. We are not a stand-alone publication under Kinopoisk, but we are embedded in the entire site.

    One of the first steps I took was to add editorial materials in the normal form to the pages of films and persons on Kinopoisk. This is the main point from which people come to us. They go from search engines to the page of a particular movie or person and from there they go to our materials. Previously, they were presented there somewhere in the corner and very poorly, but now we are following this and deliberately displaying a lot of good materials. There is also a flip side - how we bring traffic to Kinopoisk. Many people come from search engines and social networks, and in our materials with a design update - it happened last fall - object cards were added.

    This is a short reference from the page of the film or person, which is embedded directly in the article. Without going anywhere, you can click the button with the target action - add the movie to the expected ones (the list “I'll watch”), buy a ticket for this movie and watch it online.

    You do not need to go to the page of this film - you can read the material and do something right away. It works great, we see that people use it, and develop it.

    A: You mentioned that KinoPoisk has a wider range of tasks. Why then should Kinopoisk develop in the direction of the media? It would seem that various media brands like TJ have already appeared - this is not something new. On the other hand, it seems that “KinoPoisk” has a lot of content, and it is constantly generated by itself. For someone it seems that it is as if Habr was doing another media about Habr.

    Why did Kinopoisk decide to get involved in building its own media?

    E: There are a few questions, I will try to answer in order.

    Why “KinoPoisk” media? In general, indeed, a lot of non-instant brands now go into this. And this is an important sign that brands understand that they need a face and voice.

    Usually this voice is the media, the editors. She develops some kind of editorial policy and adheres to it. She decides what to write about, what not to write about, how to write about it. She communicates with users in comments and social networks. For KinoPoisk, this is all very important, because otherwise it is just an aggregator site for user reviews, ratings and movie pages. He once was, but this state has outgrown.

    In addition to the media, in KinoPoisk there is also a poster with ticket sales and an online movie theater. This is all - the gradual development of the brand. In general, we want to cover all the interests of people related to cinema. If you need specific information about the film, you come to the page of the film. If you are interested in reading a little more detailed or the first to know some news about the film - there is media for you. You buy tickets there, add a movie to your expectations, put a rating, write a review. You watch a movie online there.

    Ideally, we want to become [a service that covers everything]. We are already becoming one, but we want more and more people to realize this. “KinoPoisk” today is not so much an encyclopedia of data, but a great service dedicated to cinema and all the interests related to cinema.

    Then you said about UGC. Yes, we have a lot of him, but still I am a supporter of the point of view that journalism is not blogging yet. Today it differs from user-generated content in a quality way, sometimes at times. We have a lot of great reviews, and that’s why we don’t write our reviews of films, because we have it all.

    We write other articles that reveal the history of cinema to people, help to understand the film, to understand it. We write news, after all - users do not write news.

    Third, my personal thoughts. In my opinion, in Russia there is currently no big media about the cinema, which would tell not specifically about the author’s films. There is "The Art of Cinema", there is a "Session" - such very old, cool magazines. But they are more turned towards author's and festival cinema. And we write about different cinema - both about Avengers and the Berlin Film Festival. And there are not very many such media, but such large ones as we are - by all means.

    And we understand that there is this niche and there is interest.

    A: Is it possible to conclude, - you started talking about it - that the appearance of your own media is an indicator of “maturity” and the development of a certain niche and brand?

    When a company understands that it doesn’t just want to use reviews and what other people write on a free basis. And when she still around this makes educational, entertaining and generally useful content by specially trained people.

    E: Yes, but I think that not all brands need this.

    Not everyone needs to run to the media right away. It is complicated, expensive, and very often it seems that this does not justify the investment. This is not marketing, where you invested a hundred rubles and received or did not receive 1,500 conversions. [Media] is an image-building, important thing for some brands. Especially for those who build themselves on communication with the audience and generally somehow appeal to people. Since KinoPoisk in everything depends on the people who turn to it, we try to communicate with them in human language, and this is the task of the media.

    A: So, in your opinion, [media] is this more a story for B2C brands? Those who appeal to users, rather than B2B brands that do something for other companies.

    E:In general, I always always want everyone to communicate with each other in human language. I hate chancery, such a Soviet style, and I hate advertising style.

    I think it's great when brands, both with companies and with users and readers, communicate in a clear and good Russian language.

    A: If we already say that this is still not marketing and is not measured directly - investments, transitions, targeted actions. How do you determine for yourself the success or failure of the task, direction or change that KinoPoisk is currently undergoing?

    E: It is clear that we still look at traditional metrics - views, shares, comments sometimes. Well, comments are a controversial metric. It is clear that we rejoice when articles collect a lot of views and unique visitors. And in general, we see that our media is growing in audience. As in any other media, the [importance] of the importance of your materials is how people discuss them in social networks, how they wash them, how much they differ.

    Another metric that is unusual for other media is the object cards that I talked about. We watch how people react to them, what actions they perform.

    We see that people read the news about the trailer for the new Tarantino movie, and there will be a lot of clicks on the “I will watch” button. That is, people watched the trailer, they realized that they want to watch a movie, they pressed a button. For us, this is cool mechanics. We can then remind them that the film is being released, offer them tickets or a movie online.

    We learn about the interest of users from what they read, and we can directly connect this with the business. When I connected this with marketing, I meant that there is no direct link, as in performance marketing. It is not necessary that the person read the article and bought a ticket.

    We are well aware of this. But I think he can read the article, remember that the Royal Corgi movie is coming out this weekend, and then he will come to the cinema and buy a ticket. This is also great, this is also our task.

    A: How do you think, how popular will this format be in the future for merging a certain service with content? Your audience has the opportunity to watch a movie online, or book tickets, or read about the actor. Roughly speaking, this is a service part. There are conditional media that do not have this service part, they simply provide some information. Will there be any kind of reverse movement, in your opinion? When will conditional useful cards, links, call-to-action buttons appear in the media?

    E: This question is much better than me, Ilya Krasilshchik, a former publisher of Medusa, answered. He wrote a great post about the fact that in general media become a service, and if media is not a service for his audience, then she does not need it. Why? Because there is a huge amount of information around us today. Not only the media are fighting for the attention of the reader, but also bloggers, social networks - anything. It’s very difficult for a person to catch and drag to his site.

    It seems that exactly in this place the media should become services, become useful and offer some important information. It’s actually hard to share here. Almost any media now writes about the movie premieres of the week. This is more of a service thing. You offer a person a choice. You talk about your point of view, what he should pay attention to, but in general this is a poster, a schedule of films.

    A: That is, even the absence of any immediate infrastructure or service interface does not mean that this is not a service history?

    E:Of course. The same "Medusa" makes cards in the "Analysis" section. They are not so much about ordinary journalism, but about helping people. To them to understand a complex bill, a situation; understand how to change tires on a car. This is also important. We sometimes forget that we don’t explain such basic things to some people.

    A: Does Kinopoisk have similar materials where you talk about understandable things that may not be obvious to the user?

    E: I don’t know how basic this is, but in fact this is the big task of our YouTube channel and our video department in general. How do people watch movies? For them, this is some kind of moving picture, actors, a funny dialogue. We looked, left the cinema and forgot.

    How are we trying to expand this story? We are trying to explain to people how the language of cinema is structured and how cinema speaks to them at different levels, conveys some meanings. And these are the things that now in the Russian-language YouTube, it seems, no one is doing well. Although this is a very popular thing in the West. I will not hide, we did not come up with this. Video essays were long before us on the western channels and are very popular there. It just seems to us that this niche in Russia is not closed. We want to close it. Such an educational, explanatory content.

    Once we tried to make videos about all kinds of cinematic terms, but then we realized that the audience’s interest in them was not very big, and we abandoned it.

    A: How do you determine (in addition to the reaction of the audience - they watch a lot or a little) and form a policy on your channel, what can I talk about? How do you choose topics?

    E: One way or another, we often push off the agenda. There can sometimes be a very distant connection. For example, a new film with Viggo Mortensen ("The Green Book") is released, we are making a video about his career. Harry Potter Anniversary - We're making a Harry Potter movie.

    Sometimes we are not attached to this. We just understand that there are some big and important topics, directors, films about which people are always pleased to watch. We understand that this topic is poppy, it will go right away. Now we, for example, have made two videos about Tarantino. This is obviously one of the iconic and most beloved directors in Russia. These two videos scored a million views. One will soon pick up [a million] on his own.

    A: And speaking of the same video with Tarantino, which you have one of the most popular on the channel - about the dialogues in Tarantino’s films.

    Suppose you have determined that situationally, it’s interesting to talk about Tarantino right now. How do you choose what specifically to talk about? What to get, what interesting things?

    E: The theme every time depends on the film and the director.

    It is clear that Tarantino is a master of dialogues, everyone knows this, everyone quotes him. You probably know a few phrases from Pulp Fiction by heart. I wanted to tell how he shows it exactly in the cinema and how he builds them compositionally. About it was a movie.

    Before that, there was a video about how Tarantino quotes other films, because he is a big movie fan. A well-known story: he worked in a video showroom, watched many films, and therefore all his films are crammed with some quotes, references, allusions, and so on. Well, these are such obvious things [for those who] know a little about movies.

    About Harry Potter. When we discussed the video, we realized that people really like this franchise. We always choose themes for video essays related to films that are visually interesting to talk about. If the film is for some reason a cult, but it is boring from a cinematic point of view, you will not tell much about it in the video.

    You can write the text and end there. Therefore, we chose the film "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", which was shot by Cuaron and which is much more inventive and cool than subsequent films that everyone scolds. We did not fail.

    It turned out that he has a lot of fans, for many people this is his favorite film from the series, although they themselves don’t even know why. They just liked it, and we tried to explain to them why they love him so much. Because it's cool shot.

    A: Do you have any kind of mind map or “super-megaplan” from the series: here we are going to have this film, we will write a text article about this, this film will be for video analysis, this will be sorted in a podcast, and so on?

    E: Of course. Once a month we meet and discuss the plan for the next month. In early March, we discuss what we are doing in April and so on. With the movie, everything is pretty simple. If nothing extraordinary happens, you know which films are released, which series are released, which anniversaries will be with actors and films. Based on this, we are already building the initial plan. It is clear that something is being corrected, something is falling off, something is being invented later or situationally appears. We are much less dependent on the situation than the regular media, which live on a daily agenda.

    Therefore, yes, there is such a plan. Sometimes, if this film is big, we can tell about it both with text, and video, and with a podcast, and in social networks somehow to joke.

    We do not have such a hard [restriction]. Further we proceed from the format. If this video - the film should be interesting cinematic, as I said. If this is a podcast - [the film should be something], which will be cool to talk about. Now we have launched a music podcast , which means [there should be an interesting twist on this side]. And the text can be written as you like practically, from any direction go.

    A: You make video, audio, and texts - how big is your editorial board?

    E: Small, we have 13 people working. Probably, for me, the [edition] is small, because I worked in the Tape, where there were 70 editors. In RBC - even more. In Forbes - a little less, but still a lot. For me it’s such a feeling of small media. But sometimes you compare with colleagues, and they say: “Five people work for us.”

    We have three out of thirteen people - the video department. Video is expensive, really expensive. First of all, from the point of view of people.

    A: It turns out that, in essence, “KinoPoisk” introduced a capsule model of a small media. It not only exists autonomously, but also constantly interacts with other departments, and is in the process of introducing additional interface or service solutions. It seems to me that this is very cool, and a great example of how content can help tremendously even where it would seem that there is already quite a lot of content.

    E: Thank you.

    A: How many podcasts do you have now? If you return to them.

    E: We have already published two podcasts, and so far there will be two.

    Here it must be said that we tried to enter [the audio market] a couple of years ago, when there was a hype associated with the first podcasts - “Medusa”, “Arzamas”. We somehow decided to run there too, but we didn’t succeed. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, for some reason we decided that a podcast should be done about an old movie. About the Soviet cinema, there are still alive people who have at least some relation to it. It seemed to us very important and interesting.

    And there is. The problem is that, unfortunately, this does not go into the podcast, because very often these people are elderly and it is difficult for them to talk. They are hard to listen to, even if they tell interesting things. It turned out that in a text format it would be much cooler.

    We still had attempts to record conversational podcasts, but each time we lacked enough motivated presenters. At the beginning of this year, I realized that I began to watch a lot of series - for work and not. I really want to discuss them with someone.

    A: This is cool when you need to watch TV shows at work.

    E: Yes, yes. That's why at some point I chose this work for myself. I decided that in any case, I’m watching, I’m high, why not connect my career with this yet.

    So here. I realized that I’m watching a lot of TV shows, I really want to talk with someone about them, everyone discusses them around. It's cool, and we have had a serial boom in recent years.

    I have a friend - Ivan Filippov, also a journalist, producer, writes for various publications, including for us. In particular, he runs the “ Stocking Up Popcorn ” channel, one of the most popular series on Telegram. I offered him, he also liked this idea, and from the end of January we started writing a podcast about TV shows. We are discussing new items, what we looked at, what we think about it, some important news.

    A: Do editorial policies dominate you at this moment? Do you have any limitations - what can be discussed, what is not worth it and how?

    E: I’m the editor-in-chief, and I’m leading a podcast - am I dominating myself? Not. We don’t swear in the podcast just for the sake of decency, but the topics we have are not limited. We have no censorship and no list of what cannot be discussed.

    My husband came up with the second podcast and persuaded me to do it for a long time. At first I really didn’t want to, because I remembered our previous experience with podcasts, I was afraid that it would be bad and no one would burn with it.

    Then the podcast somehow formed by itself. It is led by music critic Lev Gankin, also a good friend of mine and a brilliant music journalist. He talks about music in films, about composers, about soundtracks, about why such music is chosen for cinema.

    Just the other day, we launched [this] podcast - “ Noise and Brightness ” (the serial podcast is called “ In Previous Series ”).

    In the first issue, Leo talks about music in the TV series Game of Thrones and his composer Ramin Javadi. This is very interesting, there are things that I did not know. Probably, I would not read about them on purpose, but I am pleased to listen to 20 minutes and immediately hear this music. This is the perfect format for a podcast.

    A: Yes, indeed. A podcast about music is like a YouTube channel about video, where everything is more than complementary. The format contributes to a better assimilation of what is being said.

    E: Yes.

    A: To what extent is the idea with podcasts your personal internal initiative rather than the general one? For example, the marketing department came, sat with you and said: “We need audio content, we will develop this area.”

    It turns out that this is more your own distressed idea?

    E: Most of what we do is the idea we have suffered and what we burn and what we want to do. The marketing department never comes to us and, thank God, our editorial office is independent. No one can order us to do some format.

    Some ideas are suggested by colleagues, it's great. They just say in a friendly format: “Do you want to do something like that?” We do if we like.

    Podcasts are exactly why it turns out that now someone is burning with them, in particular me. It became interesting to me, it’s interesting for me to record them myself - that’s why they drive and grow.

    A: Therefore, we are here.

    E: Yes, and therefore I am here. It always does.

    Even if I, as the editor-in-chief, come up with a cool idea and offer it to my guys: “Let's do it,” and they won’t like it, most likely, nothing will come of it. It’s rarely when it’s good to follow directions. But it turns out when you seriously like it.

    A: Cool. I want to make our super-tiny blitz out of one question for last. Good series - ...

    E:Good wife .” The best series in the world.

    A: Super.

    Our microformat on the topic of content marketing:

    What kind of office do you have?
    What is there on Habré: now “✚” and “-” go for a whole month
    Podcast. How IT outsourcing works
    ? What’s on Habré: readers report typos
    Why companies need an English-language blog

    Video: content is not about SEO, clicks and clicks
    Glyph vs full-time employee
    Archetypes: why
    Writer's block stories work : outsourcing content is not fair!
    When eight o’clock ... enough (for work)

    PS In the glphmedia profile - links to all issues of our podcast.

    Also popular now: