Jack Henderson
June 6, 2016

Social Media on TV!

OOZO.tv is a web based digital signage system that displays social media content. We use it here at betahaus and if you’ve been in our cafe you know what we're talking about! Our recent chat with Founder Norton Amato Jr. explains how OOZO.tv has become the platform it is today and what the story behind it is.

You started from Digitaltailoring, to TwitRadar, to OOZO.tv - Can you tell us the story?

TwitRadar was born as an experimental project inside our digital agency, Digitaltailoring.com. We wanted to take large amounts of data and combine it with engaging visuals to create something that would get more attractive as people contributed. We started out by telling our close friends about it and popularity snowballed. It was 2009 and we managed to take advantage of Twitter's popularity. The only problem was the social network landscape was changing, Facebook and Instagram’s popularity was rising, and we wanted to incorporate them. Unfortunately, the platform wasn’t flexible enough to incorporate these channels.

Fast forward to April 2012, just after our first BETAPITCH in Berlin. I sat in on a talk by betahaus' CEO Christoph Fahle; he was sharing his thoughts on betahaus' internal communication challenges. He wanted to make communication more democratic and interactive; it was then I realised that we would have to rebuild our core system from scratch. So I told Christoph that if he was crazy enough to install a display inside the betahaus cafe, I would develop the new software for him for free. He agreed! We struck a deal and by November 2012 the new system was born, rebranded as OOZO.tv.

 

"I told Christoph that if he was crazy enough to install a display inside the betahaus cafe, I would develop the new software for him for free."

 

OOZO.tv

 

What kinds of social media can you incorporate into the stream of OOZO.tv nowadays?

OOZO.tv is already pulling content from all major social networks, including Youtube and Vimeo. We support Facebook, Twitter and Instagram whilst also capturing and filtering #hashtagged posts. The Pro plan offers the possibility to upload videos, images or gifs straight to the TV. That content doesn’t necessarily need to be online.

Sounds impressive! What main developments are you focusing on now?

Right now, it is to increase the number of installed displays as fast as possible. Since February we've been offering a Freemium version of the system to get more users on board. The only entry barrier right now is to get a computer connected to the display, some people are using Chromecasts, smart TVs, laptops or even old desktops. Anything goes and we're not going to restrict the possibilities.

As a result, our user database has more than doubled its size. Monthly captured content is now over 500 thousand posts and our server engineers are almost freaking out! That's empowering us to find better partnerships and projects with bigger brands in retailing.

We’re also working on connecting new networks (LinkedIn & Pinterest) whilst enhancing control over content. In addition, we are planning to launch audio integration from Soundcloud and Spotify.

 

"some people are using Chromecasts, smart TVs, laptops or even old desktops. Anything goes and we're not going to restrict the possibilities."

 

Oozo team
The team at OOZO.tv 

OOZO.tv as a service and product has developed due to and in relationship with innovations in technology. What technological developments have you found crucial and what biggest leaps did you take?

The biggest leap we've had is adapting it to run with Raspberry Pi. We had to rebuild the front end from Flash to Javascript and HTML5 interface. That made the product more compatible and more prepared for the market.

More recently to support the Freemium plans, we integrated the system with Google Double-click and 3rd party Ad Tech. That's a key piece of the OOZO.tv platform! Programmatic media will enable us to support advertising and generate income for venue owners.

Any valuable tips for our community?

Well, if you're considering going all the way to prove your idea and to start your own business, do it! Just remember: you have to go all-in, and you'll have a lot of bad days before the good ones come. Furthermore it requires a variety of skills, so; study a lot, talk to people, be humble and ask for help, you can learn something new from everyone. The most important part however is: take your time to select the right people. Don't go signing contracts just because you need the money, that's the worst thing you can do! Look for partners and investors that have proven experience in the field and find someone that is willing to offer their time and not just money.

 

"Study a lot, talk to people, be humble and ask for help, you can learn something new from everyone"

 

We've worked with OOZO.tv for some time now and love what they're doing, check out this video of our CEO Christoph Fahle talking about how OOZO.tv works in our cafe!

Make your first step in coworking today. Here you can find out more about how to do that.

OKAY BUT HOW IS BESPOKE SOUND DIFFERENT THAN PLAYING MY "DISCOVER WEEKLY’’ OR ANY OTHER AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED PLAYLIST ?

Well, both. Currently we offer the following two options: shorter publicly available Brand Playlists and long-form private Soundtracks for spaces. For both of them we work closely with the client to understand how sound fits into their brand DNA and what their audience is like.

We believe that the guests’ experience with a particular space doesn’t have to begin and end with their stay. The idea of the Brand Playlist is to be a public brand playlists designed to engage the customers before, during, and after their visit at a space. It’s always accessible for them and serves as a new, dynamic marketing channel.

The Soundtrack is slightly different. It takes sometimes up to weeks of work and is designed by a world-class artist, DJ, or tastemaker. For it we first work with you to develop a deep understanding of your business and style. Then we match you with the perfect artist, DJ, or tastemaker to create unique, always fresh playlists, custom tailored to match your brand. 

In both cases, we update them regularly based on guest habits and clients’ needs. 

People in beta Clay Bassford Bespoke Sound



The way we engage with the music community is something really important for us and honestly, what makes us different than other background music providers. A lot of the background music providers out there have internal teams of maybe five or six DJs that do all of the music for their clients. We aim to connect with the local scene and always work with local DJs. There's some kind of magic in finding the exact right artists for the brand.

And on the flip side of it, when we hire artists, we make sure that the project is also inspiring for them and that they would be interested in participating. We always make sure to pay them well. The whole project creates for them a new income stream that they wouldn't have otherwise.

People in beta Clay Bassford Bespoke Sound

Yes! This was really fun. The objective with the betahaus "betabeer sounds" playlist was to showcase the community side of betahaus. There are so many cool, interesting people in the betahaus community and we thought a playlist could be a perfect way to not only help bring the community together but also show the diverse funkiness of the communities of Berlin and Neukölln, which is why Hazy Pockets, a longtime local Berlin DJ known for his eclectic mixes, was perfect for this project.

This playlist moves from bluesy 60s rock into surf and tropicalia, picking up momentum into Motown and onwards through some laid back disco tunes. Perfect for the betabeer events betahaus hosts monthly!


YOU’RE CURRENTLY ENJOYING THE SUN FAR FROM BERLIN. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES in berlin that YOU MISS THE MOST?

Oh, there are just so many! Like the Imren Grill for instance where you can find the best homemade Turkish food or Das Gift and Gordon which are both run by great music people. Kohelenquelle in Prenzleuer Berg is my favorite local bar (or rather kneipe). To satisfy my  techno / electronic records needs I always go to Hard Wax and one of my most special places is the Zions Kirche steeple, which has an awesome view of the city and a great Weinerei close by. 


You can see me around betahaus. Online, you can always check out my website and listen to our public playlists on Spotify. We’re also currently working on a collaboration with betahaus, so a special Playlist curated by is will very soon sound around the spaces in Kreuzberg and Neukölln. 

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