How KinoPoisk makes its media

How KinoPoisk makes its media


This is a podcast with content makers and content marketing executives. The guest of the 15th edition - Lisa Surganova, the chief editor of KinoPoisk and the presenter of the podcast "In the previous series", talks about the development of its own media of the largest film portal.


Lisa Surganova, editor-in-chief of KinoPoisk and host of the podcast "In previous episodes"



alinatestova : Today we are talking about how to run a large content machine on the example of “KinoPoisk”, which has a huge amount of user-generated content and its own content, very interesting. But first of all I would like to know this. All of our listeners probably represent what the editor-in-chief does in media . But what does the KinoPoisk chief editor 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 traditional media - in Lenta.ru, RBC, Forbes. And I try to build my editors according to similar rules. It is clear that Kinopoisk media is very different from others, because it is rather a small media with a huge brand. Our audience is about 40 million people per month, and the media read about 10% of this number. It changes your perception of work and life a little, because you need to be aware of the importance of media within this big brand, and you have slightly less resources than usual.

Where all editors work with their designers and with their development, we work with a common design and development, which still have a million tasks related to the product, business tasks, online cinema and so on. But [work this way] is very interesting. We are not a separate publication at Kinopoisk, but we are embedded in the work of the entire site.

One of the first steps I took was to add editorial materials to the pages of films and people at Kinopoisk in normal form. This is the main point from which people come to us. They go from search engines to the page of a particular film or person and from there they are already switching to our materials. Previously, they were presented there somewhere in the corner and very badly, but now we are watching and deliberately display a lot of good materials. There is a downside - as we bring traffic to the "Film Search". Many people come from search engines and social networks, and in our materials with updated design - it happened last fall - object cards were added.


This is a short reference from the page of the movie or person that is embedded directly into the article. Without going anywhere, you can click the button with the target action - add the movie to the expected ones (I will watch list), 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 immediately do something. It works great, we see that people use it, and we 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 have already appeared, such as T — F — 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 some 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: Here are a few questions, I will try to answer in order.

Why “KinoPoisku” media? In general, indeed, very many nonmedical brands now go to this. And this is an important sign that brands understand that they need a face and a voice.

Usually this media becomes media, editorial. It 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 the comments and social networks. For KinoPoisk, this is all very important, because otherwise it’s just a site aggregator of user reviews, ratings and movie pages. He had once been like this, but outgrown this state.

In addition to the media, KinoPoisk has a billboard selling tickets and an online cinema. This is all - the gradual development of the brand. In general, we want to cover all the interests of people associated with the movie. If you need specific information about the movie, you come to the movie page. If you are interested in reading a little more detail or the first to find out some news about the film - there is media for you. You buy tickets in the same place, add a movie to expectations, give a rating, write a review. You're watching a movie online there.

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


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

We write other articles that reveal the history of cinema to people, help them to understand the film, to understand it. We write news, in the end, users do not write news.

The third is my personal considerations. In my opinion, in Russia now there is no big media about cinema, which would tell not specifically about the author's films. There is “The Art of Cinema”, there is “Session” - such very old, cool magazines. But they are more turned towards copyright and festival cinema. And we write about different cinema - and about the "Avengers", and about the Berlin Film Festival. And there are not so many such media outlets, but such large ones as we are, very soon.

And we understand that this niche is an interest.



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

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




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

Not everybody has to run directly to the media.It is difficult, expensive, and very often it seems that it does not justify the investment. This is not marketing, where you invested a hundred rubles and received or did not receive 1500 transitions. [Media] is a fashionable, important thing for some brands. Especially for those who build themselves on communication with the audience and in general somehow turned to people. Since KinoPoisk is completely dependent on the people turned to it, we try to communicate with them in the human language, and this is a media task.

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

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

It seems to me that it’s great when brands both communicate with companies, users and readers, communicate in intelligible and good Russian.



A: If we say that this is still not marketing and is not measured straightforward - investments, transitions, target actions. How do you define for yourself the success or failure of the task, direction or change that KinoSearch is undergoing now?



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

Another metric that is not typical of other media is the object cards that I talked about. We look at how people react to them, what actions they take.

We see that people have read the news about the trailer of the new Tarantino film, and there will be a lot of clicks on the “I will watch” button. That is, people watched the trailer, they realized that they wanted to watch a movie, they pressed a button. For us, this is a cool mechanic. We can remind them later 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 it with the business. When I associated it 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 understand this perfectly. But I think that he can read the article, remember that the film “Royal Corgi” 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 this format of merging a certain service with content will be in the future? Your audience has the opportunity to watch a movie online, or to book tickets, or read about the actor. Roughly speaking, this is the service part. There are conditional media that do not have this service part, they just give some information. In your opinion, will there be any reverse movement? When conditional useful cards, links, call-to-action buttons appear in the media?



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

It seems that exactly in this place the media should become services, become useful and offer some important information. In fact, it is difficult to divide here.Virtually any media now writes about movie premieres of the week. This is more of a service thing. You offer a person a choice. You tell about your point of view, what he should pay attention to, but in general it is a poster, a schedule of films.

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

E: Of course. The same “Medusa” makes the cards in the “Analysis” section. They are not so much about ordinary journalism, but about helping people. To them to understand the complex bill, a situation; understand how to change tires on the car. This is also important. We sometimes forget about the fact that we do not 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 generally our video department. How do people watch movies? For them, this is some kind of moving picture, actors, funny dialogue. We watched, 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 arranged and how cinema with them at different levels talks, conveys some meanings. And these are the things that are now in Russian-language YouTube, no one seems to be doing well. Although it is a very popular thing in the West. I will not hide, we did not come up with it. The video essay was long before us on the western channels and is very popular there. It just seems to us that this niche in Russia is not closed. We want to close it. Such educational, explanatory content.

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




A: How do you define (besides the audience’s response, they watch a lot or do little) and form a policy on your channel, what should I talk about? How do you choose topics?



E: In one way or another, we often start from the agenda. There may sometimes be a very remote connection For example, there is a new film with Viggo Mortensen (“The Green Book”), we are making a video about his career. The anniversary of "Harry Potter" - we are doing a film about Harry Potter.

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 pop, it will go right away. Now we, for example, have made two videos about Tarantino. This is obviously one of the most cult and most beloved directors in Russia. These two clips scored a million views in total. One will pick up [a million] myself soon.


A: And if we talk about the same movie with Tarantino, which you have one of the most popular on the channel - about the dialogues in the films of Tarantino.

Suppose you have determined that it is situational, it is now interesting to tell you about Tarantino. How do you choose what specifically to talk about? What to get, what interesting things?

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

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 in cinema and how he builds them in composition. About it was a movie.

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

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

You can write the text and finish it. Therefore, we chose the film “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, which was shot by Kuaron and which is much more inventive and tough than the next films that everyone scolds. We did not lose.

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



A: Do you have some kind of mind map or “super-megaplan” from the series: this is the film we’re having, we’ll write a text article about this, this film will be parsed, we’ll sort this 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 do in April and so on. Cinema is pretty simple. If nothing extraordinary happens, you know which films are being released, which series are coming out, which anniversaries actors and films will have. Based on this, we are already building the original plan. It is clear that something is being corrected, something is falling off, something is being thought up later or appears situationally. We are much less dependent on the situation than ordinary media that live on a daily agenda.

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

We do not have such a hard [limit]. Next we proceed from the format. If this video - the film should be interesting cinematically, as I said. If this is a podcast - [the film should be something], which would be cool to talk about. We have now launched a music podcast , which means [there should be an interesting twist on this side. And you can write any text practically, from either side.



A: You make both video, and audio, and texts - how big is your wording?



E: Small, we have 13 people working. Probably for me [the editorial board] is small, because I worked in Lenta, where there were 70 editors. In RBC - even more. In Forbes - a little less, but still a lot. For me, this is the feeling of a small media. But sometimes you compare with colleagues, and they say: “We have five people working.”

We have three people out of thirteen - a video department. Video is a costly thing, 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, is in the process of introducing additional interface or service solutions. It seems to me that this is very cool, and an excellent example of how content can be extremely helpful even where there seems to be quite a lot of content already.

E: Thank you.



A: Now how many podcasts do you have? If you go back to them.



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

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

And there is. The problem is that, unfortunately, this does not fit 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 text format it would be much cooler.

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

A: It's cool when you need to watch TV shows on work.

E: Yes, yes. That is why at some point I chose this work for myself. I decided that in any case I’m looking at it, I’m thrilled, why not connect my career with this.


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

I have a friend - Ivan Filippov, also a journalist, producer, writes for various publications, and for us as well. In particular, he runs the channel " Stocking up popcorn ", one of the most popular TV shows in the Telegram. I suggested to him, he also liked this idea, and from the end of January we started writing a podcast about serials. We are discussing new products, what we saw, what we think about it, some important news.

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

E: I am the editor-in-chief, and I run a podcast - do I put myself on myself? Not. We do not swear in the podcast simply for reasons of decency, but our topics are not limited. We have no censorship and no list of what cannot be discussed.

The second podcast was invented by my husband 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 itself. Lead his music critic Lev Gankin, also my good friend and brilliant journalist. He talks about the music in the cinema, about the composers, about the soundtracks, about why such music is chosen for the cinema.

We just recently launched [this] podcast - " Noise and Brightness " (the serial podcast is called " In previous episodes "). < br/>
In the first issue, Lev talks about the music in the series “The Game of Thrones” and its composer Ramin Javadi. It is very interesting, there are such things that I did not know. Probably, I would not read them on purpose, but it’s pleasant 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 videos, where everything is more than complementary. The format contributes to better learning what is being said.

E: Yes.




A: How much is the idea with podcasts in general - your personal internal initiative, rather than the total? For example, the marketing department came, sat down with you and said: "We need audio content, we will develop this area."

It turns out that this is more your own ideas?




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

Some ideas are offered by colleagues, that's great. Just in a friendly format they say: "Do not want to do something like that?". We do, if we like.

Podcasts are exactly why it turns out that now someone is burning them, in particular me. It became interesting to me, I’m interested in recording them myself - so they drive and grow.

A: So here we are.

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,” they will not like it, most likely nothing will come of it. It is rarely good at the behest. And it turns out when you really like it.



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



E: " Good wife ". The best TV series in the world.

A: Super.



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Source text: How KinoPoisk makes its media