Big in Japan's Fancast Service

If you’ve noticed my blogging slowing a bit lately, it’s because we’re starting up a new project for Dirt (the upcoming FX show). This project is a continuation of our work with FX using our Big in Japan Fancast system.

Fancast is one of the Big in Japan social tools that gives users and brands a unique way to connect to each other. The Fancast system is based on the highly popular PodServe podcasting platform, and combines a highly scalable Ruby on Rails application framework with a VoIP-based traditional phone system capable of handling more than 30,000 traditional telephone connections.

This summer the Big in Japan team began working with the producers of nip/tuck, the Golden Globe winning drama, on their community interaction efforts. The show is cable’s top-rated series among adults 18-49, and has a reach of more than 2.6 million viewers.

When viewers visit the nip/tuck Fancast, they’re able to leave a display name and their phone number. In less than a minute, they get a call on their phone inviting them to participate with the nip/tuck Experience. From here they can do one of two things:

  • Interview one of the show’s stars – Each week five of the best questions are selected by FX and presented to that week’s star to answer. The questions and the answers then get mashed up by the Fancast system into one audio file and becomes available to download via a podcast or accessible for online listening.
  • Leave feedback, comments, and theories – nip/tuck fans are never afraid to tell you what they think about the show or what they think will happen next week. Now they can hear what other fans are thinking too – again, via podcast or listening on the nip/tuck Web site.

FX promoted the launch of the nip/tuck Fancast primarily using television advertising. Check out the screen shot of the section with the Fancast system. Kimber (Kelly Carlson) is waiting for your question, what are you waiting for?


Does it work? According to Arbitron/Edison Media Research more than 27 million Americans have listened to a podcast, half of whom are under 35 years old. Using the Big in Japan Fancast, the nip/tuck producers can empower their own community of 2.6 million viewers to deliver content via iTunes to more than 30 million iPod listeners. Converting just 2% of those iTunes users would deliver 600,000 viewers to the program. Additionally, FX has the option of inserting advertising into the consumer generated content as they moderate and process it allowing for additional marketing channels for their advertisers.

For more info on Fancast, drop me an email or visit the Fancast pages:


For information about my Community Consulting, Training and Speaker services, or to find out more about Dinner5, my unique community for community builders, contact me today.

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