Today at the International Start Up Festival in Montreal the Canada Media Fund  (CMF) launched a report it commissioned about the audience engagement activities of Canada’s first digital entertainment accelerator, ideaBOOST. Available only in English, ideaBOOST: Audience Engagement Report , is the result of a research partnership between the CMF and the Canadian Film Centre ’s Media Lab  and their ideaBOOST  accelerator program.
“The CMF is pleased to be collaborating with the CFC Media Lab and the only digital entertainment accelerator in the Canadian marketplace that integrates audience engagement into their four-month program. Being the first to mine the results of bringing this type of focus on audiences in the acceleration of digital entertainment companies enables the CMF to provide some valuable information to content producers across Canada. With this insightful document, we are equipping content producers with knowledge about how their peers in ideaBOOST have brought audience development and audience interaction activities into their projects, and enabling them to learn from their experience.” says Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF.
Using case studies and a cross-case analysis of seven teams who were part of the first cohort of the ideaBOOST accelerator program, the objective of this research is to understand the different types of audience engagement, the techniques used to develop and interact with audiences and how audience engagement methods can be used at different stages of development and production processes, and to what effect.
“The collaboration with the CMF is invaluable for ideaBOOST. Through this digital entertainment accelerator, we are inciting Canadian companies to embrace new models and frameworks for developing their properties/products and businesses. Audience engagement models are a key part of this new production revolution. And the CMF is a key part in bringing this new way of thinking to more digital entertainment companies in Canada,” says Ana Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, CFC.
Fact-findings initiatives such as ideaBoost: Audience Engagement Report stem from the CMF’s Industry and Market Trends (IMT) department, whose role is to monitor trends and the evolution of the industry, to provide stakeholders and decision-makers with industry intelligence and recommendations on potential strategic orientations. ideaBoost: Audience Engagement Report is one example of how the CMF partners with organizations that prepare innovative Canadian companies for growth by providing guidance and mentorship. More industry research reports are available online .
In April 2013, the CMF announced two pilot programs  to further support digital media projects, one of which has a budget of $360 K to establish funding partnerships with incubators or accelerators across Canada. The other pilot program will allocate $350 K to support international co-productions in digital media. More details about these programs will be announced once they become available.