Posts Tagged ‘ new media ’

Thoughts on the IAWTV and Streamy Awards

I may have to change the name of this blog since I spend so much time talking about things that are out of the sphere of an editor.  However, being that I am also a producer, production manager, and anything else that I pick up along the way, I do spend a decent amount of time thinking about the rest of the web television industry as well.  This is going to be one heck of an entry everyone.  My apologies.

As some of you may know, the 2010 inductees into the IAWTV have been chosen (though not officially announced), as have the crop of shows that are up for the 2010 Streamy Awards.  After watching everything play out over the week so far, I’ve been able to form an opinion of the proceeds, and I must admit that I’m not entirely happy with them. Continue reading

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Thoughts on Web Video and Monetization

So, in submitting a somewhat fictitious version of what I intend my production company to be today in class, I apparently submitted a plan that was completely useless, just another normal business with a website, that was completely un-scaleable and would never attract a Venture Capitalist at all.  We’ll never mind for the moment that I’m not interested in VC funding anyway.  What I pitched was a company to create and distribute web video.

I, and I’m sure countless others in web video, have a problem with this assessment.  I personally believe web video to be monetize-able.  I proposed several ways in which it was:

  • Subscriptions to long-form content and sales of content through DVDs and channels such as iTunes – much the way The Guild has done
  • Distribution through paid model platforms, such as the rumored soon-to-be paid models of Hulu and Boxee once one is forthcoming
  • The sale of merchandise related to the show – DVDs, posters, t-shirts, and anything else relevant to the show
  • Recommendations on the website that monetize on a cost per conversion basis
  • Choice of ad options in the video: pre-roll, pop-up bar, contextual ad surrounding the player itself, or something I haven’t yet thought of (studies at Hulu have shown that customers tolerate ads much better when they have a choice in how they interact with them)

Also, all of these means of monetization can be pursued with one show.  Produced once, distributed to as many or as few consumers care.  If that isn’t scaleable, I don’t know what is.

Let’s also imagine for a second, as is true, that I really don’t need multiple infusions of VC money.  What is the point of VC money?  Why, to inflate the value of a company so it can have a successful IPO and make all of the investors, as well as the actual owner, filthy, stinking rich.  (Well, in the case of investors, more filthy, stinking rich than they already are.) Except that most production companies have no intention to ever have an IPO.  They know, rightly, that the minute the shareholder’s bottom line matters more than their ambitions, you can say goodbye to your artistic freedom.  Which is why most movie studios and television stations (with the exception of CBS) are owned by parent companies and are not publicly traded.

I’m frankly shocked at the shortsightedness of my professor.  He is so quick to trumpet the imminent demise of the newspaper industry, but when someone presents him with an actual new media plan – for a MEDIA ECONOMICS course – he denounces it as uns-caleable and unsellable to VCs.  I guess my central question for him is: who says VCs are the only way to start a business?  Maybe in Old Media this is how you did it?  But you know the guy who said “The medium is the message?”  Well, this medium’s message is to leave your old models at the door.

Eisner is Betting on New Media

I’ve been watching the business pages for entertainment news more often since I started my Media Industry Perspectives on Digital Media class this September.  While my prof. found the NYT write-up today on Twitter most interesting, I was drawn to a different story, given my background in web video.

Seems that Michael Eisner, formerly of Disney, has been wading into the new media pool.  Now he seems ready to try a different approach and spring from the diving board.  As Brian Stelter reported in todays New York Times, Eisner’s new media company will be spinning off into an independent entity with major backing from Rogers Communications of Canada.

Eisner is being very forthcoming with his goals.  The studio, which currently produces less than a dozen series, is aiming to produce 30 in the next few years.  Some of that content will be exclusive to Rogers customers, as part of the agreement.  Eisner also claims that the company is profitable, although no public records were cited to prove this claim.

Since we’re all trying to figure out how to make money in the new media landscape, the future of Vuguru, as it is called, is of great interest to me, and I’d bet several others as well.  Eisner brings a big name and big money to the new media game, and the ultimate fate of Vuguru will see if it takes money to make money right now in this medium.  Eisner’s statements indicate that he thinks advertisers will embrace new media, and that Vuguru’s ultimate success depends on their willingness to do so.  I and the rest of the new media upstarts are interested to see if Eisner is right in his hope, or wither Vuguru will fall to the same trap that so many other production companies face when considering new media.