Do We Need Internet Specific Content?

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This panel at the Future of Television conference focused on producing content specifically for the web. Do we need it? How should we approach it?

Direct to Internet Content - PanelPanelists
Alex Barkaloff, Executive Producer, Digital Media, Lionsgate
David Leibowitz, EVP, Business & Legal Affairs, Gotuit
Mara Winokur VP, Digital Media & Business Development, Starz Media LLC
John Edwards, CEO & President, Move Networks
Keith Richman, CEO, Break.com
Moderator: Lindsay Campbell, Host, MobLogic (a CBS company)

Do we need content created specifically for the web?

Alex says absolutely. Re-purposed content from one platform to another is just not the same. It’s not optimized to that platform. He points to Weedisodes that will be created specifically for the web as an example of something that’s appropriate for the web.We need this because its where people are going.

Mara says there is no formula. Different things work for different brands. Mara says that clips didn’t work originally for their Monga(sp?) site, but when packaged into channels they became much more successful.

The content needs to be true to the brand. If it’s Weed’s related content it needs to be zany, but for others it may be a different type of content that works.

What about downloadable media?

The challenge is tracking the data for downloadable media. Without the data, a view doesn’t count as much. John discounts downloadable because people want it now, but he admits that we don’t know what people want or where they want it. He points to the difference between email and texting based communication segments. Different segments want different things. He says that the key is to experiment and measure to find what works.

Are people looking online because the content on TV is not good enough?

John points out that to a large extent what they want online is what the want on TV. The challenge for users is that when and where it’s shown on TV may not be convenient for users. The net provides a way to place and time shift content viewing. John goes on to say that distribution should not get in the way of viewers. Distribution needs to be transparent to the viewers to eliminate speed bumps.

How to build an audience and get sponsors?

Keith Richman says that the people who focus on specific target group or interest group will build an audience. Focus really helps in building that audience. He goes on to say that with good packaging and programming advertisers can get comfortable with lots of different content. Providing some confidence and consistency in the programming, even if it’s silly/strange content, is very helpful to getting the advertising dollars.

[tags]Future of Television, internet content[/tags]

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