Made for Web: “The Big Budgets Are Coming”

Posted: September 13, 2007 in Content, Digital Entertainment, Digital Video, Society & Culture, The Marketing Industry, Trends

The big Hollywood talent agencies have their sights set on the web. The revolution has quietly begun…

Earlier this year, one of the top of the bunch, United Talent Agency, launched 60 Frames, a new company focusing on “giving established Hollywood writers, directors, actors and producers the opportunity to create daring, original entertainment programming for today’s web-savvy audiences”. 

The trend is clear. Consumers want video and experiential content online, and they are going to get it.

Case and point – In July, the simulcast of the Live Earth concert on MSN set a new streaming record by delivering the event to over 9 million people. Or…YouTube, Revver, and the sleugh of other video sites. Need I say more? We all know it.

The New York Times reports today that “Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick — who have made films like “Blood Diamond” and “The Last Samurai” and whose ABC series “Thirtysomething” helped to define television drama in the 1980s — have made a deal with MySpace, the online social network owned by the News Corporation, to produce an original Web series called “Quarterlife.” Mr. Herskovitz described “Quarterlife” as a regular television series, made by network-caliber writers, directors and production crews. ” The series premieres on November 11th.

I think the web is finally coming of age for professionally produced, high quality entertainment that has only come in dribs and drabs over the last couple of years. From a marketer’s perspective – the more compelling content that draws consumers in and gives us the ability to engage with them in such an interactive medium, the more opportunity to deepen the impact of our marketing, create efficiency by refining targeting, and to generate insights and enable optimization based on increased accountability through tracking data.

Today you can already watch YouTube videos and shows purchased on iTunes on your Apple TV . What we as an industry once referred to as “convergence” is happening. Maybe not in the ways in which we originally predicted, but it is happening. Expect to see more “made for web” big budget entertainment on any screen near you…

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