Monday, November 12, 2007

The Screen Writers Guild strike, technology, and the future of scripted television

Part VI - Indy TV or the Corporations, the Economics of Scripted TV Will Change

No doubt exists that the corporate leaders are looking to online revenues for future growth. As discussed, guys like NBC’s Zucker with their Hulu may be smart enough to make money out of the transition from broadcast television and also help those in the Indy TV industry make some real money, with or without ads.

Disney (ABC) CEO Bob Iger was called upon to defend the company's narrow online video distribution at a recent corporate event. After doing a song and dance defense, he described it as an interesting debate, explaining that the original idea of amassing most of the video on was to promote the shows, use the site to upsell and "it also became a pretty good platform for advertisers."

He added: "We're going to take a pretty expansive view. .. We're going to be on more places than iTunes, and AOL." (He skipped over a mention of the possible effect of Steve Jobs as a Disney board member and shareholder.)

Iger also referred to a desire for a high-quality user interface and an environment "that's right for the product we create" and not lumped in with a massive amount of product that varies greatly in quality.

In the 18 months or so since started streaming episodes, users have started around 160 million episodes while buyers have downloaded 33 million shows through iTunes.

While the home entertainment industry struggles to cope with changes over he next 5-to-10 years, viewers who want to watch scripted tv will need to adapt. That’s us, folks. And that’s what this blog about. Oh, and The Guardian reported Sunday that Google is in discussions with Simon Fuller, the British entrepreneur behind American Idol and the Spice Girls, about a joint venture that could change the way TV is watched over the internet.

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