Sundance Panel on Web Distribution

20 01 2008

DigitalContentProducer has a great recap on a panel that I was too stupid to realize was being given up here at Sundance yesterday — on the evolution and monetization of Internet Content. It’s well worth a read and I hope that the festival puts it up on their Podcast site soon (all of their recently uploaded podcasts are filmmaker interviews).

The panelists included people as diverse as Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Veoh.com’s Dmitry Shapiro, Joost.com’s Mike Volpi, and the NBC Universal/NewsCorp’s Hulu.com’s Jason Kilar, as well as MPAA’s Dan Glickman, Phil Lelyveld formerly with Disney, and MTV Networks/Comedy Central/South Park Studios Digital Media representative Erik Flanagan.

Some great points that were covered, according to Craig Erpelding’s article, included a general sense that the lack of reliable and good broadband in the United State is creating massive stumbling blocks for content distribution. (We really are a third world country when it comes to the Net).

veoh.com’s Shapiro noted that, according to his statistics, 40% of his content is consumed during network Prime Time hours. If this is true across the majority of content sites then this is major problem for the traditional television model and their advertising dollars — it is clear that viewers are shifting their delivery means from the television box to internet delivery. Satellite and cable providers — take note! Network executives — start changing your plans for television’s future, because there might not be much of one as we know it today.

Erpelding further notes that:

The panel listed the most powerful/important/influential companies currently running today in the market are: Google/YouTube, Bittorrent (due to the possibility of HD delivery and higher quality viewing experiences), and FaceBook.

I know that the networks today are working hand-in-glove with the social networking sites. It would appear that they must move that strategy front and center.

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