It was a very enthusiastic iPad-friendly crowd at Digital Hollywood's spring event this week at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, CA. The theme throughout the past few days was the constant mention of branded content.
On the first day, Variety held their bi-annual Entertainment and Technology Summit. The event kicked off with Variety's Publisher, Brian Gott, introducing Revolution Studios founder, Joe Roth. The summit included a lively web video panel with actors Illeana Douglas, host of the Ikea sponsored Easy to Assemble and Kevin Pollak from The Kevin Pollack Chat Show, who called YouTube "Entertainment for the groin." He reminded us that soap detergents created the soap opera. Brian Firenzi from 5 Second Films praised the iPad as a television that you can carry with you. Jason Goldberg, Co-founder of Katalyst said, "We create marketing networks for brands."
At the "Hollywood and Media Reinvented" panel, the word was clearly that content now needs to be conceived as more than just a television show. "It's a combination of branded entertainment going forward," said Greg Kahn, panelist and EVP, Business Development and Director at Optimedia, U.S.
Sharon Waxman, Editor in Chief of TheWrap.com led a packed panel on "Hollywood 2.0: Content and Commerce" She talked about how the entertainment industry is changing along with Funny or Die's Marcelo Camberos, Reveille's EVP, Digital and Production Jared Tobman, Roy Bank, President, Television for Merv Griffin Entertainment, Joe Michaels, Sr. Director, The Online Audience Business Group at Microsoft, and Eric Berger, SVP, Digital Networks and GM of Crackle.com.
After a standing-room only crowd at the "Web Series Development - Pilot season without a Net" panel, I had the chance to speak with Internet TV pioneer, Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 about the future of Internet Television.
Revision3 creates and produces all-original episodic community driven programs and has close to 10-million downloads per month.
Their shows include Diggnation and Tekzilla, which bring in $1 million or more in revenue each, with well over one million views per show. Diggnation took home the award for Best Hosted Web Series in the 2010 Streamy Awards.
I asked Louderback what makes a good Internet TV show. He replied with, "It starts with an engaging host that talks about topics they are passionate about."
Louderback takes a "best available" screen approach and said, "If all you have is your cell phone, you'll watch on your cell phone." He added, "If the iPad is the best screen available in the house, it won't be the only one. There will be a plethora of screens to choose from."
As far as monetization, everyone agreed. "Bring in the brands."
Julie Spira is an author and social media expert. She is the founder of Social Media and More