Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Upcoming Upfronts Massacre (Be Afraid. be Very Afraid)

(image via avclub)

The title of Bill Carter's amazing look at networks on the brink of an age of the cost-effectiveness of Reality programming (And, ancillary to that: a new technological age) may ring truer than it's dismal sales sughgest. According to the usually scattered Daphne Mermigas of The Hollywood Reporter (via paidcontent), who, it seems, has finally "Got Her Groove Back":

"It is those advanced algorithms and profile building in a new era of consumer targeting and e-commerce that Google, Yahoo! and others are slowly bringing to bear on the television industry and the powerful likes of Time Warner, News Corp., Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal, Viacom, CBS Corp. and other giants.

"Surely with the help of trailblazers such as Apple iPod creator Steve Jobs and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, traditional media players eventually will find a way to retain the more than $60 billion advertisers spend annually on television by leveraging their branded networks not only across many new interactive media platforms but through a new interactive television-connected media hub that Apple, Microsoft and others plan to carve out of the average American living room beginning this year.

"While the continuation of the upfront ritual is assured until there is a well-constructed business model to replace it -- which most likely will take years -- the logic behind the value proposition, metric and create bets on which it is based have never appeared more suspect given the kinds of innovative and constructive advertising and consumer measurement practices emerging on the Internet and various interactive media platforms.

"To cite one example, a potential alliance between MySpace and eBay would provide an explosive interactive platform for taking transactional advertising to a first new level. And don't tell me Steve Jobs isn't going to find some way of making the iPhone, iMac and other iPod iterations advertising-friendly."

This only puts more pressure on Jeff Zucker -- and his network counterparts -- to get with "it" and capitalize on "The Digital Thing," else fall prey to Bob Wright's Worst case scenario. More here (Hollywood Reporter)

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