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Published: January 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM GMT
Last Updated: January 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM GMT
Sir Martin Sorrell: "We all have to think about content."
With this week's annual National Association of Television Programming Executives (www.natpe.org) conference relocated from Las Vegas to Miami Beach, the event has taken on a more global flair. As one long-time attendee commented, "It feels more like MIP than NATPE." That should be music to the ears of NATPE president Rick Feldman, who has struggled to "reinvent" the gathering of producers and distributors since its heyday when Wolfgang Puck served pizza to Columbia Tristar's clients and friends and when celebrities held-forth in elaborate corporate booths seeking U.S. TV station distribution for their first-run and off-network series. Of the more than four thousand executives at this year's NATPE (up 30% over last year), far more represent international media and digital media than the traditional TV station execs who once called NATPE home.
"Content makers are playing for keeps on the Internet," quotes the description for a lead NATPE panel. "They recognize there's a bright, bold future in online programming and some of Hollywood's best minds have turned to the Web." Multiple NATPE panels this year include executives from digital companies that are seeking to capture their share of the more than $14 billion that marketers are forecast to invest in Online Originated Video Content Advertising in 2020, compared to the $2.2 billion in ad spend that is available to domestic broadcast syndicators. (See Jack Myers Media Business Report Media, Advertising & Marketing Investment Report 2000-2020.) But those who question the health of the legacy broadcast content syndication market should visit NATPE and spend time with executives from broadcast stations, the leading domestic and international program syndicators and others who, while not bullish, at least see respectable growth opportunities into the foreseeable future. Turner Broadcasting's Michael Wright summed up the state of the business: "It's a very robust marketplace if you have the ratings and the hits." CBS Television Distribution president John Nogawski advised content producers "The doors are open at CBS. Our shingle is out and we are looking to do more programs."
But front at center at this year's NATPE are digitally-centric companies like Google, YouTube, Electus, Demand Media, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Break Media, Tremor Media, Netflix, AOL, AT&T, mDialog, 5Min Media, Revision3, Alloy Digital, Intel, GoTV, Samsung, My Damn Channel, Roku, and Ning, have had a quiet but influential presence.
A NATPE panel featuring "The New Guard of Digital Deal Makers" aptly points out: "It used to be that Hollywood's deal makers were all working at studios, talent agencies or networks. Now they are all over the entertainment business, and the new guard of deal-makers are inking deals left and right. With the growing focus on digital production, entertainment and content, the folks making the deals have changed too."
NATPE featured the final public appearance of Jeff Zucker as president of NBC Universal and included appearances by WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell and American Express CMO John Hayes. The conference floor abounds with the leaders of digital mediaincluding Yahoo's Ross Levinsohn, AOL's David Eun, and Netflix' Ted Sarandos, alongside the TV network, station and syndication executives you'd expect to see in years past but had been absent at NATPE for the past couple of years.
"Being here is very important as people are figuring out how to distribute their content digitally," commented dailymotion.com GM Joy Marcus, whose prior NATPE visit was more than a decade ago. "We need a digital content marketplace," added Joe Michaels, senior director for business development for Microsoft Corp. WPP's Sorrell succinctly captured the overall theme of NATPE: "We all have to think about content," he said in a detailed session in which he laid out his company's present and future strategy.
If there mantra for the industry's next decade, it would be…
…WE ALL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT CONTENT.
Jack Myers can be reached at Jack@mediadvisorygroup.com. JackMyersThinkTank is free and underwritten, as part of MediaBizBloggers.com, by subscriptions to Jack Myers Media Business Report (www.jackmyers.com). Subscribe free to all MediaBizBloggers reports at www.MediaBizBloggers. For Jack Myers Media Business Report subscription information visit www.myersreport.com or contact Jack Myers at Jack@mediadvisorygroup.com. Jack Myers and Media Advisory Group provide details on all underwriters and companies in which we have an investment at www.jackmyers.com.
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