Monday, March 12, 2007

The Rampaging Behometh Beyond Hollywood's Control


Variety leads with a story about how entertainment congloms aren't a cuddly with the web beast YouTube as they used to be:

Hollywood veterans are used to the ground shifting quickly, but the case of YouTube is rather extreme.

Just one year ago, studios and networks were bragging that the once-scrappy video Web site was handy for branding, by helping mint hit shows or injecting movies into the youth consciousness...

The love affair abruptly ended last month, when Hirschorn's bosses at Viacom demanded that YouTube take down every one of its roughly 100,000 clips...

Technology (did we say?) is often a raging godzilla that's difficult (impossible?) to control...

Feature length movies wiped out vaudeville. Television put a big dent in the movie-going habit. Now its video on demand. Some of the vid is the "do-it-yourself" kind, some professionally produced and posted without the producer's consent. And it's starting to drive the entertainment conglomerates crazy:

"One day we woke up and found out this little Web site was sold to Google for over $1 billion and we realized they just built a business off of our content," says one senior TV exec.

But it's nothing particularly new. Six years back, I found myself on an entertainment panel discussing the "future of entertainment". One lawyer spent his twenty minutes talking about pirated music on the internet:

"Record companies had better wake up and smell the coffee, because the business model of selling CDs in brick-and-mortar stores? That's dead. The new plan seems to be suing college kids over down-loading music, but do they plan to sue twenty million of them? Won't work. The companies need to rethink the way they do business or they are over."

The lawyer went on to say the likes of EMI, Universal and others had to start adapting to the new reality, and fast. Six years later, they are finally, grudgingly altering business models, but it's been a fight each step of the way.

And movie companies (mostly part of the same conglomerates) are now faced with the same monster: pirated videos on demand. As technology accelerates and movies, television shows and home-made live-action and animation converge on computers and plasma entertainment centers, they'll be needing to get their acts together.

A hell of a lot of livelihoods -- including ours -- could well depend on it.


Robiscus said...

the most shortsighted and idiotic move that Viaco could make. Yotube and Viacom's decision is less of a sign of a rapid change in technology and more of a damning statement about how complacent and antiquated the Viacom executives are.

those IDIOTS were getting free publicity for their entire library of content that was being viewed by millions of people every day. almost evey sigle person who has frequented youtube has bought a DVD from a movie clip they saw posted there or and CD from a music video they came across there.

Viacom will see either no increase in profits from their catalogue in the next quarter, or a drop in profits. all because the pinheaded executives have zero foresight. people want to see content and if Viacom can't be flexible enough to let youtube show it, then the companies that do will reap consumer spending on their products.

the NHL saw Youtube for what it was: a website incapable of providing their product in whole, but IDEAL for showcasing its finest moments.

MrFun said...


Hollywood will either adapt to the new technology or die.

Ken Roskos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Roskos said...

The Guild also offers a computer lab with Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, Mirage, Shake, Maya and After Effects software packages; with a Mac and PC computers. The lab administrator there can help with most of the software. Plus we have high-speed internet to help our members keep current with digital animation issues. And its free(!)to Guild members.

Animation Re-creation: TAG Lab 2007

Honor Hunter said...

Hollywoods attempt keep movie off that new, spiffy device the VCR worked too.

I think some of these executives need to realize the world they live in. YouTube should be viewed as advertising. They're shooting themselves in the foot here.

This is a modern version of Studios panic at the competition of television in the late 40's-early 50's.

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