I’m at the Economics of Social Media conference in LA. It’s now the third session, Social Media meets Hollwood. I’ll try to review some of the earlier discussions later.
The session was primarily about how mainstream media is complemented by social media, by building conversations about broadcast programs and among their viewers, and also how they are now creating social networks in their own right. On the former issue, it seems like a real no-brainer to facilitate conversations about programs, to build relationships and access. It is very interesting that networks are now presenting themselves as experts in building social networks, and making that a core part of their offer to advertisers. If they (or probably just a few of the existing mainstream broadcasters) can indeed leverage their existing relationships and expertise into this new space (as brought out in George Kliavkoff’s comments), this will provide a solid safety net and platform moving forward.
Here are some snapshost of issues raised by the panellists (not 100% verbatim).
“Anything that can do to raise rating, we’ll do. The more that people do online to be engaged, the more time they’ll spend watching the show. There were concerns that the online activities would cannibalize, but the opposite has been true. It’s helped ratings.”
“We’ve found that charting conversations about programs before they start accurately predicts their success.”
“If we have a sponsor who wanted to access a particular market, and there isn’t an existing social network, we’ll build the social network which will be underwritten by the marketer.” (There will be an announcement shortly on this)
George Kliavkoff, Chief Digital Officer, NBC Universal
“As discussion starts on our site, it radiates out to other parts of the web. It’s very powerful.”
“There are lots of launching pads for everyone.”
Alan Citron, General Manager, TMZ.com
“People are saying ‘I like this content, I want to take it and do something with it’. We can work with content producers to allow people to take and reuse their content in a controlled way. We need to point to our partners to specific cases where there’s upside and limited downside. We need to work with the first brave companies to do this.”
“We’ve struck over 1,000 content partnership deals with providers in the ‘torso’ of the long tail. We don’t want exclusive deals. These companies don’t have the scale to monetize effectively.”
David Eun, VP Content Partnerships, Google
The show The L Word has spawned a lesbian social network, OurChart.com, both to discuss the show and issues on the program, as well as being a general community site for lesbians.
“There wasn’t a social network for lesbians, conversations were being generated, so it made sense to set up a social network.”
“We’ll use material generated by our viewers for the network show.”
Ilene Chaiken, Executive Producer, The L Word
“There are conversations to be had about shows when they’re offline that enhance the brand of those shows. It makes a lot of sense to have social networks around TV programs.”
“The record business is in shambles. Thank God we’ve seen some independent groups that have found and used the new tools to promote their music.”
Carson Daly, host of Last Call with Carson Daly
Other blog posts about this morning’s proceedings: