More on the Economy and Web TV
October 31, 2008 5:27 PM
While entertainment has been said to be recession-proof by some, Web TV may be another story. It seems that every other day there are layoffs at some of the top Web 2.0 sites, with companies across the board either talking about lower revenues, or the anticipation of lower revenues, from advertisers.
It comes at the same time that many are hopeful for a boom in product placement and sponsorship in Web TV shows.
As anybody in Web TV content can attest, making even the simplest of shows can cost money.
It has a creator-producer like myself wondering: Will the downturn in the economy hurt Web TV? Or will the fact that consumers will be tightening budgets mean more people will seek entertainment online?
And most of all, will brands will keep spending on the Web?
Only time will tell. Over the past few weeks, many top minds and voices in Internet business, from venture capitalists to bloggers and media, have been sharing thoughts about how to weather the storm. But since much of Web TV has sponsorship baked in at the front end, before launching, I’m not entirely sure existing shows will be all that affected.
However, will it hurt the innovation and development of future Web shows?
I don’t think so. A lot of Hollywood creators have the ability to self-fund their ideas, and while brands are expected to scale back in spending money, it’s unlikely that they’ll cut spending overall. After all, they still need to market and advertise to some degree lest they lose their audience. With Internet entertainment continuing to grow, I wouldn’t be surprised if the money they do spend will be online, especially as big names like Ashton Kutcher, Seth MacFarlane and other creatives get in the game.
One thing I can say is that I definitely started watching more television while homebound with a broken ankle this past month. I barely watched any one show consistently before this, as my schedule was so busy. But once my mobility was limited, I was parked in front of shows like “Oprah,” “Heroes” and many others day after day each week.
Who knows, maybe the downturn in the market will be exactly what the Internet needs. Studies have suggested that if push came to shove, consumers would be more apt to cut their cable TV than their Web access.
It’ll be interesting to see how things play out.