January 20, 2009 11:04 AM
Despite all the madness in our country, things strangely seem hopeful. There’s a new year, a new administration, a landmark president, a feeling that everybody’s back in the game again. Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are profound all of a sudden. D.C. is the new New York.
If change is the new Alexander McQueen skull scarf, it can only be a good thing. The anti-intellectual trend of the past decade didn’t make very much sense. I’m glad to see it pass.
It leaves a really incredible clean slate. Here are my five big predictions of what will happen next in TV business:
Hollywood gets a leg up online. Entertainment’s faring pretty well as the Internet converges into its space. Networks aren’t doing everything well, or right, but they are at least taking enough thoughtful steps. I think there’ll be a tipping point in the coming eight months that’ll shift the game into the hands of a new player. The next two years of what’ll go down online will be very interesting.
At last, people will start to “get” analytics. Page views mean so little. So much can alter the page view between AJAX, SEO and video, but so few people I know of in the market really quantify traffic by it. The focus on uniques, session times and repeat visitors that takes place at the top level (M&A, etc.) will finally trickle down to the business masses this year. It will change how value and size are determined among sites online and should make some interesting shifts in how we do business.
Bold new innovation will hit traditional broadcast TV. I don’t know how, when or where, but I believe we’re in for a revival of innovation and risk in broadcast television.
Web TV will saturate. Remember: Supply can’t exceed demand. But it will for a while in Web TV—and ultimately, drive down prices. Everybody has or wants a Web show, but there won’t be enough money to go around. Brands will wisely make the hard push to big Hollywood talent and names that are moving quickly into the market. Independent producers and networks will have the potential to be squeezed out. Watch for much of traditional entertainment move into familiar roles with the internet now.
Web commercials will be hot. The new fun toy on the Web will be the Web commercial, PSA or other short advertising spot. It’ll become a little bit of a novelty, with users getting all engaged and everybody talking about it. I can already see the New York Times headline on it. The generation that has something to say is moving it to video. Expect a boom of user-generated and amateur content to follow suit.