Old Media On “Death March,” And YouTube is “Draconian”

We are highly amused by thoughts from former Disney CEO (Michael Eisner) at the recent NATPE event (see TubeFilter for more). Eisner is now CEO of The Torante Company, and its digital studio is called Vuguru. Very web 2.0 branding.

He speaks about traditional media’s “death march,” and says YouTube’s revenue share “draconian.” But he also poured $250K into a web series, Booth, with no distribution strategy. Really?

One can never underestimate the networking power of a media Titan like Eisner. Remember the most important rule for new content creators seeking advertising sponsorship: “sell your audience not your content.” Does professional content, with no distribution strategy, have a shot against “The New Establishment”?

I’m talking about Next New Network, Mondo, FunnyorDie, Machinma, Revision3, Demand Media, MyDamnedChannel, ForYourImagination. These guys are hit and miss, but many have created:

  • Popular content with an existing audience
  • Self-sustaining shows (with existing sponsors)
  • Lower-cost production
  • Solid distribution plans via television sets, websites and devices (Roku, TiVo).

I’ve continued to prematurely predict the demise of the YouTube “star” and the rise of semi-pro content. Look no further than audience size for proof: the top YouTube people have 500K views per day, while the semi-pro content is a fraction of that.

As the appetite increases for more polished content, I’d place higher odds on The New Establishment until online-video “grows up” and becomes… video.

This will especially be true when a major player (Apple, cable, Google, Hulu, whoever) develops a “subscription-based” and “on demand” model so that we can buy content broadly, and not rely strictly on advertising. Remember that charming vision of “3 screens” (television, computer, mobile)?

P.S. Michael if you read this… can you ask your son, Breck, to upload his college film, “Alice in the Underground”? I had a voiceover cameo in that short film, and would love to send my 160K YouTube subscribers to see it!

5 Replies to “Old Media On “Death March,” And YouTube is “Draconian””

  1. In the “solid distribution plans via television sets, websites and devices” area, you mentioned Roku & TiVo but neglected to mention the Boxee Box, which took home 4 awards at CES including “Best of CES.”


    I know it confused you at first, but you’re going to have to learn it and love it, Naltsy.


  2. OK, this one went a little over my head. Either that or it was actually only semi-coherent rambling from a dude who has burnt out his brain cells doing too much writing recently.

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