The great Michael Eisner addressed the audience at Microsoft’s Advance08 yesterday with a simple message ‘That storytelling will come to dominate online entertainment in the same way as it dominated television.’
Mr. Eisner is putting his not inconsiderable money where his mouth is by funding a couple of content ventures which he says have production costs of around $1,700 per minute which is a little (!) more than the prevailing costs of programing.
But here’s the rub, it may have been cheap but it shows. Mr. Eisner may be right about the principle but I suspect that he has not quite cracked the executional code.
Following Mr. Eisner was James Cameron. The director of Titanic and the Terminator series is not over-familiar with the notion of $1,700 per minute production costs and clearly believes that the potential technology presents in the entertainment world will be realized in the form of major advances in production, viewing experience and digital asset management. He expects that these advances will attract and engage viewers and provide the platforms for brands to communicate with their constituencies.
It’s possible that both are right, but for now I will back Mr. Cameron from the perspective of the major brand advertiser but further out I sense that the ability to identify and aggegrate the right content and audiences in short form on demand environemnts may become a high priority for advertisers and their agencies. When that does come to pass the commercial formats and content will become of major importance.