Thursday, July 24, 2008

Will First Run Drama Work On The Internet?

Darren Star is skeptical

The reality is producing a show that can entertain the masses is difficult and expensive. There are only so many writers, actors, designers, & artists that can achieve it AND this is America AND they cost ALOT of money. You might be able to get a new writer to create something amazing on the cheap once. But they'll get more expensive each time they succeed and graduate to TV or Film, because that's where the money is.

So does the internet advertising business model support the costs for this talent? Not yet, not close. Because the internet is so vast and easy to navigate that every publisher is scared to interrupt a user. The ads are typically tiny, certainly out of the way and if you want to break these standards the rate becomes super high thus you reach less people.

Internet advertisers need users to choose our "experiences" for them to deliver value. When chosen, this type of advertising is uber-impactful. I don't think TV can match it. But that happens 1 out of 100 times if you're lucky (and good). So, 99 times out of a hundred you just paid for a non disruptive ad that gets limited attention.

There is a role for driving audience participation in marketing. Maybe that role is bigger than it gets credit for but there's a reason TV killed again in the upfronts. Its because impactful + scale is more valuable to most mass advertisers than uber-impactful and niche.

And until internet advertising can disrupt people at scale with an impactful message I don't see how it funds the kind of entertainment America expects.