Broadcast, cable and satellite, YouTube, iTunes and Fancast. What’s working, what’s not, and who’s got indigestion.
Mugs: What can’t I see online from Fox?
Hardie: You can’t see anything with lots of music content just because we can’t get the rights. We think that anything freely available over the air should be freely available online.
Mugs: Why no Mad Men or Project Runway online?
Jeff: The cable operators pay for that content and won’t allow us to give that content out freely on the Internet. While we own the rights in terms of talent, our limitations are the rights with out cable partners to display that online. To monetize that content, we had to change our content to fit it in under the terms of our contracts, so our content is under three minutes.
Mugs: What kind of content strategies can we expect from YouTube with regard to mainstream TV content?
Ben: About 280 million monthly viewers. We really want to provide the best distribution method possible for online media, whether it’s premium or user-generated. CBS sells the ads for their content today. We enable content producers to know who their viewership is.
Mugs: Who’s watching what on Fancast and how are you different from Hulu?
Karin: We have lots of relationships with a variety of video providers, rather than a Hulu which is anchored by two content providers.
Mugs: What content works best on the Internet with ad or subscription?
Greg: I think the aggregation model is the way the world will go. Some will be premium content, subscription, but most will be ad-supported. There’s also the potential for upsell on the these sites. Retailers want to flash people the opportunity to buy the content and will pay for that. We will probably see three or four aggregators and they will need to provide a good user experience. Then the Hulus and broadcast sites will be source feeds into those sites.
Karin: People use the web as an opportunity for catching up. Sunday our traffic spikes. There are plenty of comedies and shows where you need to catch up. Before the Internet would show serialized content, a show whose ratings started to slip was gone, but now with the ability to grab content and catch up…
Mugs: How does the traffic on Fox.com compare to Hulu?
Hardie: Fox.com gets more traffic. Given that, there are a few odd shows that become successful online, such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Mugs: Why don’t you take overlay ads?
Fox: We don’t take overlays on the content because it ruins the content environment and we have other guild issues that gets complicated.
Mugs: What is the future of buying video content?
Greg: Clearly demographics are becoming very important. Our clients are getting very sophisticated in the customer demographics and are segmenting their audience. But younger folks, if you give them a lot for free and then give them hard goods, they will pay for them. Maybe that’s a business model for the future.
Mugs: What’s good about broadband video today?
Greg: Good news is if you are in the digital business, the budgets are not being cut in the digital business. Eventually the analog dollars and digital pennies will flip.
Karin: It’s good that content makers are at least putting the content out there and by doing that are realizing it’s not a bad thing.
Ben: Winners are content producers who can reach a larger audience and the consumers who get more choice and access.
Jeff: From a programming side, the Food Network has gotten the highest ratings ever. The audience is watching more on TV and more online. We’re getting good online CPMs. The early adopters have adopted online video and fast followers are coming. We’re moving past experimentation. We know it works, now we just have to figure out how it will work. Until Hulu started popping on the scene there was no scale and there was no interest.
Hardie: Online video is still so small compared to real TV viewing, but this could be the year. Maybe that will shift. Consumers are watching. And you can’t tell a story that fast.