Storming the Walls or Playing Catchup?

On Monday December 5th, Ross Levinsohn, President of Fox Interactive Media, shed light on the strategy behind his company’s high profile acquisition of sites like IGNOpens in a new tab. and Myspace.comOpens in a new tab. in “Storming the Walls: Media Breakout!” You can read up more fully here.

The key points, as far as I understand, were that young people don’t read newspapers or watch much telly. That Fox’s antiquated infrastructure for circulation, advertising etc needs to be revamped to allow seemless purchasing across multiple sites. That there’s a whole mess around distribution rights and whether content broadcast on tv can be broadcast on the Internet. And that digital rights notwithstanding, Fox will start up an iTunes-style video store.

What I didn’t see was how Fox will convince advertisers to remain with them even if do make it easier to purchase cross-sites. That distribution rights are all very well, but when Robert Greenwald has just released all of the interviews from Outfoxed as a 500 MB MPEG file, suitable for editing and remixing via BitTorrent, what long term future is there in starting up an iTunes store? If I was a movie producer, I’d be handling my own digital distribution rights (or dealing with a niche marketing specialist) thank you very much. Not handing them over to the big boys. And not just movies – pay the tv producers directly, not the stations. There’s a tonne of info out there on how incumbent newspaper and tv and movie companies are in a world of trouble – Fuck Big Media by AFTRS Mark Pesce is an interesting read – and like Mr. Levinshohn reveals, not too many clear ideas on how to get back out of trouble.

Talking of films, Cane-Toad.com has “What happened to Baz?” a really great funny, downloadable short Aussie movie. If they had a donation page, I would’ve contributed. But I’ve beaten this drum before – its just too hard to throw down a dollar or two on the ‘net.

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Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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