When three of Hollywood’s sharpest minds offered their forecasts on the future of the industry, it all came down to one thing: a converged world. Changes are underway in technology and how we use content that will impact what we consume and how we consume it.
Rob Wiesenthal, Sony Corporation of America (SNE), Executive Vice President and CFO:
The industry needs to take note of the millions of people watching video on their PCs. “Consumers are speaking,” he said. “They want this type of experience.” Going forward, look for most TVs to be IP-enabled so consumers can have broad choice and the chance to bring their online communities to a bigger screen. Video, he says, should be taken “from the PC and back to the living room where it belongs.”
Ben Silverman, NBC Entertainment, Co-Chairman:
In the advertising world, expect a push from at least his company to “really develop ideas that that can be leveraged across multiple platforms and tap into our intellectual property in a more profound way,” he says. NBC is working more closely with its advertisers to try to better engage consumers. A couple of examples: Lorne Michaels and the team of “Saturday Night Live” being behind Pepsi’s brand initiative and a character on “The Philanthropist” using Microsoft’s (MSFT) search engine Bing.
Dave Maisel, Marvel Studios (MVL), Chairman:
Technology is not changing what Marvel puts on the screen, but instead how it can interact with its customers. Not only does Marvel produce content, but it can create a community for its product and be part of the distribution. Maisel pointed to “Iron Man 2” director Jon Favreau’s use of Twitter to keep fans posted during the making of the film, and a once-static DVD that now allows for viewer interaction. Beyond the world of movies, Marvel is bringing its class comic business online so anyone anywhere with an Internet connection has access. “It’s another way for us to expand the brands out and hopefully have more and more customers,” he says.