The TV industry is sounding much more comfortable these days with digital media and how to proceed based on comments at last week’s Hollywood Radio & TV Society panel.
 
“I’m actually more optimistic now. There has been a number of years of crazy movement on all fronts—a move to ubiquity. ‘Oh, the consumer wants to watch on every platform; we’ll move up the windows… ubiquity is good.’ I don’t think ubiquity is necessarily good,” said Fox Broadcast pres, ent Kevin Reilly. “I think we’re now beginning to get the genie back in the bottle a little bit.”
 
ABC Family pres Paul Lee shared Reilly’s optimism, saying his network is “sort of having its cake and eating it too” by having people sample shows online and via VOD, which is then driving them back to the ABC Family for a strong linear platform. The key is balance.
 
“I think you’re going to start to see people be more selective as we start to make sure we measure and monetize and make sure we continue to do what we’ve done so far, which is create the virtual circle,” Lee said. “I think if you don’t try multiple platforms, if you don’t seek audiences where they are—whether it’s Twitter or dot.com or wherever—then you do stand the chance of losing an audience.”
 
When it comes to windowing, Sony Pictures TV pres Steve Mosko is watching the Comcast-NBCU deal for how it will impact theatrical releases. “That world is changing and that’s going to be a part of it,” he said.
 
At least one ad man thinks were 2-4 years away from much more interactive advertising. “In the future, the way we evaluate the data we have will be ‘did my ad for a particular show drive a response?’” Initiative North America pres Tim Spengler said at a Hollywood Radio & TV Society panel last week. “Advertisers would rather pay for 8mln views with more of a better response than 10mln views with less of a response.”

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