Michael Eisner, Veoh/Vuguru: It’s new, but it’s not unusual

Michael Eisner, Veoh/Vuguru: It’s new, but it’s not unusual

Former Disney CEO and now – with Veoh and Vuguru – online video pioneer, Michael Eisner will share his vision
of a digital entertainment industry
that brings the consumer, the producer,
and the distributor closer
together, during his keynote speech
to MIPCOM delegates.

With his
new ventures under the Tornante
umbrella, Vuguru, a
production and distribution company
for videos on digital
platforms, and Veoh, an internet
TV broadcasting system, Eisner is
aiming to foster innovation, to
launch new talents, to produce new
quality scripted content, and to distribute
short formats to be sold
directly to the consumer.

I have seen multiple changes in the
long time I’ve been in this industry

and its always interesting,” Eisner
said. “There was VHS and the invasion
of video, then HD and DVD
and now it’s broadband — and it’s
a real evolution
.” And broadband
internet is developing in exactly the
same way as the technologies that
went before.

These developments
are new, but they are not unusual
he said. “Most new technologies
and delivery systems develop in the
same way. Even the motion picture,
when it was invented, the first thing
was to show off the new technology
in the least expensive way. Quality
content followed much later. When
cable was starting out it was just
movies. It took time before we
started making content for cable.

And it’s the same with the internet.
At the moment it’s shaky cameras
and user-generated content

Vuguru’s first production, Prom
, quickly became an internet
hit and was nominated for a
Broadband Emmy
. The series was
such a success it spawned a fifteen
episode spin-off series, Prom
Queen: Summer Heat, which
achieved some 20 million views
during its initial run. “When we
first started with Prom Queen
there were very few companies
doing this
,” Eisner said. “Now
there is a handful, and all the
studios are putting their toes in
the water. And in five years it
will be a real industry, with professional
professionally produced. Right
now it is a free-for-all, but it will
cease to be a free-for-all much
sooner than you think

Eisner said UGC will not disappear.
“The try-outs, the auditions, the
home-made stuff, that’s all there and
it will stay. But there will be channels
or companies or individual
producers who will make their mark
on the technology,” he said.

So will
we eventually see the equivalent of
the branded TV channel online?
“Branding is another word for editing,”
he said. “If you find a way
to make it easier for the consumer
to seek out a certain type of product,
then that is called branding. In
this space the volume of product
is so astronomical, whether you call
it branding or channelling, there has
to be the non-computer editor deciding
what is fun, what is
documentary, what’s decent, what’s
legal — the consumer is going to
have to be led by a series of editors

And then there’s the funding. “The
advertisers are going to have to
catch up with this, and fast,” he
said. “Vuguru produced a series
called The-All-For-Nots (a documentary-
style comedy about a rock
band) and Chrysler advertised in
that. We’ve been experimenting in
that area. When you are swimming
in many currents, you keep changing

This exclusive interview & more in the full MIPCOM Preview magazine: here!

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