Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 31, 200810:55 PM

New TV Shows Coming To An Xbox Near You

Traditional Marketers sit and stare at the changes taking place in the Marketing world. Here's the raw truth: they think it's just a fad. There's no doubt about it. If Marketers really believed that Social Media and Web 2.0 is going to change everything, they would be diving over each other's heads into it by now. Instead, we're seeing 30-second ad buys going up, and no real stress coming from the other channels (print, radio, outdoor, etc...).

What will it take for them to see/feel the difference between interruption-driven Marketing and the new Social Media channels?

How about a news item like this from the New York Times today: Hollywood Producer Set To Make Shows For Xbox.

"...his first round of programs would all be scripted, as opposed to reality shows, and would probably run under 10 minutes. He said he planned initially to focus on genres, like comedy and horror, that appeal to the Xbox 360 audience, which is heavily concentrated from the ages of 14 to 34, and tends to be more male than female. The first shows are expected to be available to viewers by the fall... at least some of the shows would be supported by advertising."

The "he" is Peter Safran, a veteran Hollywood talent manager and producer who just cut a deal with Microsoft to create completely original television content for the Xbox 360 gaming platform. In case you didn't know, most of these modern gaming platforms have full online networking capabilities.

The mistake comes in the semantics of that last sentence above. You see, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and the Nintendo wii are not "gaming systems," they are the new "entertainment" systems (not unlike the slew of components you grew up with in your family den). But, now - for under five hundred bucks - you can have it all - a high definition DVD player, a networked unit for all of your music and pictures, Internet connectivity and, yes, games as well. With all that, why not introduce some television-like programming?

It's a great Marketing - Advertising opportunity as well.

"Mr. Safran is the latest in a growing line of Hollywood players who are seeking to tap into the digital entertainment market, where revenue still falls far short of that from traditional movie and television distribution outlets. Filmmakers like Joel and Ethan Coen and stars like Will Ferrell have recently become involved with Web-based companies like FunnyOrDie.com or 60Frames Entertainment."

It's still early days - perfect timing for those with vision. Even better if most of their peers look at the new platforms as fads, and not opportunities.

Take note of two dramatic points here about this new development:

1. They're looking to make shows run about ten minutes in length. That's longer than your average YouTube video and shorter than most of the terrible dribble you get in thirty minutes of primetime bunk.

2. This is not reality television-type programming or SPUG - Semi-Professional User-Generated - content (like Heavy.com). They are going to be producing high-quality, highly-targeted content with star power.

Read more here: New York Times - Hollywood Producer Set To Make Shows For Xbox.

By Mitch Joel


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