When will there be first run tv and movies on the net?

Todays nytimes has a story about how video sites like metacafe and revvr are paying $5 cpm’s to creators.

I believe we’re still in the ‘america’s funniest home videos’ stage and that there will be a hiuge oppty to creats targeted channels with a community production model.

Two channel ideas I had 7 yrs ago illustrate this oppty. (Caveat – these were half joke and half real ideas)

* disasterchannel.com

This idea was to creat a net channel where people uploaded tagged clips of disasters. When jfk’s plane went down or princess di was killed, people became sponges for details yet quickly grew wary of the same canned footage on cnn and the networks. Imagine having video bloggers filling in the minutia. Wars are happening worldwide. Maybe russian soldiers in chechnya would have helmet cams on patrol.

This idea went one step further than fox news, was 24×7 and allowed people to subscribe to the disaster of their choice. Course the most popular could make it back to tv.

The model was the same, creators making 5-10k per million views.

* stalkerchannel.com

This idea was to be the upload center for tagged clips of celebrities and other famous people. One might subscribe to the paris channel within.

One step further, stars would upload their own clips too.

A sister tv idea to this was to creat a web community programmed show called ‘B List’, where each week a b list star would be named (maybe by vote). Participants would compete for the best clip of say danny glubber or riccardo montebon (fantasy island) and win cash and on air appearances. This would allow the tv to drive even greater levels of community production.

I envisioned people one day setting their tivo to record any new paris hilton clips.

The tv show element would be all about the live interaction where the featured celeb might even meet up with their winning videographer (though this could quickly turn into bad jerry springer).

The other thought I’ve had is that some ted turner will come along who will make a 100 million and eventually billion dollar bet on major branded programming to release first run on the net. The numbers seem close to supporting it.

If a sopranos like show or band of brothers like miniseries could garner and audience of say 20 million views per episode (which seems reasonable given the amount of friction lilke cable bills out of the way), they might generate these economics:

Assuming: $10 cpm, 6 spots per episode (potentially unavoidable). That’s 60m ad avails @ $10 cpm for $600k per episode. Course the cpm could easily be double that when one considers that ability to show full video ads against a measurable, targeted audience.

I was at a conference last summer where I heard brian grazer from imagine entertainment talk about how he was in the business of producing content that mass audiences would want to see. He produced the davinci code for $100m because he knew it would be interesting to millions of people. He didn’t understand any long tail and wasn’t concerned with the form of distribution either.

Question – what would have happened if brian had released that film with ads streaming on the net? How about also selling dvd’s for $1 with the ads in an unskipable format? Would there be a market for chinese pirated versions?

Econ – 3 hour movie (he could make it longer as he doesn’t care about number of show times. In fact, longer is better. More attention. More views.) 10 ads per hour, so 30 ads at with 100M views us @$10 and 1B worldwide @$2 for $30m us and $60m row. Ok not compelling enough yet at these cpms. Course at $20 it gets closer. Not sure what that film grossed and how much the producers netted but one might also view the web release as much lower risk given the utter lack of competition.

Course I may be under counting the number of views massively too. The net has proven the power of free as has tv.
Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

2 thoughts on “When will there be first run tv and movies on the net?

  1. Great idea which I think is evolving on the net as we speak. I think there is some service out there that if you see a celeb you snap them and they auction up the picture, and distribute to affiliate sites as well. I know that the online video sites have “channels” but how many people watch channels versus watch clips that have been tagged and rated?

  2. Hey Mark, nice ideas. I’ve also long thought there are other ways to monetize movies such as product placement which is already a multi billion dollar business already, but suffers from no standardization or marketplace to drive volume and price. Also extended content on DVD’s for e-commerce or sponsorships may be interesting as well. Check out tellx, they are doing some interesting things in this area.

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