Wall Street Journal: Online Series Finding Mainstream Success
AOL, My Damn Channel, Vevo, and CBS Interactive look at how original web series are crossing over and appealing to a larger audience.
Online video isn't yet achieving the kind of popular or financial success that broadcast shows enjoy, but that day is coming. At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, an A-list panel that included representatives of AOL, the Wall Street Journal, Vevo, My Damn Channel, and CBS Interactive looked at the future of premium online video series.
The Wall Street Journal, for one, has invested heavily in online video, said Alisa Bowen, general manager for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network.
"Video for us has been one of our critical priorities over the last 18 months as we have developed more than just a bit of video on the side, but an entire video-only experience: a slate of original programming and a host of different distribution channels -- about 18 of them and counting, including 5min, I'm proud to say -- by looking at different ways of allowing people to interact with the Wall Street Journal wherever they are, which is our core central strategy," said Bowen. "And wherever they are these days includes an Xbox, it includes an iPad, it includes a PC, and the role of video in each of those different environments is pretty fundamentally different, and so we want to be where the audience is with the right kind of programming."
The question of what qualifies as premium programming is a tricky one, and the definition is subjective.
"In terms of premium programming -- pretty relative term, 'premium,' and one that I'm sure we'll have different points of view about -- but from my perspective it's video that comes form either a recognized brand or is in some way professionally produced with some of the same tactics that you'd expect to see through traditional media outlets. There's talent involved, there's marketing involved, there's production values and quality involved, "explained Bowen.
For more on original web series, watch the full panel discussion below.
Original Web Series at the Tipping Point
Millions of dollars are invested in web originals. Big media players such as YouTube and Hulu are getting involved, along with famous filmmakers and well-known production companies. What will it take for a web original to achieve TV- like success? With traditional television taking advantage of platform convergence, allowing us to enjoy our favorite shows on multiple screens, can we expect web content to join "prime time"? And will connected TV be the driver? Join industry leaders as they discuss the potential of online video content, what it offers advertisers, and when will it finally capture the viewer's hearts.
Moderator: Ran Harnevo, SVP, Video, AOL
Speaker: Scott Reich, VP, Original Content & Programming, VEVO
Speaker: Rob Barnett, Founder, CEO, My Damn Channel
Speaker: Marc DeBevoise, SVP, GM, Entertainment, CBS Interactive
Speaker: Alisa Bowen, GM, Wall Street Journal Digital Network