#HRTS #DigitalChiefs: Hulu’s Kilar Loves Twitter Search

08Sep09

It would have been great to go to the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS) Digital Chiefs luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza with Bob Iger, Disney, Jason Kilar, Hulu, Jonathan Miller, News Corp, Chad Hurley, YouTube, and Chris Anderson, Wired, but I just couldn’t get down to LA today.  So I did the very next best thing and tuned into the live streaming 12:45-2.  Free for HRTS members and a fee for guests, live streaming truly is the next best thing to being there.  I tweeted as fast as I could at #digitalchiefs (which was the announced hastag), eventhough later Jason Kilar urged the audience to check #hrts for the tweets.  Hope they check #digitalchiefs too 🙂 Here’s the video, the press coverage and below our summary:

Bob Iger, Disney
Discussed future of media, focused on monetization, media is following consumer onto new platforms but will online ads ever be as compelling as tv ads in changing consumer behavior (or will it remain a nuisance), asked about insurgence vs. incumbence – whether innovation can be done in-house or does it need to be bought from others who have created it (e.g. Pixar) and the rise in pay wall proposals and virtual goods microtransactions.  Anderson admitted to buying his kids toys for their Club Penguin avatars.  Cited stats:  took tv 13 years to reach 50mm, took FB 9m to get 100mm members, 400mm videos streamed on Hulu last month.

Chris Anderson, Author, Free
Got the attention of the audience when he said you can read the entire WSJ online for free if you search for it via Google.  So much for Murdoch’s pay wall. Discussed if its digital, sooner or later it’s going to be free, freemium is the way to go, give away 90% and upsell to 10%, or market with free and sell attention to advertisers, iTunes is selling convenience, packaging, trust, you get your time back by using iTunes, segment by price/time sensitivity,  class product/audience segmentation some will pay some won’t, hybrid world of free v paid, free for reach, customer acquisition, transition from selling content to service around content, free sampling replaces advertising, products sells itself.  Regarding compelling game-changing trends on the horizon, mentioned games as a service (XBLA..), iPhone apps, and Ning for niche social networks.

Chad Hurley, YouTube
YouTube is run by engineers and discovery remains a primary key challenge, how do you categorize so much video, it’s an issue of metadata.  YouTube is a hub/platform for video consumption but will never be a social network, pushes out to all relevant services, e.g. FB. Introducing more ad formats to help partners to earn more money to create better content for our users, enhancing the ecosystem, creating a substainable business, relevance drives Google’s ad business, great opportunity for transactions on YouTube, can rent or subscribe to something, making available to all partners large and small.  Hulu helped YouTube, its great product showed advertisers want to be in this space, made preroll more acceptable.

Jonathan Miller, News Corp/MySpace
There is continual need for reinvention, do it in a way not to lose who you are, bringing MySpace back to its media roots, continue to innovate, make product relevant, can’t play catch up, market keeps moving, what are the new behaviors that are relevant  who fit who we are.  New media companies release revision several times a day in response to audience sentiment.  That practice is unheard of in traditional media but necessary.  Safeguard privacy but know your users, there is a generational difference, younger generation understands the tradeoff, ok being watched if it gets me what I want.  Online CPMs will never rival network CPMs but will see higher CPMs in the right environments (from $0.40 to $1 but not to $50 for UGC).  The key issue to focus on is that the cost structure of producing content must come down.  Regarding compelling game-changing trends is the rise of premium video, apps and real time web (Google search is not real time).  Lionshare of web traffic is to portals for email checking, but many do go direct to FB.  Days of portal not behind us, 50% of $ and traffic still through portals.  Content providers should get more money and distributors less (Iger disagreed saying maybe 70% is too much).

Jason Kilar, Hulu
Huge fan of Twitter search.  Measures Twitter sentiment every 20 minutes, uses it as a real-time lab and makes changes based on responses, starting to use choose your own ad (diet v sugar soda), feedback on Twitter was users like the control, and the opt-in ads get higher attention.  Answering Iger’s question – will anything replace 30 sec golden standard on tv, yes, 30 second online, Nielsen asked consumer test group that watch ad online and on tv – did you remember brand, message, think more favorably, intent to purchase, ad/brand recall 2x online to tv, Kilar explained because consumer makes a conscious choice to watch online they are more engaged from the start (Iger joked – you mean I could understand plot of Lost more if I watch it online – big laughs), didn’t want Hulu to be Tokyo at night, went for a clean UI with small ad load, the recent increase in tv ad load is the cause of rise of DVR, you can charge twice the CPM with less ad load, ad inventory twice as effective, greater SOV, $57-70B ad market related to premium video, transaction and EST much smaller market, Flight of Conchords is a good candidate for subscription, for video content can’t substitute 30 Rock for another show, this lack of substitution allows you to do different things with your business models.

Post note:  Many thanks to Chris Anderson, Editor, Wired who emailed me these comments on this post:  “Thanks! Great work on the Twitter coverage; I read every tweet. You’re fast AND good!”  Posting immediately does has its advantages.  For more, check out: LA Times, Variety, Scott Kirsner and his audio.

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One Response to “#HRTS #DigitalChiefs: Hulu’s Kilar Loves Twitter Search”

  1. Great article! HRTS really enjoyed putting this panel together. By the way, the video is now available on our site:

    http://hrts.org/2009-digital-chiefs.aspx


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