Big Media Fears Your Video Upload

    April 16, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

It’s not the box office return for "Grindhouse" that worries Big Media, but the potential for the Internet to unleash a whole bunch of wanna-be Tarantinos and Rodriguezes into the world of the digital media.

Big Media Fears Your Video Upload
Big Media Fears Your Video Upload
Big Media Fears Your Video Upload

What happens if people decide in large numbers to bring some talent and a passionate obsession for detail to the content they create? Believe it or not, as the old TV show goes, they could bring a big headache to media and entertainment.

Consulting firm Accenture asked executives in those fields about the biggest threats to their businesses. More than half of them, 57 percent by Accenture’s count, feel The Fear coming from user-generated content.

Digital video, podcasting, camera phones, wikis, and blogs. Oh my Hollywood, you sure aren’t in the 20th Century anymore.

70 percent of Accenture’s respondents said they believe that social media, one of the largest segments of user-generated content, will continue to grow, compared with only 3 percent of respondents who said they view social media as a fad.

A few well-known names participated in Accenture’s study, including CBS honcho Leslie Moonves and WPP Group’s Martin Sorrell. "The winners will be those who can probe and analyze the changes and manage and merge on-line and the off-line most successfully," Sorrell said of the consolidation between on- and off-line media.

Moonves cited the ongoing need for quality content: "Current technologically driven distribution channels will expand and new ones will open. But without compelling content, every new platform is an empty shell."

That’s the conundrum for Big Media. It’s become very narrow-minded, because they tend to fear taking chances and failing. But the same lack of courage holds them back. Meanwhile there is the prospect of someone, or lots of someones, coming along without any fear but with a sackful of digital tools and making something interesting that Big Media does not control.

Eventually someone with real vision, and the forceful, benevolent dictator personality needed to create something great in long-form digital video will do that, and just toss it out there to be shared. No producer meetings, no distribution negotiations, no theater contracts. Lights, camera, action, edit, upload, done.

Then Big Media has to do something that truly terrifies the corner office dwellers. They have to deal with compelling talent on its terms. Not theirs.