milken conference: "internet from 10 feet away"


I'm not quite sure what the title of this panel has to do with the description they've provided, but the lineup of speakers was interesting enough that I wanted to check it out.

  • Mark Burnett, President and Founder, Mark Burnett Productions Inc.
  • Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President and COO, AOL Media Networks
  • Kevin Corbett, Vice President, Digital Home Group, and General Manager, Content Services Group, Intel Corp.
  • Blair Westlake, Corporate Vice President, Media, Content and Partner Strategy Group, Microsoft Corp.
  • Moderator: Ken Rutkowski, Host, President, KenRadio Broadcasting

Westlake talks about the NAB conference--notes that HD was a huge focus, but the conference seemed light in terms of people.

(The moderator is extraordinarily annoying. I suspect he may have been a used car salesman before he became a radio announcer.)

Programming, search, playback, monetization--these are the important aspects of video that the AOL guy identifies. He leaves out things like "creation," of course, because this panel is clearly about the Internet as a broadcast tool. (The description begins with the outrageous line "The Internet is finally emerging as a true entertainment medium.") The world is divided up into "content owners" and "consumers."

Burnett says the "new primetime" is 9-to-5, because so many people in offices have broadband access and use it constantly to access content for personal reasons (chat, email, shopping). But there's "nothing to watch or do," he says, which is what he sees as his job to remedy.

(Must. Not. Speak.)

Am looking around the room...once again, I seem to be the only person with an open computer. The free wifi has disappeared, much to my chagrin, but I'm using Ecto to write this so.

Moderator raises the "user generated content" flag--"what about YouTube? Will it make you more accountable?" Mark Burnett says he thinks YouTube is great. Why would anyone who's a professional content maker fear user-generated content? In the end, it makes you better at your job, which is to give the advert-watching public what they want. And there are incredibly talented undiscovered filmmakers out there, who are using YouTube to get things out.

Burnett claims that the Intenret will allow us to know everything about who's watching what. The complete disregard for privacy issues here is stunning. He dismisses those trying to block this kind of surveillance as blocking inevitable progress. "Of course we need to know exactly who's watching."

Burnett again: "Who would buy a computer without Intel? They'd be crazy to do that!" (Oy.)

AOL guy says "Version 1 of the internet was about typing in a URL and going to what we think of as an immersive experience." (Huh?) New profiles are people who aren't interested in going to a URL and being in the environment you create--they want the material made available to them (widgets, gadgets, etc). I think what he's trying to describe is the aggregation process--people wanting to pull in your content into "their" space (MySpace page, etc). Ah, yes. Now he uses the "Web 2.0" term.

They're all convinced that text gives way to audio which gives way to video--and that everything's about video. Why would anyone want audio when they could have video? (And, implied, why on earth would they still be bothering with text?)

Blair gets tagged on DRM. "Unfortunately it's gotten a bad reputation." Notes that the Sony root kit was a big factor in making the perception more negative, but says the root kit was not DRM, and that those shouldn't be confused.

AOL guy says this is a non-issue, that we just need a "rebranding effort" around DRM. All DRM is intended to do is establish some business rules. If you get it right, you can have new business models (like pay-per-view).

Burnett says he's not concerned about illegal downloads. "Nobody up here is missing any meals as a result," he points out to laughter. The opportunities to sell more content are massive, he says. Bigger than ever.

"It's gone from the information superhighway to the content superhighway," says the Intel guy.

The AOL guy says they're building an interactive programming guide to online content. Search and browse becomes the organizing principle for finding interesting timely content. (That's not an organizing principle!)

At this point I think I've heard enough. I'm off to take a break before the last panel of the day.


Strange panel. Very interesting revisionist history & future of the internet that only exists for marketing, apparently.

I guess i am one of the few people who likes the gutenberg project and all the newspapers online. more and more books(text) will be available online and people seem to like this. course i do listen to internet radio as well.

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This page contains a single entry published on April 26, 2006 3:07 PM.

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