NATPE 2010: Shine's Murdoch Calls Social Media Key to TV's Success
Says engagement through social networking is "answer to our economic problems"
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/27/2010 11:04:12 PMNATPE 2010: Complete Coverage from B&C
Social media is the key to media's economic future, said Elisabeth Murdoch, CEO of Shine Ltd. and daughter of media scion Rupert, in an address that issued a digital call to arms to TV producers and distributors Jan. 27 at the annual NATPE convention in Las Vegas.
"Audiences expect more and they want to be involved more," Murdoch said. "If you engage them, I believe they will pay more. This change is the answer to our economic problems. Social networking is nothing less than Web 3.0."
U.K.-based Shine--which encompasses Ben Silverman's former company, Reveille, in the U.S.--is the producer behind such worldwide formats as The Biggest Loser and Masterchef, and series such as Life on Mars. With social media in mind, Shine is focused on "rethinking our creative model so audiences who desire to be even more immersed can be met on their terms. The goal is to form enduring connections with our fans and create new and magnetic social media experiences."
With the arrival of such social-networking tools as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as smart phones such as iPhones and BlackBerries, "our audience has become unrecognizable over the past ten years," said Murdoch. "We in the TV business have to catch up with what our audience is doing. We can no longer afford to be one-screen business. Social networks are finally the interactive dimension of storytelling. We now need to evolve with our audience. To resist this would be like resisting Technicolor."
Piracy is a constant danger in the world of digital content and social media, but it's a risk that producers must take, Murdoch said. "Fans remain the best salesmen of our content, even if that behavior is on the borderline of piracy. Danger of the new world is that we must concede that we'll lose some control."
Still, the many facets of social media are exactly what will protect producers against theft, she said. "Experimental media is a very potent vaccine against piracy. If our media is irreducible to a single file, we are far less likely to be ripped off."
And while she encouraged producers to push forward, she also advised them to remain diligent: "Lawful society is a key economic indicator to the success of all developing countries."
"This is not about saving television. It's about enriching our industry," said Murdoch. "Our audience has always been smart, demanding, clever and enthusiastic - it never has been more so than it has now. All we need to do is actually join the party. They are having a lot of fun talking about us already but they will not wait for us."
AftanM - 1/31/2010 11:33:16 PM EST
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