New York -- The
on demand industry has created more audiences, thus giving more opportunities
to content providers that wouldn't work well inside the traditional television
That was just one of the takeaways Wednesday during the
"Programming Content -- Which Content Will Be Valuable to Viewers...now, and
in the future?" panel at B&C/Multichannel
News' fourth annual On Demand Summit.
"Technology is changing the business, creating more
audiences and creating more opportunities," said Raj Amin, CEO &
Amin said his media company HeathiNation -- which produces
and syndicates health and lifestyle video -- is a perfect fit for the on demand
industry, because that type of content doesn't play well in traditional
television. "Heath is a one-to-one experience," said Amin. "What
you care about, when you care about it, [will] always [be] different than the
person sitting next to you."
One of the genres that does play well in an on demand world is
comedy; Rob Barnett, CEO & founder of My Damn Channel, acknowledged that
breaking out of the clutter is what trips up a lot of would-be original content
providers. "The hardest thing for everyone single one of us to do in an
increasingly crowded world is stand out with original content."
Barnett said My Damn Channel isn't to reinvent the wheel, believing
that the "old" rules for regular television could be applied to the
online world. "We're big believers in programming regularly," said
Barnett. "At our company we do it almost like an HBO or Showtime."
Big-name comedic stars such as Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill and Elizabeth Banks have appeared
in My Damn Channel programming.
Lisa Schwartz, executive VP, distribution, operations and
business development, Sundance Selects and IFC
Films, said the booming on demand business has helped expand her films reach --
which are usually art house type movies -- to viewers who wouldn't be able to
see it otherwise. "It's sustained [our business] financially to be able to
bring a great product to people who otherwise would not have access."
One of the questions facing the on demand industry is just
how ad-supported content can survive in a world where audience measurement is
difficult at best. Peter Block, president and GM, FEARnet, said that on
demand content providers need to prove to media buyers that this industry can
service their needs. "The key is to show the advertisers that there is a
viable alternative out there," said Block.
Barnett added that a smaller, but more engaged audience may
provide better results for the advertiser. "In some cases small is the new