Thursday, January 21, 2010

Streaming Media West 2009: Web Television Comes of Age

Streaming Media West 2009 saw record numbers with 2,768 attendees converging on the San Jose Convention Center to hear from some of the brightest minds and see the latest innovations in the online video industry. One of the highlights of the conference for me was to program this panel session, "Web Television Comes of Age", that assembled an all-star cast of web television pioneers who discussed what's working, what's not and what's coming next in this "coming of age" medium of online entertainment.

With the growth of online video producer community and channels of distribution in the last year, and the success of Streamy Awards now in its second year, web television is finally recognized as a legitimate entertainment platform. But in our current economy it's still difficult to gain sponsorship and maintain a sustainable business model. Advertisers haven't fully endorsed online video and studios are just dipping their feet in the water. Storytelling is also changing, according to several panelists, who are innovators in transmedia storytelling and social entertainment. And at the end of the day, it really comes down to telling a good story with compelling content that attracts an audience and creates a dialogue and conversation.

So without further ado, I present the video from the session, and I'm especially pleased to do so on the eve of the triumphant return of the pioneering web show EPIC FU. Again, my thanks to Dan Rayburn, Streaming Media West Conference Chair, for finding a place on the schedule for this session and also to Marc Hustvedt, for moderating the session and to our great panel of speakers, Zadi Diaz, Brent Friedman, Thom Woodley and Jenni Powell. See my previous post for speaker bios and also Red Carpet interviews with Zadi and Brent.

Web Television Comes of Age
Track B: (B102) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Original episodic web television has grown up in a short time and is now recognized as a respected and legitimate entertainment platform. But in our current economic downturn some web television studios have been forced to close and the reality is that it's still really difficult to create a sustainable business model. Some creators say that until the web can provide the reach and a real source of revenue for independent producers, there's no way it will ever truly become the future of TV. In this session, hear from some of the producers in this growing space on what it takes to create, market and sell a web television series as we debate the future success of web television.

Moderator:Marc Hustvedt, Co-Founder, Tubefilter & Editor-in-Chief, Tubefilter News, Tubefilter
Presenters:Thom Woodley, Partner, Chief Creative Officer, Dinosaur Diorama
Jenni Powell, New Media Consultant (LonelyGirl15, The Guild, Legend of Neil)
Brent Friedman, Co-Founder, Electric Farm Entertainment (The Gemini Division, Afterworld, Valemont)
Zadi Diaz, Creative Director, Co-Founder, Smashface Productions