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Digital video deluge forcing programmers, marketers to adapt

Thecontinuing proliferation of digital video is making it difficult for contentproviders, marketers and agencies to assess the best opportunities in theburgeoning space.

Speakingon a panel at the recent New York Media Festival,several executives from across the industry said the lines are blurring betweentraditional and digital companies.

JoanGillman, former executive vice president and COO of Time Warner Cable Media,pointed out that content is emanating from established media brands, newercompanies, brand marketers and amateur producers. "Everybody is apublisher. It's not 30 companies, but 3,000 trying to get in front of theconsumer," she said.

DougRay, CEO of Carat USA, said digital companies are being asked to act more likeTV companies, with audiences being targeted for reach and frequency, while TVnetworks are being pushed to provide more data supporting their ability totarget certain groups. But without definitive standards and measurement, hesaid it is difficult to make thorough evaluations.

ChristyTanner, senior vice president and general manager of CBS News Digital, saidCBS Corp. views theCBS All Access andCBSN streamingsubscription models as "an investment in where the audience is going, evenif all the ad dollars are not there yet."

Tannersaid the average age of the streaming CBSNnews service viewer is 38, roughly two decades younger than 's news watchers, who arein their late fifties. She said the services are being viewed on connecteddevices, but she expressed disappointment in a number of ad agency staffers whoare buying digital but have never seen Apple Inc.'s Apple TV, for instance. "The productis scaling and they are unfamiliar with what they are buying," she said.

KeithHindle, CEO of digital and branded entertainment at FremantleMedia, saidprogrammers have changed their tune about digital. Eight years ago, thenetworks wanted to keep shows solely on linear platforms, he said, but now theywant to be included on digital properties, YouTube and social media outlets.

Hindlesaid FremantleMedia shows are getting 2 billion views a month, but that totalis dwarfed by those tied to influencers and YouTube stars. He said it behoovescontent providers to keep their eye on this talent pool.

Despitethe changes afoot, Hindle said talk of linear TV's demise is greatlyoverstated. Ad dollars continue to grow in the 2% to 4% range annually in U.S.and Europe, with TV still garnering a larger share than it should compared withspending on other platforms, he said.

"We'retrying to balance where our [intellectual property] goes," Hindle said,noting that FremantleMedia is still getting orders for the big shows with $2million budgets per episode, as well as requests for less expensive fare."But we're seeing mid-priced commissions falling out," he said."We worry in the long term about the ability to create IP."