TMZ’s POV on the Internet’s impact on TV
You’ve either seen him on TV or seen a story from his celebrity news site come up on your Facebook news stream. Harvey Levin’s TMZ is everyone’s guilty pleasure. Don’t deny it.
As a news company that started online, he gave his thoughts on where the media landscape is going. Buzzword alert: Convergence.
Mark Cuban believes TV will be around indefinitely. But as much as Levin respects Cuban, he disagrees. He believes that both TV and the internet, existing as separate entities, will come to an end. Down the line there shouldn’t be a distinction between TV and internet because people just want to be entertained and informed. He believes in 5-10 years the entertainment consumption experience is going to be far less confined.
It has to. Consumers want it to. They just want to be entertained and informed in the most frictionless way possible.
In order to produce content for this less linier media world, you have to break the model.
Fortunately for them, TMZ is an unorthodox news organization, without editorial deadlines and publishing cycles. This enables his team to focus on what he believes the most important: assets (photos, videos, soundbites, texts, leads, etc). From that you can orchestrate the story, and when and how it’s published. It keeps TMZ nimble, relevant, and scalable for new communications channels in the future. As long as the assets make a good story, the consumer will be happy where ever they get it.
With this philosophy he’s been able to scale TMZ from a website to a TV show, radio show, and a bus Tour. All working in orchestration to cross promote each other and the brand.
While it seems like a straightforward approach to producing content, that’s not how Hollywood and the rest of the media world works. Few networks do both TV and Internet content right, and most opt for TV.
He believes that those who figure out how to see content as assets and build from the ground up, without thinking of TV or other boxes first, are the future of Hollywood.
His assessment of Hollywood is a good metaphor for where the advertising landscape is today. We’re no longer marketing to customers in bucketed media channels on linear timelines. We also rethink branded content and distribution strategies to orchestrate the best ways to entertain and inform consumers, on whatever box or screen they’re using at the moment.
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