A `collective anxiety attack' in Hollywood... Plus, text messaging and TV shows, Comic-Con previews, and YouTube
"We're running into some pretty choppy waters, and so you trim your sails," Sony Pictures Chief Executive Michael Lynton said, adding that the studios in general were having to be more prudent because "some of the cushions that were there in the past are no longer there."
Among those cushions, he said: "More-predictable DVD sales, a much bigger TV network market for films, and reliable audience reaction to the TV marketing of our movies."
Media analysts agree that in watching their bottom lines, entertainment companies are simply doing what is necessary to raise sagging stock prices and earnings. But they acknowledge that the conglomerates that own studios appear to be losing some confidence in the movie business.
- TV shows are using text messaging to encourage users to watch them live (rather than on TiVo)...and as a source of revenue. The Wall Street Journal says that "in the spring season, NBC's game show "Deal or No Deal" earned enough money from premium text-messaging votes to cover the more than $1 million sweepstakes prize money. Viewers of the show cast a total of 57 million votes, both online and via text message. NBC declines to disclose how many of those votes came from cellphone users, who paid 99 cents to participate in the sweepstakes."
- From DVGuru, a blog entry about how YouTube brings you the Iraq war
- Finally, a reminder about this panel discussion I'm involved with next Thursday in Palo Alto, on "The Future of Movies."