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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bob Iger on User-Gen Content ... Google's CEO talks advertising on YouTube

The Financial Times interviews Bob Iger, Disney's CEO. Not surprisingly, Iger says that digital distribution platforms like Apple's iTunes grow Disney's revenue pie, rather than threaten it. That's easy to say when you've just had a string of hits that everyone wants to see (namely 'Pirates' and 'Cars').

The FT also asks what Iger things about user-generated content. He responds:

    First of all, let me comment a bit on user-generated content, which I find interesting, because back in the late eighties, 1989, an executive who worked for me at ABC, when I was running ABC’s primetime business, came to me with a tape of a programme in Japan that featured home-videos, or user-generated content, and it became America’s Funniest Home Videos. That was 1989, this is 2007 – the programme is still on. So that says something: that people in fact are fascinated by this, and YouTube’s success, and their eventual sale to Google, is certainly a current and living breathing example of just that.

    I always think there’ll be a balance in the sense that I don’t think it’s necessarily a threat to traditionally-created content at all. It’s not going to take over the world; it’ll just be another component of people’s media consumption. I’m only sorry that we didn’t get there first online before YouTube, having put it on ABC, knowing how successful it was, that we didn’t think about it as a potential web product.

I would just note that most TV and movie execs think of user-gen as the Internet version of "America's Funniest Home Videos," and that's a mistake -- it's much broader and more diverse... and that pigeon-holing seems like the kind of thing that's destined to lead to some strategic blunders. (Via ReelPop)


- Google CEO Eric Schmidt talked a bit yesterday in the company's earnings call about how YouTube may approach integrating advertising. He also said that discussions continue with media companies about how YouTube can benefit them. (IE, "Please don't sue us.")

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