Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Eisner, insanity, and profit

Michael Eisner calls the writers strike "insanity" because the networks and studios aren't making money online -- "They made deals with Steve Jobs, who takes them to the cleaners"

If anyone knows about taking it up the backside from Jobs, it's Michael Eisner. Remember, he pretty much got canned from Disney for not being able to work with Jobso when he owned Pixar. But in all seriousness, how many videos do you watch on iTunes vs. through your web browser?

At the end of the day, Eisner's argument hinges on the industry's inability to make money on their online video. Or more specifically, on his inability to make money on online video. Vuguru, Eisner's own company, launched a serial mystery called Prom Queen that "didn't make money."

Has anyone ever watch Prom Queen? He certainly didn't sink his bottom line on writers. Here's the first episode, sporting one line of dialog ("oh god"):

Everyone seems to accept the fact that you can't make big bucks selling ad space on the internet.

Bull shit.

Put that coffee down.

Ad sales people have become pussies. Gone are the days when they were willing to go door to door collecting checks -- from little old ladies if need be! Has the door been slammed in your face 100 times? See what happens on the 101st time, or go home to your mother. Now ad sales folks are just responding to RFPs, dressing slutty, and trying to sell the advertisers what they've always wanted (TV ads), begging them to buy a couple online ads at the end of the sale.

If there's one thing advertisers don't know, it's what they want. That's what ad sales folks are for: to sell them what they really need. What do they need? Ads on the web, damnit (in case you hadn't heard that's where the young folks are spending a bunch of their time lately).

Perhaps the networks should strike against Madison Ave: No more upfront ad buys until you move at least 25% of your ad spend online.

If the WGA strike forces the networks grow some balls and sell ads online for a decent rate, it'll be good for the writers, the networks, and even the advertisers.

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