Michael Eisner has put his muscle behind a web studio, Vuguru. I have already said a few times, that user generated content will find it difficult to sustain itself as the central content on the web, unless business models shape up to monetize that content.
Looks like, Eisner is placing a bet on the fact that as the apetite for web content (esp. video) goes up, there will be need for professionally produced content.
“There’s a new distribution platform that’s going to be ubiquitous, and that’s clearly broadband,” Eisner says. While sites that feature user-generated video, such as YouTube, “won the short-term sprint” to reach audiences, he says, “Winning the marathon will be professionally produced, emotionally driven story content.”
Vuguru’s first series will be 90-second episodes of Prom Queen, clearly targeted at that prize
always online demographic: teenagers, and especially, teen girls.
There are, of course, many ambiguities on the advertising model yet, but all that is likely to get sorted out. And since the production budget for a show is $50k-$100k, one likely scenario could well be, that the entire project could be funded via product placements. Prom Queen, for example, could come out of teen fashion label Bebe’s ad budget. [As it stands, it is sponsored by Fiji Water, Pom Wonderful juices, and Teleflora florists.]