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It’s funny how technological and new media advances are exponential, audience acceptance of the same a bit less so, and the embrace of it all on the part of media professionals at a dark ages pace. We all see it coming, the warning signs have turned tangible in Web 2.0 and yet, movement on the new media / supplier side always seems to be the tardy party. It takes a loud, credible voice and not the bravery of the innocents to call us out and point out that the media Emperors are naked. Yesterday at NATPE, Michael Eisner, stepped up, called it like it most assuredly is, and told us how old media is not only indecently exposed, but on “a death march”.

Eisner tells us that made-for-the-web content is the now and the future.  Unveiling his latest web series, “The Booth“, the former Disney boss, described how the modern audience and the new finance and distribution realities mean that premiere digital content will be the way producers and audience go forward.  At its core, Eisner is telling us what we all already know, but that the financial and distribution sectors are still too afraid to accept. The audience is in charge.

All content and distribution must be crafted on their terms. Those terms demand that we give them content that is personal, relevant, authentic, and is available to them on ALL platforms (format customized for each platform and experience) on demand in the 360 Transmedia Universe where the modern audience lives. As Eisner pointed out, for millions, the web, mobile and other platforms are where they consume content. As we have said here many times before, Eisner echoed that, in a single generation, the TV- bound, passive, “lean back” audience will be a thing of the past.

He’s not just talking about how it will turn out, rather, judging from his content offerings, he shows that he knows what the audience will want—content that is consumable in one big meal, small cumulative snacks, or anything in between. And in a hint to the future, even beyond the platform agnostic universe that is just around the corner, he boldly reduces broadcast television to a second run repository (I don’t completely agree—“events” will still engender mass, quasi-communal consumption). So, reruns of our digital shows might just be the savior for the 10pm slot? Damn, Michael, you could have saved NBC a bit of angst had you spoken up sooner!

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