It’s fascinating to see the transformation of social networking sites such as YouTube and now MySpace from “us” content created by all of us to “them” content, made by the pros in Hollywood or Madison Avenue. Have we tired of watching ourselves stick pringles up our noses? Have we grown weary of indie rock bands doing their thing? Are we bored with our friends and ourselves?
I don’t know. What is known is that the Big Boys and Girls are moving into social media fast. They didn’t create the medium but they are taking it over.
One of the greatest Hollywood reporters out there is Ron Grover, an old buddy of mine, and he nails in his post today. Here’s what he has to say. Of course, the shift from amateur to pro became inevitable once MySpace was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corps. This is the next step. Here’s Ron…
“The most recent case in point comes Sept. 13, when MySpace will announce it has signed with Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, producers of the Leonardo DiCaprio film Blood Diamond and the 1980s TV show thirtysomething, to distribute via MySpace a series of 8-minute videos called quarterlife.
The series, which tells the story of twentysomething writers, actresses, and dancers trying to break into show business, is being trumpeted as the first “network quality” show to be produced specifically for the Web. By that, the producers mean it won’t be cheap to make—far more than the estimated $5,000 a pop it cost to produce Michael Eisner’s Prom Queen, itself considered higher in quality than much online fare.
How much more? The production tab will probably run higher than $80,000 an installment, based on Herskovitz’ estimate that each 48-minute episode will cost somewhere north of $500,000. Each episode will then be divided into six installments to be distributed online.”
The goal in this shift is to get people to stay longer on MySpace and sell ads around it. But the question for me is will all the people who went to MySpace in the first place because it was a space FOR THEM to create and communicate stick around if the medium morphs into another kind of broadcast TV? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.
Mark Cuban thinks the internet is dead and boring. By, that he means that the age of creativity is over. Of course, Cuban is exaggerating to make a point. An important point. If the amateurs are being pushed out by the pros, is the source of creativity eroding?
David Armano over at Logic+Emotion is going to be on a social media panel at Promo 2007. The conference is based on an assumption that consumers are increasingly in control of their social media. If Hollywood and the market folks on Mad Avenue are taking back that control, it’s a very big deal.