Beachfront - leaderboard - 7-1-18

Analysis for 'Quarterlife'

  • Quarterlife's Herskovitz Interviewed on NPR

    Driving home yesterday I caught a pretty interesting interview on NPR with Quarterlife's co-creator Marshall Herskovitz. It's only about 15 minutes, but the last 1/3 is quite insightful as Herskovitz expounds on the problems with today's Hollywood system and what he and partner Edward Zwick are doing with Quarterlife and NBC. You can listen to it here.

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  • TV and Broadband: Who's Morphing into Whom?

    Does TV programming beget broadband video programming or is it the other way around?

    If you were expecting a simple answer, recent evidence suggests that none will be forthcoming. Step away from the relatively straightforward model of streamed or downloaded TV episodes, and the question of how original video content will be produced and distributed between broadband and TV is whole lot more complicated. Layer on the writers' strike and the world only fogs up further.

    For those who see broadband as a pathway to TV, Quarterlife's deal announced last Friday with NBC to bring their new Quarterlife series to the network following its run on MySpace offers encouragement that Internet programming can move to the TV (bear in mind that Quarterlife was originally pitched as a TV series however).

    Another example is, which has been successfully syndicated as TMZ TV this fall by Warner Bros. TMZ shows us that a brand that was created and built solely online can make the leap to TV. And just last week TV Week reported that Twentieth Television and Yahoo were close to a deal to create a new syndicated series based on popular broadband videos that they've collected.

    On the flip side, there is plenty of evidence of opportunities for TV programs spinning off broadband programming, or existing TV producers with assets and skills pushing into broadband as a first outlet for their work.

    Consider Sony's Minisode Network, with distribution on MySpace, Joost, AOL and Crackle. In an effort to squeeze more life out of its library of classics, in June Sony launched abbreviated versions, for broadband "snacking". This initiative is being closely watched as a model for how to repurpose existing assets to make them more palatable for attention-challenged online audiences.

    And Endemol's recent deal with Bebo to produce "The Gap Year" series for exclusively for Bebo's audience shows that a successful TV producer is turning its sites on broadband as a first outlet.

    All of these deals underscore broadband's disruptive nature - its ability to create new opportunities for incumbent players, and also for new entrants. My read is that most (though not all) broadband producers would love to make the leap to the TV. In the mean time, broadband offers a low-cost, interactive distribution path to experiment with more engaged audiences.

    Many key industry players are now waking up to the idea that broadband is fundamentally re-writing traditional equations of how to extract value from well-produced video. But these equations are not yet well-understood. Some of the early deals, as outlined above, will be showing everyone the way.

    -Will Richmond

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  • More Big Hollywood Talent Piles Into Broadband Video

    Today's splashy NY Times piece profiling Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz's new series, QuarterLife, with MySpace again highlights how big name talent continues to embrace broadband video as a key focus of their activities.

    This list continues to grow. Here are some of the names that are on it, and their activities:

    • Michael Eisner, Vuguru, Prom Queen
    • Stephen Bochco, MetaCafe
    • Ben Silverman, Reveille
    • William Morris/Narrowstep
    • Spike Lee and Babelgum's online film festival
    • Herb Scannell, Next New Networks
    • Albie Hecht, WorldWide Biggies

    What do all these big names see? In 2 words: colossal opportunity. Broadband is a wide open playing field. They all understand that a classic paradigm shift is happening in the video industry and are rushing to understand the medium and its new rules. How to engage audiences? How to monetize most effectively? How to optimize the formats? How to retain creative control?

    This activity is only going to accelerate. As early successes get more publicity and the business models crystallize expect even more big Hollywood talent to jump on the broadband video bandwagon.
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