TV

BEF: Networks have ‘no choice’ but to embrace branded ent

Realscreen's second annual Branded Entertainment Forum kicked off in New York this morning, with @radical.media's chiefs Jon Kamen and Robert Friedman telling delegates that U.S. networks which have yet to embrace branded entertainment will have "no choice but to become more open" to it in future.
October 20, 2011

Realscreen‘s second annual Branded Entertainment Forum (BEF) kicked off in New York this morning, with @radical.media’s chiefs Jon Kamen and Robert Friedman telling delegates that U.S. networks which have yet to embrace branded entertainment will have “no choice but to become more open” to it in the future.

The opening session, moderated by realscreen editor Barry Walsh, also saw the @radical duo discussing the importance of turning your programming into a “destination,” and talking about the impact tablet devices are having on viewers.

Onstage at NYC’s Sentry Centers, @radical chairman and CEO Kamen revisited the history and evolution of his company, which began in 1993 as a commercials firm and grew to create brand-backed projects such as Sundance Channels’ Iconoclasts series, and feature-length docs such as The Fog of War.

Kamen told attendees of the importance of making your content “a destination for whoever you’re targeting, because where they will watch it is becoming your biggest challenge,” while president of media and entertainment Friedman said that “cutting through the clutter” was the big issue all modern-day producers faced.

“The networks who have not been that open to branded content will have no choice but to become more open” to it, Friedman said, adding that “in general, branded entertainment is becoming increasingly recognized in terms of comparing ‘earned media’ versus ‘paid for’ media.’”

Kamen, meanwhile, said the TV industry was caught in a “paradigm shift of tablets and distribution,” which “will cause some havoc” in the short-term, to which Friedman added that “VoD, and what we’ve seen in the evolution of VoD, is probably going to be the biggest driver of this paradigm shift.”

The second annual BEF continues this afternoon with “What Works and Why: The Measurement Question” – a panel session featuring IFC tv’s Evan Shapiro; PepsiCo’s Frank Cooper III; The Nielsen Company’s Christie Kawada; and Digitas’s Tony G Weisman.

That session will be followed by a case study from The Coca-Cola Company’s director of entertainment marketing, Jed Selkowitz, entitled “Coca-Cola and American Idol: The Evolution of a Media Partnership.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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