Just An Online Minute... Fox: Full Stream Ahead For Premium Content
In a keynote address, Levinsohn talked about Fox's recent Web play for "The Simpsons," which involved placing a seven-minute clip from the show online in advance of the 18th season premiere of the series. Burger King was the exclusive sponsor, running both pre- and post-roll ads. Fox also gave the Simpsons wide play throughout its network; Homer Simpson's football predictions for that weekend's NFL games, for instance, ran on FoxSports.com.
In the three days that the Simpsons clip was available on Fox properties, it garnered 1.4 million streams, Levinsohn said. What's more, 80 percent of MySpace users watched five minutes of the clip, he added, while 50 percent of visitors who streamed the clip from Fox.com saw the entire video.
Based on those numbers, Fox now is mulling similar initiatives for other types of premium video. "I think, what you're going to see going forward, is more and more of this," Levinsohn said.
Distributing professionally created content is only part of what News Corp. has in mind. Levinsohn also specifically touted the advantages of hosting user-generated content--despite its potential marketer-unfriendly qualities. In fact, he did more than simply praise user-generated content; he predicted that sites owned by media companies will soon have to offer consumers a platform to express themselves. "If Rupert Murdoch can give up control, I think anybody can give up control," he said. "If they don't let the consumer participate in it, it's not going to go anywhere."