Microsoft Bing held a press conference on Tuesday night at the SoHo House in Hollywood to release the Entertainment section on the search engine, but the real fun began later that night when a panel of stars hit the stage in an intimate setting to talk about technology.
In true LA fashion (I love this town), American Idol host Ryan Seacrest hosted a star-studded panel to discuss the future of entertainment and how technology plays a role. Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone, Producer Todd Phillips, Creator Matthew Weiner, and The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow were among those on the panel.
Panelists agreed real-time technologies like Twitter forced marketers to become true to the products they promote because the feedback hits in real time as movies gets released. Stone jokingly told the audience "we set out to build the Twitter affect" for movie studios.
Stone admitted Twitter didn't do well the first year, but things picked up in 2007 at SXSW in Austin. What he and the other co-founders witnessed at the conference "made the hairs on the back of our necks stand up."
After hearing Stone talk about Twitter you realize how poetic this co-founder can be. In a metaphor he references Twitter as a flock of birds moving around an object in flight. "It looks perfectly choreographed," he says, referring to the technology. "It looks incredibly complex. But it's not. The mechanics is simple. It's rudimentary communications among individuals in real time that allow them to behave as one and move like one organism."
Stone says Twitter works because it's word of mouth marketing amplified by many. Twitter created products like Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends to add momentum. But that real-time WOM marketing doesn't sit well with all in the entertainment industry. Artists are sensitive. The multiple screen experience is real but not all like it. Nor do they like the ability to know how people feel and think about a particular show or movie.
Weiner's wife, for example, has banned him from reading Twitter tweets and social network comments because he takes them too seriously. Technology has changed everything for the entertainment industry. You sign on to Twitter on Friday to discover people talk down the movie released earlier in the day that the crew spent a year and a half making.
The word gets out on a movie or television show and nearly immediately the cast knows if it's a positive or negative experience for consumers. Half the fun of waiting through the weekend to find out how the movie opened is lost.