Venice Fest Explores Content Partnership, Social Nets

VENICE--It is a beautiful day in one of the prettiest and most unusual cities in the world. The temperature is moderate, the skies are clear and the sun is shining. All of this makes for a beautiful water transfer from the center of the city to the Palazzo del Cinema where the media conference is being held.

The first speaker yesterday was Katherine Pope of NBC Universal speaking about content and NBCU's approach under the leadership of Ben Silverman. She echoed what is being delivered to clients and agencies in the U.S., emphasizing the need for real partnership among all key stakeholders -- content developers, distributors, studios, brands, etc. -- early in the process. NBC is recognizing that content development cannot and should not exist separate and apart from today's business realities.

Next was a one-on-one interview with Mike Murphy of Facebook by Jonah Bloom of Ad Age. They did a great job of explaining the power of social networking and in particular, how Facebook is putting the emphasis on user experience. What was not clear, despite probing questioning from Mr. Bloom, was exactly how Facebook might monetize their powerful application.



Four breakout sessions followed. I attended the one on sports marketing, which explored the global power that sports content has in the marketing community. A lot of time was spent on how technology is affecting -- and frankly improving -- the experience for sports fans wherever they exist: live venues, pubs and clubs, in-home, mobile.

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