The inability to project the return on investment for films is a challenge in a tough economy. While a growing amount of film financing is available from international sources (India and China), studios and their corporate parents have to assume more of the financial debt and risk.
Regulators' attempts to cap service providers' efforts to capitalize on consumer demand will blow open the Net Neutrality debate and temporarily squash some practices. Inevitably, the viral push and pull, of digital interactivity will be duked out on a case-by-case basis with consumers, who have and create many alternative choices. It is a new brand of digital consumer vigilantism.
Many companies--including advertising and consumer-dependent media, entertainment and advertising companies--are going to begin reflecting more of a financial squeeze on their balance sheets and in their 2009 budget planning.
Whoever thought that playing well with others would be the primary prerequisite for sealing a deal that advances business in a depressed economy and realizes sizable shareholder gains? Sadly, dysfunctional sandbox dynamics, as much as price, is at the heart of the ongoing Yahoo-Microsoft fiasco.
Like broadcasters, telcos are in a tumultuous transition. Their wire line businesses are in a death spiral -- but they have an iPhone-led wireless back-up plan that also lends itself to related WiFi and Hollywood content ventures. TV broadcasters, learn telcos: Get a digital Plan B.
There is nothing more costly than a missed business opportunity. In these skittish times, they are likely to be more abundant -- especially in the transforming media and tech space.
The sparse legal precedent that exists for the Internet is being set piecemeal in a recent federal court order for Google to turnover YouTube user data to Viacom -- an act that could have unintended consequences in compromising individual privacy.
The stark prospect of having to wait until 2010 for an ad recovery, and the implosion of some ad-based media and entertainment companies in the meantime, is the basis for sweeping sector alarms this week by two seasoned industry analysts. The operative word is: downgrade.
Media companies -- in particular, broadcasters, cable operators and content creators -- must take stock. Or they risk having their assets and operations shrink in value and flexibility. It's time to revamp structure and philosophies.
Don't swear off Bill Gates just yet from Microsoft's executive suite. If recent history is any indication, he could be back to rescue the company he founded from financial or strategic missteps like so many of his contemporaries, including Steve Jobs, Howard Schultz and Michael Dell. It seems genius entrepreneurs never die; they just feign retirement.