It sometimes takes some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names to underline just how quickly things are changing right now. For George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, speaking on a panel at the USC School of Cinematic Arts last week, the Hollywood ‘system’ is doomed to collapse, reported Variety. “There’s eventually going to be a big meltdown,” as Spielberg put it. “There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground and that’s going to change the paradigm again.”

This will see more niche, or “quirky” content migrate to streaming platforms like Netflix, the two legendary directors agreed. “What used to be the movie business, in which I include television and movies… will be internet television,” said Lucas. These assertions came just after Spielberg had announced he is to create a TV series based on the “Halo” videogame franchise, specifically for Microsoft’s next console, the Xbox One…

Of course, some change comes more easily than others. Faced with ongoing pressure to make its model more flexible, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said at the Nomura Global Media & Telecom Summit late May that the channel’s mobile/web offering, HBO Go, could be stand-alone if they wanted it to be. “If we determine down the road that we want to pivot in some way, we’ll be ready to do that,” Variety quoted him as saying. Hardly an announcement, then: but a far more positive sign than any that have been given to date.

Less positive was the assertion, via Bloomberg and Adweek, that cable companies such as Time Warner Cable are offering producers incentives to keep their work off web-based platforms. The accusation was firmly denied by Time Warner, who replied that any exclusivity deals in question were no different from those offered by Netflix inparticular.

Then another paradigm-shifting announcement came via AdWeek: on YouTube, fan- or user-generated content “crushes” that generated by brands, often by a ratio of 99 to 1 in terms of views. Suggesting brands of all kinds would be better off investing in encouraging their fans to make content, rather than making that content themselves…

One ‘brand’ inparticular is Amazon, which, like YouTube, has decided to help out content producers by offering them free tools. The new Amazon Storyteller is an online tool which turns scripts into storyboards, and should as such support Amazon Studios’ drive to attract more content. Expect more on that front from MIPCOM keynote Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, come October…

More upheaval, this time of an economic kind, was also reported by Reuters, as Greece made the unprecedented move of shutting down its public broadcaster. “The 75-year-old Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation ERT has shed viewers since the rise of commercial television and radio, and its three statewide stations had just a 13 percent combined audience share when it was switched off,” according to the news agency.

TV piracy also continued unabaited, as Game of Thrones’s season 3 finale broke the record of a million downloads in one day, reported Deadline. This may or may not have contributed to another record for the fantasy drama: the same season’s shocking penultimate episode was the most social episode of any HBO show ever, generating over 700,000 social media mentions in 24 hours, according to Mashable

Social TV isn’t just about engagement and number of mentions, however: it’s also being used for super-simple and useful things. One of the most widely-reported developments in this domain of late was Sky Brazil‘s launch of the first ever record-via-Twitter service. The broadcaster tweets each time a new programme starts; viewers simply have to retweet, adding the hashtag #Skyrec, and the show will be recorded on their set-top box. Ingenious!


More industry news, as curated by the MIP Markets team, right here!

About Author

As Head of Social Media for Reed MIDEM, James Martin oversees social strategy and deployment for B2B events MIPTV and MIPCOM, Midem (music industry) and MIPIM & MAPIC (real estate & retail). He is based in Reed MIDEM's Paris office.

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