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Emerging Technologies and Trends in Online Entertainment and Business

09/27/2006 9:50 AM Kresge
Jonathan F. Miller, Former Chairman and CEO, AOL; David Faber, CNBC Anchor -Squawk on the Street"

Description: With the arrival of digital technology, we've become a nation -of multitaskers, snackers and samplers," says Jonathan Miller. A longtime player in the media industry, Miller perceives two distinct trends emerging: the fragmentation of consumption, due to -an incredible explosion of choice," and the consolidation of money and power in the business. These intertwined phenomena will continue to play out, Miller believes, -to the consumers' benefit," because to a large degree, the consumer is in control. Content is available across innumerable platforms, from cell phones to laptops to handheld games, and with broadband and wireless penetration, users can get their fix of news, entertainment and data virtually anywhere, anytime. More to the point, consumers have at their command cheap and easy ways to produce and distribute their own content, whether original or freely exploited from other authors. There's been a grassroots explosion of blogs, websites, mashups, instant messaging, and YouTubing. Miller notes that the internet served up five billion screens of video in 2002, and in the past year, five times as many. Confronted by literally millions of rich media producers and hundreds of millions of consumers, media giants have been forced to shift gears. It's an on-demand world now, says Miller, where marketing money is ill spent, since the product itself drives adoption. If consumers like it -they choose to pass it on to their friendsyou can't spend your way there." The music industry, which tried to buck the trend, finally accepted the dominance of internet sharing and commerce. Now the rest of traditional media companies are rushing to shift their business models. For example, they're -going to make great product" for TV, -upgrading the quality of narrative and the experience of viewing it" with movie stars and high definition. They're finding -additional digital niches" to push their high and low-level products on the web and beyond, says Miller. The giant companies remain so, because of a need to -aggregate" the blogs, videos and podcasts. Scale still matters, so the big guys finance and swallow up the little guys, even as consumption continues to spread out. -At the same time of democratization of consumption we have a concentration of industry taking place," concludes Miller. -This is the golden age of entertainment."

About the Speaker(s): Jonathan Miller left AOL in November 2006. Before joining AOL, Miller was president and CEO of USA Information and Services (USAIS). He served for a year as president and CEO of USA Electronic Commerce Solutions and was president and CEO of USA Broadcasting, which he joined in 1997. Miller worked for Nickelodeon in the mid-1990s, joining it as CEO and managing director of Nick UK and rising to managing director of Nickelodeon International. He previously served as chief executive of Paramount's first branded international channel. Earlier in his career, Miller was vice president of programming and NBA entertainment at the National Basketball Association in New York.

Miller is on the Board of the American Film Insitute, and a trustee of Emerson College, and WNYC Public Radio. He is a 1980 graduate of Harvard College. A Peabody and DuPont Award winner, David Faber is the anchor and co-producer of CNBC's acclaimed original documentaries and long-form programming as well as a contributor to the network's Squawk on the Street. During the day, he leads the news cycle, and provides in-depth analysis on a range of business topics during his twice-weekly Faber Report. In his 12 years at CNBC, Faber has broken many major financial stories, including the WorldCom fraud, bailout of hedge fund Long Term Capital Management, and numerous takeovers. Faber joined CNBC in 1993 after seven years at Institutional Investor, where he covered corporate finance and global equity markets. His book The Faber Report was published by Little, Brown in the spring of 2002. Faber holds a B.A. in English from Tufts University.

Host(s): Office of the Provost, Technology Review

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

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