BROKEN HOLLYWOOD – Dick Costolo

Variety’s current cover story, Broken Hollywood, gets to the grit of what the top industry cats think they should do to fix the future. Here’s what Dick Costolo had to say…


Quick note – Dick Costolo is an old school tech master who presently is the CEO of Twitter. Back in the 90’s he co-founded SpyOnIt, a web monitoring service. They sold it for over 50 million back in 2000, and Mr. Costolo has been on the up ever since.


DICK COSTOLO

“There’s so much choice for consumers regarding where they get content. First it was Netflix and Amazon, now there’s HBO and CBS (which are launching direct-to-consumer subscription video services). I think it will be interesting to see how that explosion unfolds.


The challenge is, how do you find your audience, and how do you direct your audience to that in order to aggregate attention. It’s not at all clear how this will play out. Will the content creators have to build and find their audiences on Facebook and Twitter? Or will the destination platforms be the place to aggregate that audience?


We’re just starting to see the shortform video model become successful. Look at “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” for example. Previously it would have been a question of, where are you going to put that? Each episode is seven minutes. You can’t put that on TV. But those (programs) will be able to find an audience in a way that would have been more challenging previously. It’s not just all on the cable guide.


The lines are becoming more and more blurred as we participate in TV partnerships, like with (NBC’s) “The Voice,” to deliver original content experiences on digital platforms. We have video capabilities on our platform right now for professional content providers. We want to add video sharing for all of our users. That notion of communicating through video on Twitter will become a bigger phenomenon. Mobile (video) is a massive opportunity, and it’s still really early days. We’re on mobile networks in some countries with massive populations that aren’t ready for native video.


Platforms like Twitter — and we won’t be the only ones — play a vital role in content discovery, because without that, it will be hard to find what to watch and where to go.”

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BROKEN HOLLYWOOD – Ron Meyer

Variety’s current cover story, Broken Hollywood, gets to the grit of what the top Hollywood cats think they should do to fix the future. Here’s what Ron Meyer had to say…


Quick note – Ron was one of the guys who setup CAA back in the day. Creative Artists Agency has now become the premiere talent agency to go to. Presently, Ron is super high up in the ranks as Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal. This guy is the real deal and could make or break your career just by blinking. Plus Tobey Maguire is his son-in-law. You ever seen that movie ‘Brothers‘? Badass.


RON MEYER

“Marketing costs have always been a challenge, and they continue to escalate. The cost of production is a major, major issue that has to be dealt with. We have to be in a business where we are profitable, and if you spend more than you make, you can’t be profitable. So I always look at costs as the first and most important issue — what you’re spending vs. what you’re making.


Each film has its own model; it’s not one-size-fits-all. So you have to take a hard look at the movie you’re making, and figure out what you believe its return can be. That’s never not been important.


Costs continue to escalate for all different reasons, and we as content providers and creators and financiers need to be responsible. Making films is expensive, and marketing those films is expensive. When we’re wrong, we’re real wrong, and when we’re right, we’re very right. It’s just one of those businesses: The bet is always a huge bet, and you’d better be more right than wrong.


Our content has to be appealing to the public. We have to have hits. In today’s business, the audience is more discerning, in my opinion, than ever, and all of us have to be good or better at our game. You have to have films that are successful at the box office in order to take them through all the other distribution windows. It’s about delivering the right material with the right people executing it and marketing it properly.”

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