What's the Future of Web TV?

We asked some of the key players in today's online video world to share their point of view on what's next.

Dan Fietsam, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO:
"With out little Internet machines here, you can share a joke on a much broader scale. On the playground you just used to tell jokes, and now you can just spread it faster to a lot more people. Content spreads farther faster. I think narrative is going to become more interactive. And what I mean by that is storytelling is starting to become a little bit more participatory. You can start jumping in on stuff. For instance, that's why I liked the Old Spice Twitter response videos this summer. Now you're interacting and participating with the storytelling as opposed to just sharing a funny spot. Now you're able to jump in and ask the joke questions. Those kinds of things, to me as a writer and a content director and a creative director, are super exicitng, because it lets the life of something that's successful and creative keep growing and expanding."

David Wain, writer/director/star, Wainy Days:
"It's already become a gigantic incubator, and it's becoming more and more of an end in its own right. The barrier between the Web and traditional TV is going to become an arbitrary distinction of technology. For example, I'm also involved in Children's Hospital, which started as a Web series and is now on Adult Swim—we've just repackaged the Web series as the first season of a TV series. It works for both mediums."

Eric Berger, SVP, Sony Pictures Television:
"We're creating reverse windows of distribution. Today the Web is typically at the end of the chain, but now we're saying, No. We're creating original content that created for and begins with digital outlets. And it's so good that it will appear on traditional media after. Crackle is just a brand like any on TV. Whether the content is viewed on a PC, TV, or mobile phone doesn't matter, to us or to the consumer."

Thomas Bannister, executive producer, Easy to Assemble:
"The Web is just an amazing place to develop fan bases and ideas. If you look at the television and the film industry at the moment, it's really getting harder and harder to sell through original ideas. And underneath everything, that's really what the entertainment business is about: helping unique things reaching mass popularity, and then monetizing them. And I think that's really the Web's place at the moment, to be this really great incubator for ideas that can grow into other mediums."

Jeremy Redleaf, creator, Odd Job Nation:
"We're going to see it continue to converge [with traditional media]. I think within a year or two, every Web show will viewable on a TV. And so I think the Web will be sort of another cable channel, and you can access it from every TV, but you'll still have to be able to find it. I also think it's gonna become a really viable advertising vehicle. We're going to see less commercials, and more branded entertainment."

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