Free to Be... Not on TV

Following its fizzle and failure as a live music concert broadcast on the WB, "Pepsi Smash" will find new life as a Web cast on Yahoo, reports the New York Times. Even though the eight-episode program attracted 1.3 million viewers, producers hope it will find an even larger audience online — and Yahoo is crossing its corporate fingers that the online video segments and performance streams will increase interest in its online music offerings.

It's an interesting approach. Rather than use traditional media and try to embed e-commerce opportunities — a la buy Phoebe's hair shirt now! — companies are starting to bring original broadcast-style content to their e-commerce offerings. Cases in point: iTunes introduction of music videos, Amazon's incorporation of short films, and now... Yahoo.

Are stores and retail locations the next epicenters for entertainment? Movie theaters are already located in shopping malls. What are some possible scenarios for other forms of entertainment?

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  • dave

    Retail, dining and entertainment have long been the three ingredients to successful shopping center development. As technology has changed, so has the format of entertainment, so the answer to your question is yes, for some time now. Increasingly a challenge is to find a common ground of content suitable for all audiences. The idea of common entertainment...as in when three networks controlled what we saw and heard... is long gone. Now you must consider which audiences you lose when you make audio selections for in-store music. The fragmentation of programming means that you have to supply selectable content... say the Apple store in a mall sets up wifi throughout the venue and podcasts music and videos on-demand to promote downloads. You may need to stop in the Apple store to get the day's code.

    Entertainment will intersect with commerce as long as it improves sales by keeping a customer in a retail venue longer and creating a positive customer frame of mind.

    D