A panel at Davos on user-generated content–or “stuff by us”–brought together some interesting folks, including Michael Wolf, the recently ousted president and chief operating officer of MTV, Thomas Glocer, the CEO of Reuters, and Shelly Lazarus, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather. As often happens here, there were some pretty intriguing characters in the audience, too, including Chad Hurley, the co-founder and CEO of YouTube, and Jeff Jarvis, editor of Buzzmachine.com and all-around interactive media guru. I’ll pass along some of the better comments in a series of posts, beginning with one from Michael Wolf.
Wolf pointed out that the supposedly viewer-generated content that gets the most traffic on sites like YouTube in fact consists of professionally produced material that has been clipped, manipulated and mashed up by users–think clips of Steven Colbert or Saturday Night Live. The message: “Big media companies need to realize that allowing your content to be unleashed on the Internet will only enhance your brand rather than hurt it.” Ironic, then, that a factor behind Wolf’s departure from MTV was supposedly the frustration of Sumner Redstone, chairman of MTV parent Viacom, at MTV’s failure to acquire MySpace (which was bought by Rupert Murdoch).