ABS-CBN launches search for the next digital blockbuster
|ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III|
MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN Corporation will fund five ideas for showing in the digital space which may also be produced for ABS-CBN’s traditional platforms, chairman Eugenio Lopez III said Friday at Manila’s largest gathering of Internet and mobile marketers, content creators and executives.
“Send to us your content ideas that you think will work on the digital space. We will choose five or more. The chosen ones will be funded by us. We will put them on the appropriate ABS-CBN online platform,” Lopez said.
“If the idea flies in the online space, we can look into migrating them or recreating them for the analog broadcast market.”
Lopez, chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation, was the keynote speaker for the second day of the 7th Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP).
IMMAP annually holds a summit-conference which gathers about 500 digital marketers, agencies, media and communication experts.
Lopez said the partnership or collaboration would come with a revenue sharing scheme, and, during the question-and-answer after his keynote, said proponents would eventually “pay themselves.”
Lopez cited as a possibility ABS-CBN’s new primetime program, Got To Believe, for which the TV station is looking for ideas it can produce into webisodes, or episodes produced for Web.
Lopez’s announcement came as he outlined what he thought would be a crucial driver for digital: compelling content.
“We don’t just mean the same stuff you see on TV. Content for the digital space will come in new forms. Online content will adjust to the new habits of consuming media which is characterized by time-shifting, place-shifting and sometimes, social viewing,” Lopez said.
He said there would be infinite possibilities for digital content, and their malleability given the nature of digital.
“They can be anything that we have not yet imagined. There will be a lot of them because they are cheaper to produce. Or they may be produced by the viewers themselves. Ideas can be crowd-sourced and projects can be crowd-funded. Or viewers may partner with networks,” he said.
Lopez cited the YouTube 2011 project which funded 100 new original channels from celebrities, online video creators and even Hollywood studios. The successful venture yielded new YouTube channels which “now have bigger audiences than many midsize cable channels,” Lopez said citing Fortune Magazine.
“Start writing your idea articulation now and email it to us together with your proof of concept before the end of the year. Send your email to [email protected],” he said.
Human in digital
Lopez cited the creation of the IMMAP as a portent of the changing times.
“Many things will not be the same again. Your gadgets, the Internet speeds, the provider products and services may not be the same again.” Yet, human nature, he said, which have driven people’s instincts since time immemorial, are bound to stay.
“Our need to love and be loved. To preserve our lives and to protect our family. To learn and to leave a legacy. To celebrate triumph and to rise from defeat. To expand our horizons, imagine a better world and actualize our potentials… These are the instincts that make us want to read literature, to experience drama, to know the news, to sing a song,” he said.
He said changing media forms have been outlasted by compelling content that has fueled and driven consumption.
“Literature, drama, music may no longer come in paper, film and vinyl…but their magic in our lives will remain the same. What I’m trying to say is that at the heart of it all, there is good content that fuels the wheels of technology in the digital age,” Lopez said.
Digital as the great equalizer
Lopez said digital may be one of the times’ most powerful enabler. After all, one only needs passion and a great idea, he said.
He spoke of how changes may be brought about or sparked not by the ones with the most resources, but by the ones with the brightest ideas.
“It’s not the guys that have the most money or the guys that have those letters that come after their names,” he said.
This could be what makes digital malleable so that it suits a society’s need, he said.
“The rules are yet to be written but we will write them together. We will write them in the way that we want them to best address our needs, but more importantly, the interests of the Filipino people that we serve.”
(For the video of Lopez's keynote speech, click here.)