Competing for Attention

There was a time not long ago when technology companies appeared to stay in their lanes, so to speak: Facebook focused on social networking; Apple made computers; Google engineered search. These days however, all the major tech companies are competing for the same thing: your attention.

When Netflix started creating its own content in 2013, it shook the industry. Since then, other companies have begun shifting out of their lanes to develop new content of their own. Let’s take a look at what some of these media moguls have been up to.

Facebook Drops Money on Original TV Shows:
Facebook is ready to drop big money on original TV shows. The social networking giant is willing to pay up to $3 million for 30-minute episodes. The company is also working on shorter, 5-10 minute videos that will come from media partners such as Buzzfeed, Vox, and Refinery 29.

Apple Hires TV Executives:
Apple has sent a clear message to Hollywood that they are finally serious about building an original video business. The company recently hired two Sony Executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to oversee the company’s plunge into original television-style content. The two men have served as presidents at Sony Pictures Television and have been responsible for such quality series as “Breaking Bad and “The Crown” as well as broadcast network comedies like “The Goldbergs”.

Google Introduces YouTube TV:
The Google-owned company has launched a $35 monthly TV package known as YouTube TV. With the roughly 50-channel bundle, priced at less than half the average cost of cable TV, you have access to live and VOD programming, unlimited cloud-based DVR and YouTube Red originals.

With all these new developments in the technology space, what is Hollywood doing to get ahead?

Jeffery Katzenberg Discusses “New TV”:
Jeffrey Katzenberg’s latest venture, WndrCo, has raised $600 million in venture capital to fund what he calls “New TV” – mobile friendly, bite-size shows with full story arch’s that typically last between 6-10 minutes and have a strong advertising component.

IMAX Brings VR Screens to You:
IMAX has launched a $50 million fund to introduce “VR Experiences" around the world. In this way, anyone can get access to a VR headset to play games or watch videos without breaking the bank. The company opened its first IMAX VR Experience Center in Los Angeles earlier this year, and plans to open 5 more by the end of 2017.

Warner Bros & Gaming:
Although Warner Bros. is known for its movies, its Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) sector is one of the world’s largest public video game companies by revenue. The company has launched several hit games franchises, including the LEGO franchise, with another upcoming slate for LEGO Dimensions as well as Lego City Undercover and LEGO Worlds on the way, the Batman Arkham franchise, the Mortal Kombat and Injustice fighting franchises with Injustice 2, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and many more!

Disney Brings Classics to VR
The Disney Movies VR app allows you to explore the themed worlds of Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm by interacting with your favorite characters in their natural environments. The application works with Oculus Touch and Remote Control to bring you the ultimate immersive experience for such classics as The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Beauty and the Beast.  

Everyday there are new developments taking place between the technology and entertainment sectors. This fall, Winston Baker will be revealing the latest updates at the intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley with a new conference called the Confluence Summit to be held at the Rosewood Sand Hill on October 27.