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OnDemand Summit: Is VOD In A Golden Age? Not Quite

Though the executives on the OnDemand Summit’s programming roundtable were high on VOD, they didn’t quite buy it being in a golden age.

“Part of the definition is that it is flourishing, and I certainly think that’s true, but it also says it’s a time of peace and prosperity, and I think the answer might vary from place to place,” said Brian Balthazar, VP of programming and development, HGTV, DIY Network and Great American Country.

Balthazar was joined by Rob Barnett, founder and CEO of Omnivision Entertainment & My Damn Channel; Ellen Goosenberg Kent, director/producer and president of Golden Egg Entertainment; and Damon Williams, VP programming & strategy, Music Choice, with Multichannel News editor R. Thomas Umstead moderating.

Goosenberg Kent had reservations as well. “The question is who’s buying and how much are they paying and how are people going to find the film if we don’t go to a big player with it?” she said.

Barnett saw promotion key to driving growth for on-demand content.

“The great problem online is to be lost in the sea of everything,” Barnett said. “We’ve always done something crazy like promote, which I think is another hole online, as opposed to it just happens to be up and you’re supposed to search for it.”

Balthazar said he sees social media -- and using it correctly -- as a way to cultivate a shared experience among the audience.

“There’s still a need for a shared experience, which why is everyone loves to watch the Super Bowl together, the Oscars together," he said. "It’s balancing that need for a shared experience.”