Though Internet video is certainly growing in popularity, it’s not close to toppling traditional TV. The Wall Street Journal reports from a recent panel discussion at the South by Southwest Festival, where comedians and technology executives opined on the state of web vs. tube:
The panel — which highlighted the role comedy plays in driving Web hits — quickly expanded to assess the success and influence of online-only content in general.
B.J. Novak, a producer of “The Office” who also plays temp worker Ryan Howard, said NBC’s hit show spends reasonably big bucks investing in shorter online-only “webisodes”, in part to experiment with what works and what doesn’t online. “Everyone is still trying to figure them out,” he said, adding that he thinks the term “webisode” will disappear in the future as people watch more TV content online and vice versa.
But until that behavior changes more dramatically, original Web content won’t draw the same dollars as TV. “There’s not the same amount of respect for the advertising community and the audience” online, said Keith Richman, chief executive of video site Break Media.