by Gord Hotchkiss
I was sitting in on the Monday morning keynote address from Albert Cheng, who is ABC�s newly minted executive vice president of digital media. Albert said all the things you would expect him to, including platitudes about embracing new technology, seeing the tremendous promise of digital, and vowing to provide viewers with high quality content, wherever they are, whenever they want to watch, and on whatever they want to watch it on. It went all pretty much according to the script, but half way through, he made a comment that showed a brief glimpse of raw emotion. Ah..my ears perked up!
First of all, other than the introduction, ABC was barely mentioned. It was the Disney banner that Cheng unfurled and praised for its long standing dedication to quality content. And he then reminded us that this same quality content is not cheap to produce, then proceeded to take a swipe at the search engines. He took exception to the engines seeking to monetize that content through aggregation and disintermediation, echoing a sentiment common with almost all creators of content. But rather than just leave it there, Cheng went on to say that advertising presented by search engines can never hope to be as effective as advertising presented on video.