From small online videos content producers such as EQAL and NextNewNetworks, to giant ones like Yahoo!, the marketing messages of sponsors are being "baked" into original productions.  These messages range from product placements to branded characters to stories about a particular product or service.

As online video advertising is in its nascent stage, sponsored content or "advertorials" are
a big trend and a way to make money. This theme was repeatedly mentioned to me by several independent producers I spoke with in Hollywood last week.  I will be publishing several of these interviews over the next few days.

In a sense, Madison Avenue is moving to Hollywood as the creativity of independent filmmakers is being sought by marketers who had only relied on their advertising agencies.   

At Digital Hollywood last week, I interviewed the head of IBM’s entertainment and media consulting group Saul Berman.  He talks about the impact of digital media on the entertainment industry.  He says that Hollywood has to change — that it has been way behind the curve relative to other major industries.  Saul references this recently released study about the imperative of change for global executives.

— Andy Plesser

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