University of Southern California

The Evolution of Entertainment
Marshall Hosts Conference on the Globalization of the Entertainment Industry
February 17, 2012 • by News at Marshall

With the ongoing struggle of piracy and distribution in the digital age, "E2: The Evolution of Entertainment" conference provided expert outlook on the future of the industry. Hosted by the USC Marshall Business of Entertainment Association, the fourth annual conference convened on Feb. 3 with business leaders and rising MBA attendees.

The event centered on themes of digital convergence and the changing media landscape of the entertainment industry. Keynote speaker Curt Marvis, former president of digital media at Lionsgate, reflected on the dramatic changes the industry has seen in the last decade.

"I remember an article that I read when the dot com bubble burst. It was a legitimate and serious article that said the Internet was a fad and this whole business was going to go down in flames," said Marvis. "We've seen, of course, that this is not the case."

The entertainment industry's pay structure has been hit hard by digital convergence, causing some to question the profitability of the industry. However, Marvis and many of the event's speakers remain hopeful about the future of entertainment in the digital age.

"If you start to look at smart phone and screen penetration in areas like India, China and Brazil, this is what I see as the huge driver of the phenomenon that will take place in this decade," said Marvis. "Access is anytime, anywhere. The reality is that this is happening now."

The conference hosted other distinguished speakers in the entertainment industry including executives from Disney, Fox, PMK*BNC and emerging start-ups. Lucy Hood, executive director of the Institute for Communication Technology Management moderated the panel on digital business.

When panelists were asked how to maintain industry profitability, many shared in the simple sentiment that media organizations must continue to produce quality content, regardless of the platform.

"The way we succeed is to ensure that the value of content, as perceived by the consumer and actually transacted by consumers, is maintained even as we light up new capabilities and modes of access," Matthew Glotzer said, Senior Vice President, Fox Digital Entertainment.

In regards to changing business models, Michael Nyman, CEO of PMK*BNC, offered his opinion on the ongoing battle of copyright and distribution channels.

"We went from a system where everything was push out from the studios and the networks being in control, to the consumer pulling," said Nyman. "I think the consumer now is in the driver seat, for the moment."

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.