Big Media Launches Web Studios

Traditional Players Challenge Indies

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Traditional media companies are chasing Web hits just like the digital studios that have pioneered the genre.

With ad dollars continuing to pour into online video, Hollywood is eager for a chunk of that market. Most estimates say consumers watch 10 billion videos online each month. Forrester Research said advertisers spent $471 million in Web video last year, a number that should rise to $7.2 billion in 2012.

That's why CBS Interactive purchased "Wallstrip" last year and launched "Moblogic" this year. More recently, Sony Pictures Television acquired the rights to distribute and sell ads for the pioneering Web series "Rocketboom."

Sony also owns the online video destination, which carries and syndicates episodic Web shows such as "The Writers Room" and "Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show."

NBC recently launched the NBC Universal Digital Studio to create and distribute original content on the Web. The first project, "Gemini Division," premieres Aug. 18. ABC has a similar venture in Stage 9, a production shop for digital media content such as "Squeegees." Warner Bros. Television Group also launched a digital studio called Studio 2.0.

Hollywood production houses such as Endemol have introduced digital divisions dedicated to producing original entertainment for the Web.
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