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Is it a TV Show a Movie or just Digital Media?

SXSW Interactive 2014

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What is House of Cards? Is it a TV Show? It wasn’t released episodically, and there are no ads. So is it a 13 hour long movie? It was released all at once on Netflix, but there were no ticket sales or windowing. One thing is clear. It was successful. Although it cost a jaw-dropping 100 million dollars to make, it was a breakthrough success for Netflix, in their quest to gain new subscribers and “become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” Now everyone from Microsoft, to Amazon to Participant Media want to get into the mix. Production revenues in LA are skyrocketing, up 40% in the first few weeks after Netflix released its 2012 results. At Sundance, Harvey Weinstein said to the Producer’s Guild of America that this was “one of the best years for good productions since Sundance began.” But how are all of these new productions going to get attention? And how are they all going to make money? Now THAT will take some creativity. This is what our panel will discuss, as well as how YOU can get involved.

Moderated by Steven Masur, Partner, CDAS

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Aziz Ansari Comedian, Direct to Customer EntrepreneurAziz Ansari is an American actor and comedian. He stars as Tom Haverford on the NBC show Parks and Recreation

Jonathan King Executive Producer, Production, Participant MediaJonathan King oversees development and production of Participant’s slate of narrative feature films including Lincoln, Inception, The Help, and many more.

Larry Madden CEO, Specific MediaLarry has over 26 years of experience in fast-moving, growth-oriented companies, having worked with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the media and entertainment industries.

Felicia DayActress, Web Video StarFelicia Day is an American actress and writer. She played the character "Vi" on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and acted in movies such as Bring It On Again and June.

Karol MarteskoFensterAn Austrian-born American entrepreneur and cross media executive. He has been active in the motion picture, publishing, music television and Internet industries for over two decades.

Michael Spiegelman Director of Product Innovation, NetflixMichael Spiegelman is Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, where he oversees the website and tablet experiences. In this capacity, he led redesigns of the company’s streaming website and web video players.


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A Note From Your Organizer

As a final note, I have moderated a LOT of panels, numbering into the hundreds, including at least 4 previous SXSW panels, panels at CTIA, MIDEM, Sundance, GSMA, CMJ, Digital Hollywood, and a great many others all over the world. What I have learned from these experiences is that a panel is very much like playing a rock show (which I also did many of, as a drummer). You definitely want it to be informative and instructive, but it MUST be entertaining. So I will always change it up and keep it fun. I can usually get some controversy going, and sometimes even bedlam. I've had artists from the audience and record label execs standing up yelling and pointing their fingers at each other. Last year at CES, I had a top level entertainment lawyer say to a top level VC, "what is it with you guys and your equity, that $1 suddenly turns into 10 cents after you've signed a deal with one of my celebs?". It suffices to say that I have fun with this, and you will too. But you will also come away having learned a lot about the topic.

-Steven Masur, Partner, CDAS Venture Law Group