Once again this year, the Media and Entertainment Panel at the WSA Conference was a smashing success! The Aldrich room was packed to the hilt with people lining up in the back of the room and down the aisles to hear the panelists. Christina Mohr, Managing Director of the Media Group at Salomon Smith Barney lead off the discussion with her perspective on the industry from the financial markets side. She stressed the point many new media forums (pure internet plays) are failing, but are more likely to survive in the context of traditional media forms (TV, news casting, music labels). Funding for stand alone internet media companies is drying up.
The other panelists concurred with this ideas and readily provided examples of how their companies- The Walt Disney Company, Cartoon Network Worldwide, Virgin Entertainment Group and HBO Online- are looking at the internet as a supporting channel. They went on to talk about how they are looking at new business models and technological innovations to find a way to make money through this new channel. Melanie Bell of Virgin Entertainment Group discussed the challenges of competing with Napster and the opportunity she has to explore the next wave of music on the internet.
In all, it was an honor to have such experienced women advise the attendees on what the future of the Media and Entertainment industry might look like and how that means more opportunities for women.