Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

For Barry Diller and Ben Silverman, "Branded Content" Means Jason Bateman on a Stripper Pole

It’s tough to make money by shooting a video, putting it up on the Web and hoping advertisers will pay up. Which is why the preferred model for Web video these days is “branded content”–stuff that you make only after an advertiser has agreed to sponsor it and that features the advertiser’s product in the clip.

That’s what Barry Diller and Ben Silverman are doing with Electus, the video production company Silverman is running for Diller’s IAC (IACI). Silverman introduced Electus in January by announcing a tie-up with Yahoo (YHOO), but Electus’ stuff will run all over the Web, most notably on Google’s (GOOG) YouTube.

Here’s an example of what Electus is up to, via DumbDumb, a sort of mini-studio backed by Electus and run by actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. It’s one of two clips DumbDumb has made so far on behalf of Wrigley’s Orbit brand. Let me know what you think in the comments.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work