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Allen & Co. conference: consumers, not media, hold the power now

July 9, 2009 | 11:15 am

One of the themes that seems to be emerging from the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley is that marketing content is going to have to change in the digital age.

"Consumer behavior is going to change dramatically," predicted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

At one of the panels here, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger noted that Warner Bros. movie "The Hangover" wasn't a huge hit just because the studio did a smart marketing job. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter fueled interest in the comedy, he said. IAC Chairman and Chief Executive Barry Diller noted that people want to know what their peers are saying, not critics and experts. The success of Paramount's "Transformers" sequel may be proof of that. Reviews were dreadful for the action film, yet it has grossed more than $300 million in the U.S. alone since its June 24 release.

One media executive noted that programmers have to realize that "dollars spent convincing people" to watch a show or see a movie won't work. "We need to focus on what they do like," the executive said.

-- Joe Flint

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