Internet Exec Points to Animation as Convergence Bridge

Short films, many of them animated, are popping up all over the Internet. Because it is less demanding of bandwidth than live-action video, animation lends itself to the type of connections that most consumers have today. Ultimately, however, features that began on the Internet will find their way onto network television---improving it in the process.

That’s the view of Jan Brzeski, CEO of STV Streaming Media, a company specializing in building “infrastructure for the Internet.” The company creates original content for the Internet and offers “webcasting,” production and post-production services, high-end encoding, signal acquisition, hosting, content management and digital rights management. BusinessWire, reporting on an industry conference in mid-March, stated that he believes the breakthrough for entertainment convergence will come through animation. "Animation is one of the most popular types of programming on TV,” Brzeski said. “If the TV show `South Park' were created today, it could start on the 'net, because most consumers have connections that will accommodate simple animation but not movies."

Brzeski spoke at a session on "How the Internet Has Changed Television" at the first annual Television-Internet Conference. Sponsored by the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel was attended by more than 1,200 Internet professionals.

There is room for all in the ever-expanding universe of electronic media, Brzeski believes. The Internet won't damage TV any more than TV harmed radio. "TV will remain a viable medium,” he predicted, “but increasingly it will become a promotional vehicle for the Internet, driving traffic to Web sites." A vast number of television ads are now for Internet-based business, he pointed out.

The growth of the Internet will change the nature of TV shows, in his view. "In the past, successful TV programming was an end in itself. Increasingly, TV will become a means to the end of creating franchises that include Web communities and e-commerce. Many people, after they see a movie, want more detail so they'll buy the book the movie was based on. Now, the Web is starting to meet this demand," Brzeski added. “The Internet will provide the opportunity for people to have a much deeper, richer experience than TV can provide because of time and format limitations."