The giants of Silicon Valley entertainment are fighting among themselves for eyeballs.
Now that Netflix has a “Watch Instantly” selection available on your computer and gaming system, Google has decided that it is time for it to attract movie-goers too. Google’s advantage is that it has the perfect platform. While originally intended for adorable lolcats playing keyboard and the History of Dance, Youtube is, after all, a movie platform, regardless of whether its home or theatrical. In the past it offered old TV shows from the 60s (for anyone who missed the Beaver’s shenanigans) and some artsy short films, but now they are talking with Hollywood about streaming big-name movies too, for a fee of course.
Google has been in talks with some of the major studios to work out the arrangement for Youtube and, eventually, with Google TV.
Not to be outdone, Facebook and Electronic Arts are appealing to a slightly different demographic by bringing fantasy football to Facebook. Players will be able to create their own teams and compete against their friends, using a free app.
It’s a lucrative business. Fantasy football already brings in between $800 million and $1.5 billion in revenue every year. Facebook intends to increase this by letting users make microtransactions to acquire better players and other game options.
And so it would seem that Google and Facebook are mopping up the floor with traditional but unconventional game makers like Zynga. Actually, Zynga is doing its own mopping, together with it ad firm David Elen.
A recent promotional pitch in New York and San Francisco had them glue ads for their new Mafia Wars titles to the sidewalks of both cities. The ads were designed to look like money, to encourage people to pick them up. Unfortunately, San Francisco decided that this was little more than vandalism, and ordered the company to clean up after itself. They didn’t do a very good job, so now the city is after them for cleanup costs and fines.