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Big media still wrestles with digital upfront

Merrill Lynch estimates that 5 percent of the upfront dollars will be attributed to digital this year (about double from last year), yet many media execs are still wrestling with the challenge of effectively monetizing online video. And there’s also the concern that over-ambitious digital pitches will result in pulling dollars away from their own TV packages. (Oh, the horror!) MTVN’s Courtney Holt has good advice. “We had to hit the reset button,” he said. Now the philosophy is “let’s do something really creative and figure out how to maximize it.” MTVN’s new virtual worlds are one example. “We reached a new audience that loved virtual and loved that environment but might not have sat and watched the show week after week…[There are] lots of places to enter into a point of engagement without having to go through one giant portal.”

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