Los Angeles is often called the entertainment capital of the world. Film and television are partially responsible for changing the face of Los Angeles County from that of orchards and ranches to the major metropolitan powerhouse it has become. According to a November 2012 economic study by the Los Angeles County Development Corporation, the entertainment industry remains one the county’s largest industries and was responsible for providing jobs to roughly 247,000 workers in the previous year. Nearly everyone who lives in the area knows at least one person in the industry, so much so that it is taken for granted. Although the Oscar and Emmy seasons have wrapped, there are still those responsible for making sure entertainment is top of mind throughout the year: entertainment marketers.
Murphy Gilson, a 20-year veteran in entertainment marketing, is the Creative Director of Audience Network, DirectTV’s original content channel. With a resume that includes work with Fox, Discovery Networks, PBS, and the NFL Network, his entry into the field was a humble one. “I needed dental insurance. I wish it started more dramatically than that. I had just graduated from college with a degree in broadcasting. The three part-time jobs, and whatever freelance work I could find, was a lot of hard hours for very little payoff,” shared Gilson. “So I actually answered a classified ad in the paper. A station in town needed a promo producer. I have no idea why they hired me, but I'm still very thankful.”
The connection between technology and filmed entertainment has been inseparable since the birth of television and film. As new distribution channels have evolved and numbers continue to increase on Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, audiences are becoming increasingly accustomed to enjoying a portion of their content via the web. The entertainment and advertising industries are constantly adapting to this new landscape. Adding more context to the situation, Gilson noted, “The bigger concern is the access we have to our audience. With commercial television, you have several breaks in a show to present a message. With premium networks, most streaming services, and DVRs, that's much more limited. And now with so much audience splintering, the big pulpit is almost gone. You have to find your audience a little bit at a time now.”
Gilson identified the driving force behind this change as “[the] Internet, millennials, and millennials on the Internet.” He added, “That's not just this industry. That's every aspect of our culture. The last time we saw a generation this large and a technology this transformative was when the Boomers met television. We're experiencing a tremendous cultural shift right now.”
To hear more from Murphy and learn about the future of entertainment marketing, register for CCPE’s new free Entertainment Speaker Series, presented in partnership with PromaxBDA. Murphy will be the guest speaker at the inaugural session titled “Entertainment Marketing 101” on Tuesday, April 9, 6-7:30 pm in our Studebaker building. For more information and to register for this free series, visit www.ccpe.csulb.edu/entertainment, call (562) 985-5827, or email email@example.com.