Electus eyes deals with Net giants

Content agreement with Yahoo to be announced soon

CANNES -- Former NBC Entertainment boss Ben Silverman called on the likes of Microsoft, Google and Yahoo to "step up" and partner in the production of premium quality content or risk not being part of the new content world.

Delivering a well-attended keynote in Cannes to promote his new IAC-backed digital media venture Electus, Silverman said that despite the collapse of such social media platforms as Bebo, Internet players were key to the future of entertainment.

"It really is a Microsoft, Google, Yahoo world, from a platform perspective. But what's disappointing is that they're not yet ready to pay for what we do in a premium way and so we still need to find the people who are going to take the risk to drive new ideas," he said. "They need to step up and start investing if they want to be plugged into the back of our flat screens."

Silverman noted that details of a content deal between Electus and Yahoo would be announced "very soon."

Silverman's new vehicle Electus "aims to connect Silicon Valley, L.A. and Madison Avenue" in its search for new content-funding models, he said, warning that the on-demand culture meant that audiences would put pressure on the cycle of content availability that has been the backbone of the film and television and distribution businesses over the last decades.

"We're seeing the need for compressed windows as we move to an on-demand, anytime, anywhere environment," he said. Consumers no longer have the patience to wait for content to clear the various windows in place; according to Silverman: "I think that time is over."
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