Content kings rule quality

Showbiz properties tops on Web

Reps from Google and MySpace told a room of indie producers, studio buyers and sales reps Tuesday that the last word on quality and taste remains with content providers.

"We only perform well when you guys do well," Stefan Lechere, manager of Google France Strategic Partnership Development, said at an afternoon session of the inaugural Berlinale Keynotes.

Jamie Kantrowitz, senior vp marketing and content at MySpace (U.K.), added that despite the enormous explosion of content on the Internet, it is such high-profile properties as "The O.C.," "X-Men: The Last Stand" and Paris Hilton snippets that attract the highest traffic.

"The big things are still being manufactured by the pros," Kantrowitz said.

Lechere also assured the room that it was not Google's intention to "judge" the quality of content that his portal and YouTube offer. "We are not publishers, and we don't want to acquire content," Lechere said. "We want our partners to judge the content as the arbiters of taste."

Kantrowitz said she thinks the film industry is ahead of the music business in knowing how to take advantage of the explosion in so-called community Internet sites.

The session formed part of a daylong invitation-only event at the Ritz-Carlton and was organized by the Berlinale and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

Other speakers included Warren Lieberfarb and Artists Without a Label CEO Denzyl Feigelson.