the hollywood reporter's digital power 2009

Last week, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the names on its Digital Power 2009 list -- the top 50 executives leading the charges in new media content. Among them:
Albert Cheng
Executive vp, digital media, Disney-ABC TV Group
Cheng helped ABC become the first broadcast network to put primetime shows on the Internet. Now it is poised to be the first to have a profitable online-video business. He's done it by keeping a focus on costs, developing new sales strategies and providing a steady stream of consumer research to advertisers seeking to justify their investments. "From the very beginning, we have been focused on monetization," he says. After years of concentrating on ABC.com, he's made an interesting strategic shift in putting ABC shows on Hulu via Disney's equity stake, as well as a smaller deal with YouTube.

Kevin Yen
Director of strategic partnerships, YouTube
Yen's deceptively simple mandate is to invent a solid business model for the world's most popular video site. Although YouTube attracts more than 80 million monthly visitors, its 2008 revenue of about $90 million represents only a tiny percentage of parent company Google's sales, which totaled $5.19 billion in the first quarter alone. So Yen experiments with such ideas as PPV, branded entertainment, prerolls and paying fees to content producers when they attract enough viewers to merit posting ads. "Google was around for three or four years before it stumbled on a great business model," Yen says, noting that YouTube is just about 4 years old. "Big breakthrough ideas take awhile to emerge."

David Eun
Vp strategic partnerships, Google
Eun is focused on helping Google partners grow their online businesses. That might mean giving studios access to Google tools like AdSense or helping them sell excess advertising inventory. It also might mean distributing their content on YouTube or Google Maps or even launching a new music-video service, as Google and Universal Music Group did in April. "We are now monetizing hundreds of millions of videos a month," he says. "And it's still relatively early days."

Anthony Soohoo
Senior vp and GM, entertainment and lifestyle, CBS Interactive
The Harvard MBA grad has worked for Apple and Yahoo, started his own company and works in San Francisco. But as the face of CBS Interactive, he's Hollywood enough to be involved in adapting "Ghost Whisperer" and "Survivor" to the Web. But don't sell CBS Interactive short. "It's not the marketing arm of the network," Soohoo says. "A big part of how I'm evaluated is how we deliver financially." He also oversees such Web-only series as "Clark and Michael" and "Heckle U" as well as CBS Web properties including Chow.com and theInsider.com. And don't forget the rapidly growing TV.com, which is aggregating enough content to take a run at Hulu.
Wait, only four? Out of fifty? Aren't we talking about new media? Technology? Out of everything, should we freakin' own this? Nice work, but let's do better next year, my fellow digital Asians.

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