Award-winning producer Russell Naftal brings 15 years of entertainment experience to his role as senior vice president of Development and Programming at AlphaBird. Even though his time is solidly booked with branded and other content creation projects, Naftal took an intermission to answer Five Questions.
1. How do you define “television” in this multiplatform non-linear world?
I don’t think of television as the source for content; television is just another platform for me to experience content that interest me. I engage in several kinds of content on all enabled devices and each experience typically offers me that of a home wall-mounted device.
2. What changes (if any) would you like to see in the ratings system?
In all honesty, I don’t think about the ratings system much. The only time I think about the ratings system is when it will determine which brands will sponsor or which agency will run media against my content.
3. What online-only programs do you watch, and on what screen?
I am a big fan of John Lehr and Nancy Hower and some of their series on Crackle such as Jail Bait. I watch a few series on Machinima, Crackle, Yahoo and Netflix. Netflix has some great original programming with zero commercials.
4. Which of these trends will be the most important, and what are you doing about it: second-screen experiences, dedicated program apps or over-the-top services?
All of these are equally important, you can’t say either will be most important since they are all relevant to the content that is exploited on those platforms. Second screens are extremely important for the growth of communication between the content and the viewer. Its going to offer a tremendous amount of data for the content makers and publishers and is an invaluable tool to determine actual engagement. As far as dedicated apps and over-the-top devices, its another opportunity to exploit existing content or create original exclusive content, but the irony is it’s bringing us all back to the wall-mounted experience.
5. Which of your projects or initiatives do you want everyone at Future of Television East to be aware of?
We recently launched an Alphabird original prank series called Kennedy’s Court with Jamie Kennedy. It’s the first original series for Alphabird, and will be a great case study for showing how can empower content exploiting all the tools available from Alphabird, such as driving audience, social media engagement, multiplatfom experiences and global distribution. We will be launching a slate of original programming in 2013 which will be made available on all Alphabird platforms, mobile and smart enabled devices.
Russell Naftal, senior vice president of Development and Programming for AlphaBird, will be speaking at Future of Television East on November 16. He will be presenting “Plan Your Plan,” a practical look at building a successful business out of digital content.
Russell Naftal, senior vice president of Development and Programming at AlphaBird, is an award-winning producer with over 15 years entertainment experience, where he is an expert in digital and traditional content development as well as branded entertainment production. Prior to joining AlphaBird Russell was Head of Digital Development and Distribution at Endemol, the largest independent production company in the world, where he co-created the award-winning digital series for Major League Baseball, MLB Fan Cave, Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant’s Dream Makers and XARM Event series for online gamer network Machinima. Naftal has also established a new marketing strategy for some global non-profits, where original branded series will help create a greater more engaging experience for charitable donors.