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Media firms work to stay ahead of online consumers

Written by: Staff
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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. Apr 27 (Reuters) Big media companies must keep finding ways to reach on-the-go users and make money doing it to stay relevant in an online marketplace that values convenience and novelty, the leaders of three of the largest US media and tech companies said.

In a wide-ranging discussion on tech trends at the Milken Institute's 9th Annual Global Conference yesterday, Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Robert Iger, News Corp Inc President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin and AOL Chairman and Chief Executive Jonathan Miller agreed; standing still while users find ways -- legal or not -- to obtain the content they want is not an option.

''I think anyone who loses is anyone who tries to protect their traditional business. I think you've got a bad 10-15 years ahead of you if you try to do that,'' Chernin told conference-goers.

Chernin said the US government should help facilitate the spread of broadband technology to bring ''very backward'' US broadband adoption into line with Asia.

''We should have a government policy that addresses it,'' Chernin said. ''You're already seeing certain products in certain areas (in Asia) that are much more advanced than we are.

I think you will see products come out of those areas that are really innovative that should be coming out of the US'' While consumers' desire for home-grown content and social networking has grown with the rise of sites like MySpace.com and YouTube.com, so has their demand for branded content, Iger and Chernin said.

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