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Media gurus: User-generated content a big threat

Amateur videos, podcasts, wikis and blogs can compete effectively against offerings from big media companies, industry execs say.

User-generated content is one of the media and entertainment industries' biggest threats, according to a survey that also indicates established businesses are struggling to cope with some Web 2.0 trends.

In a survey sponsored by technology consulting firm Accenture, 110 senior executives across the U.S. and Europe expressed their views on how the growth of user-generated content, such as amateur digital videos, podcasts, wikis and blogs, will impact the film, advertising, music, publishing, radio and TV industries.

Only 3 percent of the executives surveyed think the use of social media is a fad that will pass in time, while more than two-thirds think current usage is likely to grow.

And while two-thirds are positive their organizations will find ways of making money out of user-generated content within three years, just under a quarter said they have no idea how this will be accomplished.

The study included interviews with industry giants such as Roger Faxon, CEO of EMI Music Publishing, and Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group.

"The winners will be those who can probe and analyze the changes, and manage and merge online and offline most successfully," Sorrell said in a statement.

Faxon predicted the music industry will be forced to alter its business model in significant ways to cope with the rise in user-generated content.

"In essence the commercial roles of music companies will be more as facilitators for bringing music and the rights that support them into the marketplace, as opposed to being originators of the content itself," he said in a statement.

Julian Goldsmith of reported from London.