A panel of new media practitioners issued a clear message to the traditional broadcast animation industry at the recent 2005 Ottawa International Animation Festival: get ready for the future. "We are the innovators – we’re the ones that are the big challenge to TV broadcasters," said moderator Andra Sheffer, executive director of the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund. As with every form of communication, the Internet has left its mark on traditional animation: Sheffer said that when the Bell Fund launched in 1997, animation on the Web was innovative. Today, the pairing is commonplace, and horizons have shifted to things like mobile devices and interactive television. Kenneth Locker, senior VP of digital media at Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., said "Generation ‘i’" – those born after 1994 – are "not particularly loyal to any single screen," and are equally able to interact with both widescreen TVs and cellphone displays. He said the falling cost of digital storage is driving uptake of mobile devices and other non-traditional media players, and predicted that future generations of mobile devices will feature a terabyte of memory, enough to hold the equivalent of 2,000 audio CDs, or 160 DVD movies. While some industry observers believe there may never be a market for full-length programming on such a small screen, Locker said video on mobile devices will prove useful in other ways. "I don’t think today I’ll want to watch an entire movie on my cellphone, but I may want to preview it or order it so I can watch it when I get home," he said. Molly Chase, executive producer at Cartoon Network New Media in San Francisco, said the growing ability of viewers to customize content will force broadcasters to rethink convention. For instance, children’s programming has traditionally aired in the morning, "but maybe that’s not when parents want their kids to watch TV," she said. The advent of devices such as the personal video recorder (PVR) mean parents can defy programming timeslots, she added. Chase added viewers will wrest control of the viewing experience from content creators, demanding quick, easy searching and indexing of programs, and that resolution quality will prove less important on small form-factor hardware. John Evershed, co-founder and chief executive officer of San Francisco’s Mondo Media, warned animation companies not to turn a blind eye to tie-in and merchandising possibilities. Mondo Media’s Happy Tree Friends franchise has sold more than $2 million worth of merchandise "literally out the backdoor" through the firm’s website, he said. However, Evershed advocated care when making a foray into the mobile content market and advised providers work with an agent who knows the terms of other comparable deals. He also observed that the mobile content market "has that frothy feel like the Internet did in the late-90s." With developments in publishing software and animation packages such as Flash, the Internet has become an antidote to a conventional animation industry controlled by big corporations, Evershed added. " is making room for independents again," he said, adding firms can take advantage by producing content exclusively for the Internet and trying out many small trial ideas before committing to one project. Content aggregators are also poised to benefit, said Megan O’Neill, Atom Films’ New York-based VP of acquisitions and development. Atom Films buys online rights to independently developed shorts and publishes them on its website; creators are paid a percentage of advertising revenue for each viewing of their work.