TV 2.0 mashup* event, London

I’m going along to the mashup* event this evening where the conversation will centre around the Future of Television. Should be an interesting discussion.

I’ve been helping work on some research for Sky surrounding the next generation of TV content and it will be interesting to see how in tune our thoughts have been compared with those in the room.

On another note, as well as content the strategies media companies make interests me. In such a changing market, I think the concept of doing deals with the same old companies is crazy. There’s a whole new niche of production companies springing up with ideas based around doing things differently. These companies need to have solutions for paying for their programs as well as great ideas and stories…I know I do.

What’s interesting to me is realising that it’s the production companies which are forging these alliances and partnerships and not the distribution channels. Companies such as Baby Cow, run by Steve Coogan (who created Meet the Joneses – a video blog partnership with Ford) and Endemol (who created Big Brother and have formed a partnership with Electric Arts for a Second Life-type program) are moving in the right direction.

In my experience, a large percentage of people in TV don’t get the Internet and don’t want to believe the change it’s creating.

When I read articles about ratings amongst all the channels dropping it makes me laugh. Barb ratings have been flawed for years and it’s about time they were changed to reflect the times.

The quality and content of the programs that are made are what’s important. I’d argue that the BBC’s crown jewels, content-wise, are the David Attenborough wildlife documentaries. They’re just going to run and run. The same could be true, when cut into digestable chunks for stuff like Newsnight, Watchdog, Holiday. The problem is the quality of the recording. They’ve been created on the cheap, as throw away TV, and that’s how it’s treated by the viewer.

If more emphasis had been placed on the journalism rather than the gimmicks, these programs would have been lapped up by online viewers in their millions by now – far more than their usual weekly audience – and once they’re online they should be accessible by everyone…

Ironically, the greatest single stumbling block to the kind of audiences the internet offers are the rights issues – an entire industry that’s been created to stifle distribution is being made a mockery of by the internet, and it’s that more than anything else which gets illegal episodes of cable and tv programs on to youtube.


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