Posted tagged ‘TV’

Rob Long on New Media

March 3, 2009


Rob Long, the former executive producer of Cheers, came and gave a talk a few weeks ago.  His talk was about the opportunity that exists for young entrepreneurs in the New Media market space.

The media landscape is in a turbulent state of flux. In the old days of mass culture, people would sit and watch TV passively. Producers could count on having an audience at least until the end of a show; in the days before the remote control, the studios’ audience probably wouldn’t even change the channel during the commercials. After the clicker, producers started having to compete for the audience’s attention with other shows on different channels and in the same time slots. Then came TIVO, which give the audience the forbidden fruit, the ability to fast forward through commercials.  The exploding popularity of media delivered over the internet and cell phone devices has even further diminished the power of TV advertising.


The change that is happening right now is a return to the entertainment patterns of the past. Two-hundred years ago people would play games, read, listen to music, chat, or work in the evening.  In the past 60 years,  people sat in a dark room and stared at a screen. Long made the point that our entertainment is turning back to what it has been throughout history. People are chatting over the internet, sharing music, playing video games, reading blogs, and maybe doing some work on the computer. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other New Media bring this change back in entertainment on a massive scale since you can now reach the world in an instant.  Television producers are seeing people interact on these new media platforms while watching TV, or maybe even instead of watching TV. Commercials are less effective because the audience is not engaged in watching the show; they are engaged in a facebook application, YouTube, or some other form of New Media. New Media is a problem for studios, they don’t know how to make money off of it– no one does. The playing field is level because there are no experts and the field is so new. We have the same chance at finding out how to make money on New Media that the studios do. In fact we have an edge because we are the customer! The future of business in entertainment is free game, it is our job to take find a way to make the money. Here at JP Catholic we have the media skill, we have the business knowledge, next year we will have computer science expertise. As we combine our efforts I’m sure we’ll find the answer.


The Nature of the Web: Internet Video (Part 1)

February 16, 2009

“The nature of TV is ‘flow’ not ‘show.’”

One of my textbooks last quarter drew this contrast between television and cinema. I had to think about it for awhile, but it makes a lot of sense: the best movies to watch in theaters are the ones with “spectacle.” A driving action flick, a wide sweeping vista, a world you’ve never seen before… That’s what you find in theaters better than anywhere else. The more spectacle you include, the more success you find at the box office. The Dark Knight is a great example, for spectacle and action. Titanic is another, because it was set on a beautiful and historic ship in the arctic seas, ended up being a chick flick with spectacle.

Television is about having a constant, steady flow of programming. It’s right there in your living room, so you can turn it on at any time and find something to occupy your mind. The more regular and continuous the flow of TV content, the more successful you’ll be in television. The stories also tend to be episodic, bringing you the same characters at the same time every week. TV is like the old friend you can always come back to.

So what unique features of the internet can we capitalize on for success in web video? The most fundamental attribute is the capability for feedback. Every online news story has a comment box at the bottom. Popular YouTube videos have a plethora of “video responses.” Back when the internet first emerged, some of the most regularly used features were message boards and forums. It really goes to show that the internet is a 2-way communications medium with the masses. Publishing a blog is all well and good, but the blogosphere functions because of the discussion sparked among the readers and other bloggers. So when it comes to video, what are the ways you can give your viewers input and interaction?