A friend of mine once suggested something like this. Basically, news would be free, but premium content online would come at a cost. Sort of like how stock quotes are delayed 20 minutes unless you pay a premium to see the prices instantly. And those with extreme political opinions, like sports fans, would pay any price to see their favorite commentators/players do their thing.
"A commercial has to be like a DVD extra. It has to be an added value, not an inconvenience."
That quote comes from Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University. Thompson's quote is part of this article that looks at the myriad ways networks are trying to get around the problem of DVRs and ad skipping.
I lead off with Thompson's quote because I think he's right. It used to be enough to just inundate viewers with advertisements of various quality, but now that we have more control over what we watch, advertisers need to work harder to keep our attention.
You've all heard about the upcoming video-sharing site from NBC and News Corp. Well, now CNET has joined the venture and will be providing content for the new site. CNET, which also owns GameSpot.com and TV.com, will provide "thousands of clips" to the new service and also serve as a distributor. NBC and News Corp already have distribution deals with Yahoo, MySpace, MSN, Comcast and AOL (which owns TV Squad).
The site launches this summer with full TV episodes and more from close to twenty television networks and two movie studios.
I'm always in favor of more ways to view television programs, so I'm anxious to see how this new site turns out. I just hope they allow user comments like YouTube does, because if I can't read a comment from CyberMonkey56 in Sheboygan telling me "thjs showes is sucks!" it's just not worth my time.
For a limited time, iTunes is offering video and audio versions of the performances as well as some exclusive content that wasn't televised during the original air date.
While you can expect to pay a nominal fee for everything you download, all proceeds will be distributed to relief organizations within the U.S. and Africa via the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund.
Although "Idol Gives Back" has already brought in $60 million in donations, it's nice to see some ancillary methods like this iTunes arrangement continuing to bring even more money to the charitable cause.
Check out the American Idol official Fox Site for more details.
Whatever you may have thought of Napster and file sharing, one thing is clear: it changed the way people think about how music is both marketed and distributed. In much the same way, sites like YouTube have changed how people watch television. These days people have more options than simply plopping down on the couch when their favorite show airs, as the Web offers them different ways (both legally and not-so-legally) to see their favorite programs.
Julia told everyone about the new VH1 series The Department of Acceptable Media starring Jack Black back in November, and now there's a little more information available, such as when the heck the show will debut (March 23). Oh yeah, and it's not called The Department of Acceptable Media, anymore, it's simply called Acceptable TV.
The new series will feature several three-minute shorts in one episode, some created by regular folks like you and me, and some created by Jack Black and pals. Viewers will vote on which shows to dump and which ones to keep. If that sounds an awful lot like the Channel 101 site, that might be because Channel 101 helped create the series.
Shorts that are too hot for TV will made available online, and creators will also get a share of the ad revenue everytime their short is viewed online. You can watch some hysterical promos for the new series here.
[via Lost Remote]
I don't know, nor do I care, if the internet will ever surpass television as an entertainment medium. I leave that kind of speculation to those who actually understand the technology involved. Me, I'm just a guy who likes to be entertained. I'm also a guy who wonders if I'll still be entertained by online video content when I'm much older.
Readers should feel free to point out any errors in this assumption, but I think that video content on the Web is largely a young person's game. Most of what you'll find on sites like YouTube and iFilm were not made with older folks in mind. Television, by comparison, isn't much better: within the major networks, one would be hard pressed to find a single show an older person would enjoy. Yes, once in awhile series such as Matlock or Touched By an Angel come along, but for the most part, the entertainment industry cares not for the elderly.
The network is a heady, hipster mix of politics, fun and music. Some of the best programming so far - Heavy Metal in Baghdad, a five-part series in which the filmmakers search for Baghdad's only heavy metal band Acrassicauda. The short series presents a unique take on civilian life in Iraq. Soft Focus - former Nation of Ulysses and Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonius interviews musicians like Chan Marshall, Will Oldham and Ian Mackaye. Dos and Don'ts and Friends - alternative comics and other off-kilter folks hold forth on still images of sexy, sexy people doing sexy, sexy things.
The contestants will be living together under one roof - of course - and they'll be doing things that putting together three-minute sizzle reels on shows they're pitching to the network. Nothing is off limits. Game shows, comedies, dramas, reality. Here's one - how about a show about the programmers at a network who are so desperate for original programming that they put together a show to trick people into giving them content for free while being the content themselves.
Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the brains behind Skype and Kazaa, are preparing to launch the first global television network later this year. The new service, called Joost, has already garnered interest from Endemol TV (Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal and 1 Vs. 100), September Films (Beauty and the Geek, Bridezillas) and the Indy Racing League, all of which will be providing content, though what that content will be is unknown at the time.
The creators hope to provide entertainment for viewers using a format that will also allow content providers to keep their shows safe from piracy. The new venture already has several advertisers lined up, which is no doubt due to the popularity of both Skype and Kazaa.
Speaking as a viewer who isn't exactly tech-savvy, I have to say that the success of Joost will come down to how easy it is to use. I've said before that a large part of YouTube's success is that it's incredibly simple to find and watch videos. As long as Joost doesn't over-complicate things and actually provide worthwhile content, it might be worth checking out.
No, it isn't, but we're getting closer.
It's no doubt that TV and the Web found one another last year, as more and more shows began to pop up online, both legally and illegally. Despite that, however, one problem still remained: How does one view the content on their TV screen rather than a computer monitor?
A little over a month since it launched its own branded channel on YouTube, CBS now boasts some of the highest views on the video sharing site. Since it first began uploading clips on October 18, CBS's content has had almost thirty million views. Currently there are over 300 clips from shows like Late Night with David Letterman, CSI, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Early Show and NCIS. Not to mention CBS News programs and sports highlights. CBS believes having their content on YouTube has been a factor in increased ratings of the television broadcasts of these same series.
I have to wonder, though, is this really news? Isn't saying CBS had the most views on YouTube like saying King Kong has a greater vertical leap than Bonzo the monkey? I'm all about free access to TV shows --clips and otherwise-- on the Web, but while CBS congratulates itself on being a corporation with the power to saturate YouTube, is there some great independent content being pushed further into the background? It seems impossible to have the best of both worlds.
ABC recently announced it will be offering news specials from its archives for purchase on iTunes. Customers will be able to pick from the library of ABC News Specials which include a ride-along with gang patrol cops in LA, a behind-the-scenes look at Grey's Anatomy, and a special on UFOs. The first two might be worth checking out, but I'll save all of you $1.99 right now by telling you UFOs aren't real. Don't bother to thank me, I do this out of love. There's also an archive of celebrity interviews, and another selection called "The Day It Happened," which looks at major events in history. It should also be pointed out that ABC does offer free news content through iTunes as well.
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