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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Exactly: Jesse Cleverly: What if YouTube was the future for TV producers? | MIPBlog


Excerpt from:

Jesse Cleverly is CEO & creative director of London’s Connective Media, a consultancy helping TV companies with the challenges of multiplatform content.

"As another year begins and media workers look out at not just the year ahead, but the future in a more general sense, we cannot but help ask ourselves – where does my future lie? In many ways we have always had versions of these questions – “will my show get picked up?”, “will I rise up the corporate ladder?”, “will I get enough freelance work?”…

Now however, with the imminent ubiquity of internet enabled televisions and the announcement by YouTube that it is funding 100 channels as an advance against future advertising revenues (the mere mention of investment recouping ad revenue and YouTube in the same sentence should alert us to seismic changes ahead), it seems that the question of where one’s future lies is much more fundamental.
A broadcast channel we all understand. It is a largely one-way communication channel, with general appeal within a wide demographic group, for which content is commissioned in order to make as many advertising messages as possible palatable to a largely anonymous, territory specific, mass audience. This is a reasonably straightforward (and, until recently, stable) world with clearly defined areas of operation and expertise which divide roughly between creative/production, sales, broadcast and the financial engine which drives them all: advertising.

A digital channel (and for the sake of argument let’s use a YouTube channel as our template) may look superficially the same – i.e. it delivers video content to audiences -but any deeper and the similarities are soon dwarfed by the differences:

1. A YouTube channel is not a one way piece of communication – it is the crucible for a conversation between creators and the individual members of the communities they curate. YouTube, like Facebook, is an epicentre for social media and some of those who were recently granted YouTube channel funding told me that it was their commitment to the social side of their proposed channels, as much as their ability to produce good content, which won the day.

2. A YouTube channel is likely to be talking to a global niche of some sort, and as such will be more much narrower in its focus and appeal, but much broader in its potential global reach. A YouTube channel is often what people in television would call a show, and it is the way that these mono-brand channels are networked together via partnerships which creates the tipping point, rather than the sheer size of the media monolith standing proudly alone..."

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