Television as we know it is being reinvented before our very eyes. The paradigm shift in consumer video viewing habits, due mainly to continued emergence of Internet-delivered video and social media, is causing the film and TV industry to find new and innovative ways to catch the wave. If you're a MVPD, content producer or digital media distributor and whether you believe in cord cutting or not, you'll have a very difficult time ingoring the changes that are occurring, particularly if you want to be successful in engaging audiences with your video services in this new media world.
There are some notable examples, written up this week, of how TV is being reinvented:
---- The Wall Street Journal published an article today, "A Reality TV Show, Without TV", about a new video series being produced by Peter Chernin called Summer Break. This multimedia series, follows the daily summer life and experiences of a group of soon-to-be-college-bound teenagers in California. It's being captured and filmed daily, in part by the teens themselves and in part by professional producers. The content for Summer Break is quickly being produced, edited and distributed through social media outlets, such as Twitter, Instagram, Tmblr, YouTube, Vine, rather than TV. (They even use Dropbox for content collection and collaboration.)
Summer Break seeks to leverage the shift in teenage video consumption toward mobile devices and the producers want to stay relevant in a world where teens increasingly create and consume stories through social media. As Peter Chernin states, "This is on a level so much further than anybody has ever done - it is real life in real time on multiple platforms."
Here's a link to a WSJ video that summarizes the Summer Break project nicely - CLICK HERE embed video not working on typepad :-(
--- Another great example of TV models being reinvented is AMC's unkilling of The Killing. Charlie Collier, AMC's president and GM, posted an essay on LinkedIn explaining what AMC (and Fox Television Studios) has done to revive this show.
In a nutshell, AMC killed the The Killing after 2 seasons when viewership disappointed for multiple reasons (some were AMC's own doing, as Mr. Collier explains). But FTVS struck a deal with Netflix to redistribute the show, which has been extremely popular and hence has led to AMC to actually begin airing the show on its broadcast network once again. As TDG put it in their blog "Opinions" this week, "The writing is on the wall and its message is clear: on-demand subscription services will have a growing influence on original programming."
There are plenty of examples out there of TV models being reinvented and new TV networks emerging, like Yahoo!. Anyway, the signs are clear... TV will never be the same as it was. Producers, distributors and service providers should pay attention, try to stay ahead of (at least with) the curve and definitely do something to catch the wave!
That's how I see it! What do you think?
Paul D Hamm