Posts about Exploding_TV


The Wall Street Journal reports today on TV networks and studios currying favor with bloggers. Blogola, they call it. Back when I was a TV critic, I never went on the network junkets; I wanted to be just another member of the audience and not get starstruck; when I started Entertainment Weekly, in my brief reign, I wouldn’t allow TV critics to write features about the stars they criticized. But, Lord knows, times have changed. Critics matter less. Shows are smaller. Bloggers are, truly, just viewers and fans: real people. So who’s going to pass up a chance to hobnob with a star and take home some TV schwag? All this also indicates that mass TV continues to fade as even the networks realize they are selling to niches.

Speaking of shrinking TV, note that NBC — which last season essentially surrendered the 8 o’clock hour to reality junk rather than producing fictional and comedy TV — now continues to skulk:

NBC made it own schedule public yesterday, and it was, by its executive’s admission, a conservative lineup with only four new hours set for the fall. Kevin Reilly, the president of NBC Entertainment, said that adding more new series now was unwise because it is so difficult to market new shows in the fall.

Yes, you can only bribe so many bloggers and that takes you only so far.

Smartest media quote of the year

“We can’t expect consumers to come to us. It’s arrogant for any media company to assume that.”

Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, said that in today’s Wall Street Journal explaining CBS’ smarter-than-most strategy for a distributed media economy.

This is the way all media executives should be thinking: Go to the people, don’t make the people come to you. That’s expensive for you and inconvenient for them and it’s just not going to happen — or, it’s no way to build a media business model anymore. Says the Journal:

A year ago, CBS Corp. announced the creation of Innertube, an entertainment channel on designed to make the company a player in online video. It streams video of sporting events, news reports and reruns of shows such as the hit comedy “How I Met Your Mother.”

CBS’s new chief Internet strategist now jokes that the Web address for Innertube should be “”

CBS, after a year of experimenting with various Web initiatives, says that forcing consumers to come to one site — its own — to view video hasn’t worked. Instead, the company plans to pursue a drastically revised strategy that involves syndicating its entertainment, news and sports video to as much of the Web as possible. It represents a stark departure for the TV industry. . . .

Starting this week, an expanded menu of CBS’s video content will be available for free to consumers on as many as 10 different Web sites ranging from Time Warner Inc.’s AOL to Joost Inc., a buzzy online video service that is just rolling out. The company calls its new venture the CBS Interactive Audience Network.

Importantly, they’re also going through services that let us embed and distribute their stuff. That’s the greatest win of all. Why not encourage your audience to recommend and distribute your good stuff. It’s free marketing. It’s the endorsement that matters most. It’s only wise. But media has always been about control, about selling scarcity. So it’s damned hard for these guys to shift their mental map of the world and realize that they are not at center, we are. What they defined as inside is outside. This requires them to turn their world inside out. CBS is doing that.

Meanwhile, see the Stuart Elliott column in today’s Times all about networks trying harder to keep viewers in, how to keep them from changing the channel or TiVoing. What they should be asking is how they can take their stuff out. Think distributed.

Note also that NBC is shifting an inch by airing one of the Law & Orders on USA first, then on NBC. That says that NBC isn’t the center of the universe. But this doesn’t go quite far enough. Why not air it online first? If you don’t, NBC, Dick Wolf will someday. That’s what the studios of the future are doing now.

Betting on Black20

I’ve just invested in Black20, an energetic and creative new small-TV company that is sure to grow big. Virginia Heffernan wrote a great piece telling their story so rather than try to tell it again, I’ll just say go there. And go watch some Black20 videos. These guys are talented, funny, ambitious, smart, and tireless. I’ve just invested in the studio of the future.

Other investors and amounts aren’t being announced — sorry, Staci, Rafat, Om, and Liz.

I have been blathering a lot about exploding TV. But I am putting my money and time where my mouth is with my own small video venture — so far producing IdolCritic and PrezVid — and with my investment in Black20. The new means to produce and distribute — contrasted with the incredible cost of the old ways — opens up incredible opportunity. Keep an eye on the guys at Black20.

American (Video) Idol

NewTeeVee is holding a competitive screenings of internet video. Great idea. They’re having people upload their own videos but I also think that opening this up to any of us to find any show we recommend would be good. It’s about finding the gems. (Note the held a screening of its faves a few weeks ago in New York.)

News in the raw

Via JustHillary.comm, I find that WMAQ TV in Chicago is putting raw news video up online: 12 minutes of Hillary in Obama’s backyard. That’s great: giving us the raw video to see more if we want. The only thing I wish is that they let us embed and remix it. But I’ll take this as a first step on the right path.