Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'm into the home stretch at NATPE, the annual desert journey for seekers of wisdom in the television trade. Up to my neck in meetings, conferences, pitches and major league network players. It'll be a day or two before I find the time and space to decompress and communicate what I'm learning down here.

Lesson #1: Don't ask Flavor Flav "What time it be, dawg?". Dude's got some kind of clock/watch bling issue.

But changing times and how much time we have to make those changes are at the forefront of everyone's mind here.

I'm catching bits and pieces of the media coverage back home and "yes" the industry gloom is everywhere. But so are people unwilling to throw 'up'' their hands or 'in' the towel. The major networks may be scared by the worsening economy and dragging their feet on finding a strategy to overcome or survive it. Everybody is losing money. Everybody is hurting. But there is also no shortage of really smart and energetic people with paradigms to change how we do what we do so the business can get stronger and richer.

So, here's a taste of what's coming at this site over the next week, once the random thoughts and notes have been collated:

1. Kiss Youtube Good-bye. Not the site but the deluge of mindless user generated content. The marketing studies are all finding exactly what Rishad Tobaccowalla predicted here last year -- people can tell the difference between quality and crap -- and they are now demanding even the crap be made by professionals before they will watch it online.

2. Seminars on building show websites: 50 -- Canadian TV Networks in attendance: 0

3. Sponsors are building their own online networks and now going directly to content creators for programming instead of relying on the TV networks that currently (I repeat -- currently) receive the bulk of their advertising dollars.

For the longest time, I thought was just the new "Funny or Die". But it's Sony's attempt to create a viable online studio. There's probably more worth seeing on than CTV or Global and a huge number of corporate behemoths will soon be rolling out shows they feel will be desireable to their customers and are set to rival most TV offerings -- in both dramatic content and quality.

4. Video games have officially assumed the #1 position in home entertainment choices.

5. Within three years, the television commercial will be a memory.

6. The clearest message from everybody from content providers to network executives is the same -- Television stations and even some networks will be gone within a year if they don't immediately find a way to cut through the digital clutter and re-engage and inspire their audiences. And I don't know anybody who doesn't find that concept far more exciting than depressing.

All for now, I'm off to talk to Obama Girl. Now there's somebody who knows what time it be.

1 comment:

Chris Mehrlein said...

1. I've been addicted to Youtube for years and I've hardly ever looked at the user generated content. There's only so much badly recorded audio that I can stand.
2. I'm not surprised. You can't simulcast a website, can you?
3. Sounds fascinating. Of course, that will give the sponsors a hell of a lot of control over what gets broadcast which could lead to censorship issues down the road. Still, that's a problem that's cropped up before. When it comes down, we'll just have to deal with it again.
4. Again, I'm not surprised. It seems every medium seems to see a burst of creativity, enterprise and popularity. It seems like these days it's v-games turn.
5. Hooray! Sorry but I won't miss it!
6. I don't know about a year. It may take longer than that. Dinosaurs are tenacious creatures and they don't necessarily go extinct just because they're irrelevant. Still, I take your point. The time has come to junk a lot of the old models.

Interesting blog. First time commenter, long time reader.