Innovation in television? Look to the Web.
Check out this useful comment by Mike Hale in today’s NYT heralding the arrival of original video series on the Web. For too long, broadcasters have regarded the Web as a dumping ground for uninspired promotional content and lame marketing gimmicks for the regular broadcast schedule. Recently, however, some TV networks are starting to take the Web seriously as a vehicle for rapid, low cost innovation.
The NY TImes piece highlights the distinction between genuinely new programming concepts and old-school marketing masquerading as original content. Hale also skewers the dubious quality and relentless product placement as obvious defects in some new programs. But video is expensive to produce, and after all, somebody has to pay the bills.
Such mainstream TV efforts face stiff competition from web pure plays, who are not beholden to corporate policies and are thereby able to innovate more freely. I’m still betting on the shock value of sites like Comedy.com to capture viewers with a fresh voice unencumbered with an old school broadcaster’s agenda.
This is a useful meme and one that will certainly be explored in more detail at the 5D conference in Long Beach in early October.