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Old February 23 2012, 08:51 PM   #97
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Would it really matter if the next Trek series were on linear TV?

The TV biz is getting shook up by new developments that will break apart satellite and cable's grip on the business, that's for sure. But what any of this means for Star Trek is a very open question.

Just look at YouTube's lineup of pro channels to see the problem: it's all cheap stuff. Celebrity gossip, comedy, reality shows - very little scripted drama of any kind, and space opera is among the priciest of scripted dramas.

Internet video can out-compete traditional TV by providing more targetted niche content to audiences, and reaching audiences far easier. No more making country-by-country deals, now you can stream video to the world without the middlemen.

So what happens is that the audience for any one thing gets smaller (as the amount of content proliferates) but each of those niches can be multiplied by the size of the global audience for that niche. You could have an audience for some niche - say, dystopian space opera - that eclipses even the most mass-market current TV genre. The trick is, financing that content and then reaching that audience.

Add to that the still-weak state of the online ad business compared with the mature TV ad business - it's hard to make a living off online ad placement (as TrekBBS can attest). The better targetting ability of online ads is an advantage over TV, but the tsunami of crap is a disincentive. Ad buyers have a bad impression of online media and they don't want their products associated with crap. (Which is why YouTube is venturing into pro content to begin with.)

So it all adds up to a mixed picture, with some signs that are good for pricey scripted content (easily reached global audience even for a nichey product; advertisers hungry for respectable content) and some signs that are negative (most people won't pay for online content; online ads are a poor replacement for the robust TV ad market; and the sheer, confusing amount of internet video content).
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