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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old October 15 2011, 07:45 PM   #1
Temis the Vorta
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YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

To debut in January.

Google has put Hollywood on notice to keep mum as it prepares to announce its big plan to redefine YouTube with 25 or so channels that will offer professionally produced news, information and entertainment. Google plans to spend an estimated $150M for the services — top tier channels would get about $5M apiece. I’m told that the search giant wants to unveil its initial slate of channels by the end of this month. They’d go live in January. YouTube is gearing up to announce additional channels in January that would be up around April.

...Google hopes that the slick productions will open doors on Madison Avenue where many major advertisers still turn their backs on YouTube’s user-generated content. If the financial model works, then Google could launch countless channels to make it the destination of choice for people who want to explore passions or interests that are too specialized for mass media including broadcast and cable TV.
This is the future of TV. But it will be an ungodly mess getting there, with many epic fails along the way. Regardless of the entertainment value of the content, it will be fun to watch.
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Old October 15 2011, 08:31 PM   #2
lennier1
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

What about an MTV equivalent which actually broadcasts some music?
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Old October 15 2011, 10:47 PM   #3
Gary Mitchell
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

lennier1 wrote: View Post
What about an MTV equivalent which actually broadcasts some music?
Does anybody even make music videos any more?
I used to watch them all the time back before Mtv stopped showing any m.
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Old October 15 2011, 11:58 PM   #4
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

I can't waiting for the 24 hour buffering symbol channel.
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Old October 16 2011, 01:18 AM   #5
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

sojourner wrote: View Post
I can't waiting for the 24 hour buffering symbol channel.
Well yeah, which is the obvious wrinkle in the idea that this is the future of TV.

It does sound like it has the potential to become a major influence, and it will be interesting to see how the existing TV networks react to it.

The existing TV networks have an advantage of possessing a more effective media delivery system, for the time being. But, naturally, in order for that advantage to be realized, people must want to watch what they have to deliver. If they're smart, they'll leverage that entrenchment, perhaps by being more flexible in their programming.
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Old October 17 2011, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

Most of the top channels on youtube are already professional, but they got there from the ground up. They are the future of TV. Bringing in some old media people to hijack that is pretty shitty - if it even works.
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Old October 18 2011, 10:39 PM   #7
Temis the Vorta
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

WeAreTheBorg wrote: View Post
Bringing in some old media people to hijack that is pretty shitty - if it even works.
Don't worry, it won't work. Look at how old media is failing in its original format. That's because viewers expect high production values plus content that is specific to their narrow interests, which inherently appeals to a smaller audience, which can't support the budget for high production values.

That contradiction is what's killing TV - on broadcast, not so much on on cable, where subscriptions can make each audience member worth just enough more, that the budgets can support the needed production values. (It's also why space opera, with its high costs and small audience, is pretty well dead on TV.)

But how will that solution apply to YouTube, where expectations are that everything is free? Will ad revenue be more lucrative compared with TV? If so, they have a long way to go.

The whole point behind the professional channels is to try to bring YouTube up to par with TV in terms of advertising appeal. Right now, advertisers are resisting buying YouTube ad space because they don't want their products to be associated with Annoying Orange and cat videos (as though the average ad is somehow "better" than Annoying Orange).

But all that does is re-create broadcast TV on YouTube, with the same audience-can't-support-the-budget dilemma. They aren't solving that dilemma, and in fact, they're going to have to really hustle just to reach the same unsustainable level that is currently killing broadcast TV.

Just imitating old media is a stupid approach. YouTube should play to its strengths, which are 1) incredible reach (a global audience - potentially anyone with an internet connection - reached far more easily than TV is capable of); 2) diverse "programming" (from completely unprofessional - which is not to say bad - to very professional stuff); and 3) interactivity.

That third point is what YouTube should focus on. Digital content is all going towards the "free" business model because it can be easily pirated. Corporations might fight it, but they'll end up learning the same lesson the music industry did - that it's like trying to fight the tide.

The solution is to build your business on something that is un-pirate-able. Forget content - a community cannot be pirated. Imagine a YouTube channel where the prime attraction is just like TrekBBS - it's a place where you can go to interact with people who you want to interact with.

Right now, YouTube is definitely not thinking of its business as being the community. The comments sections are being rendered unpalatable by a bunch of stupid brats, running amok. But envision a system where the YouTube visitor can click a button and have the moderated experience, or the "TNZ experience" - screen out the brats or include them, as your mood suits you that day.

Give the community members more tools for running contests, customizing how they are seen by others (avatars, etc), more sophisticated ways of rating and sorting both content and other community members (to follow them more closely or screen them out entirely).

Pretty soon, the members themselves have built up "content" that they would be loathe to abandon to go join a competing site (and if YouTube was successful, competitors would follow), and that is immune from piracy.

All this needs to be paid for somehow, of course. Ads can be part of the revenue mix, but I'd also offer micropayment-based enhancements - focusing on enhancing the community experience, such as special members-only areas, fun new art to dress up your avatar, that sort of thing. Each element would be a few dollars.

Even if only 5% of members ever pay for anything, and even if the things are cheap, that global audience could provide the numbers that allow micropayments to largely support the whole system. And unlike ads, which are very culturally specific - it's very hard to do an international ad campaign that appeals globally, if for no other reason that corporate ad departments tend to be regional, not global - micropayment-based enhancements can easily be designed to have global appeal.

The key to this is, give away the content (videos) for free, so that people can have a satisfying basic experience that feels free. The attraction of this free experience will attract a massive global audience. Then charge for community-based enhancements that can pay off because the audience is huge, even if the vast majority of members are free riders.

Okay sorry for yet another mega-post. And I haven't even mentioned how I think that the video content needs to start evolving into a format that better takes advantage of interactivity - more like simple games. Imagine Terra Nova, except the members get to decide who the dinos eat next, or even what kind of dinos are eating them.
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Old October 19 2011, 05:21 AM   #8
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

Temis the Bleeding Aorta wrote: View Post
Okay sorry for yet another mega-post. And I haven't even mentioned how I think that the video content needs to start evolving into a format that better takes advantage of interactivity - more like simple games. Imagine Terra Nova, except the members get to decide who the dinos eat next, or even what kind of dinos are eating them.
This is what gaming is for...not TV. Hell Pizza had an interactive commercial that is on YT.

Interactive zombie movie adventure - DELIVER ME TO HELL - REAL ZOMBIES ATTACK

Which was cool and interesting...but I can see the novelty of this sort of thing wearing off quickly...then again it might be a big hit. It works if there is a story people can just watch or choose to "play the game". This would also involve filming various outcomes for one story.
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Old October 19 2011, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

sojourner wrote: View Post
I can't waiting for the 24 hour buffering symbol channel.
This..or "This video has been blocked in your country" channel
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Old October 19 2011, 09:23 PM   #10
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

Twilight Sparkle wrote: View Post
Temis the Bleeding Aorta wrote: View Post
Okay sorry for yet another mega-post. And I haven't even mentioned how I think that the video content needs to start evolving into a format that better takes advantage of interactivity - more like simple games. Imagine Terra Nova, except the members get to decide who the dinos eat next, or even what kind of dinos are eating them.
This is what gaming is for...not TV. Hell Pizza had an interactive commercial that is on YT.

Interactive zombie movie adventure - DELIVER ME TO HELL - REAL ZOMBIES ATTACK

Which was cool and interesting...but I can see the novelty of this sort of thing wearing off quickly...then again it might be a big hit. It works if there is a story people can just watch or choose to "play the game". This would also involve filming various outcomes for one story.
That's exactly my point - YouTube is not TV. So why take content from a non-interactive medium to an interactive one, and ignore the interactivity? Just stay on broadcast/cable. What I'm thinking of would probably constitute a new genre, midway between reality TV and existing games.

But rather than have a story in mind, and have different endings to be voted on (an approach that has been tried, and has flopped), I'm thinking of it from the other way around - devise the game and then find a story that will work for it.

The game is basically Survivor, where the audience controls the outcome and they base their decisions on how much they like the characters or the actors playing them. We already play this game - I love X character, they better not kill them off; I hate Y character, I wish the dinos would eat them - so the demand exists, the game just needs to be formalized (and a way found to make money off it, which is always the motivator behind innovation.)

Some kind of story can be built around the game, in order to give the characters the chance to let us see whether we love or hate them. I would give the actors a degree of control over their fate by allowing them more latitude than is usual for improv or providing input into their character, since it's unfair that they'd be judged on the basis of shitty writing provided by a writer, who isn't the one on "trial." Unlike reality TV, which pretends that the paticipants aren't wannabee actors, I'd cast a slew of wannabees and give them their chance to develop a following.

There will always be a place for scripted TV, but scripted TV is exactly what is floundering on broadcast. This YouTube announcement does nothing to address the central problem facing broadcast TV, especially scripted drama. It just opens up a new place for the problem to be perpetuated, and is frankly very unimaginative. There's no reason for scripted TV to be on the internet at all, other than for distribution purposes, and that's a very minor way of capitalizing on what the internet can do. Other entertainment forms will evolve that capitalize on it much more thoroughly.

Whatever the solution is, some "new thing" needs to be invented for online entertainment, because the existing genres aren't really ideal. Just plopping non-interactive formats onto the internet is missing the point of the internet, but games (either hard-core-gamer or casual/social media) are locked into very tightly defined formats that inhibit true creativity. I just see the same game types over and over, appealing to their narrow niches. I feel like there's a lot of stuff that could exist, that nobody has thought to create, that would fill the void.
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Old October 19 2011, 10:49 PM   #11
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

JRS wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
I can't waiting for the 24 hour buffering symbol channel.
This..or "This video has been blocked in your country" channel
That's the thing. If Youtube makes this content actually available outside the us that'll be great. If it just ends up being Hulu Lite, it'll be a useless exercise for 99% of the world. I've more or less conditioned myself to ignore "web series" because most of the time they're posted to a venue that isn't available outside the US or UK, so nuts to 'em.

Alex
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Old October 19 2011, 11:28 PM   #12
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

JRS wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
I can't waiting for the 24 hour buffering symbol channel.
This..or "This video has been blocked in your country" channel
Lmao ... or 'this channel cannot be viewed due to copyrights' channel.

I can definitely see the 24 hour buffering one being a reality though, since it takes forever and a day just to watch one 2 min or more video. It would take a lot longer to get a 30 min or more video to load... unless the person was rich and could get good internet service, or their area had good internet service.
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Old October 19 2011, 11:39 PM   #13
Temis the Vorta
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

What kind of videos are blocked in certain countries? Are they movie trailers or other types of ads?

I wonder if the videos are blocked because the ads that run with them are regionally targetted, because that's how even global corporations do things - their ad departments are divided up regionally.

Yet one huge advantage of YouTube over TV is the ease by which content can reach a global audience, without having to do all these country-by-country deals that TV shows go through. So this is another example of how old media's drawbacks are just being plopped onto YouTube, without a serious effort to understand how to do it better.
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Old October 20 2011, 12:34 PM   #14
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

^Plenty of things, from TV show clips, movie trailers, and music videos. It's generally to do with rights rather than advertising revenues.
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Old October 20 2011, 08:58 PM   #15
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Re: YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

If they produce shows for YouTube, they need to line up advertising to fund those shows, which means that they need to line up advertisers in each territory. So it stands to reason that in territories where they haven't lined up advertisers, the video would be blocked.
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