YouTube to launch professionally produced channels

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Temis the Vorta, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To debut in January.

    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.
     
  2. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What about an MTV equivalent which actually broadcasts some music?
     
  3. Bah Humbug

    Bah Humbug Admiral Admiral

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    Does anybody even make music videos any more?
    I used to watch them all the time back before Mtv stopped showing any m.
     
  4. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    I can't waiting for the 24 hour buffering symbol channel.
     
  5. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. WeAreTheBorg

    WeAreTheBorg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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). :rommie:

    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. :D
     
  8. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    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.
     
  9. JRS

    JRS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This..or "This video has been blocked in your country" channel;)
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. 23skidoo

    23skidoo Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  12. Santa Cat

    Santa Cat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lmao :lol:... 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.
     
  13. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    ^Plenty of things, from TV show clips, movie trailers, and music videos. It's generally to do with rights rather than advertising revenues.
     
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    I was just thinking about this today...I'd like to see YT channels succeed...I mean broadcast TV sucks and I can't see paying for cable when one can find stuff online for free. :rommie:


    Like you said before it needs to work like AdSense...then nothing would need to be blocked. :techman:
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They're getting more attention, the current issue of The New Yorker has an article on this topic.

    Basically, it looks like YouTube's pro channels are going to slot in between premium cable content - pricey content for niche audiences that advertisers want - and YouTube's standard un-premium content - free (to YouTube) content for niche audiences that advertisers don't want or know what to do with.

    So that gives YouTube a way to attract advertisers, but at the expense of simply imitating the TV business, and that's a business that has plenty of ills. Does YouTube really want to reinvent a wheel that's covered with patches and almost flat?

    I guess it makes sense that someone should fill in the vast space between Boardwalk Empire and Annoying Orange, but I certainly hope that isn't the end of YouTube's ambitions. It's something they should do, since they can do it, and there's some money to be made, but the real future of their business lies elsewhere.

    The problem with their pro content is that it ignores the biggest strengths YouTube has: 1) being able to get free content from their users (making money of the unpaid efforts of others, pretty sweet); 2) having the ability to feed virtually unlimited content* to every user; and 3) the fact that they are on an interactive medium.

    *Meaning, YouTube can give any individual person more content that they find personally interesting than they can ever hope to consume in one lifetime - that's in effect, unlimited content.

    The pro content will be cheap to YouTube but not free. Going to pro's means that you drastically limit the number of people producing the content, so that firehose stream is being ratcheted down to a garden hose. But the worst thing is that as far as I can tell, the content will be the old non-interactive TV model, just pushed to viewers.

    The pro content could just as easily be made for a channel on regular cable TV - why does it need to be on the internet? It's not taking advantage of what the internet can do.

    YouTube needs to start thinking of its whole site as its business, including the users and their comments and ratings. They have integrated channels into their business, but the comments section is still embarrassing across the board and inhibits community.

    If YouTube could lock in a true community of millions of users - people who have elements of their online habits and identity invested in the site - that's the best possible guarantee against competitors. Another company could imitate YouTube's structure, but it's hard to build a community, especially if there's a big, jazzy, attractive one they're already invested in.

    In addition to keeping community at the forefront of their mind when they think about their business, they need to focus on interactivity. That goes hand in hand with community, since giving people stuff to do beyond passive viewing is what will lock in that community.

    They should think of videos as just the start to what their business will grow into, and think in terms of contests and games. For instance, they could put up challenges in various niche categories, such as what we see here on a regular basis, people making their own sci fi shows.

    That would tap into something they're in danger of forgetting, that their business runs on economics of abundance, as opposed to the economics of scarcity that Hollywood runs on (there's some discussion of that in the article).

    But by going to just Hollywood professionals for content, they're right back to the economics of scarcity - they are tapping into a much smaller talent pool than they could. For every pro video maker in Hollywood, how many dozens or hundreds or thousands have the same talent but just don't happen to know the right people? There's your economics of abundance, right under your nose!

    I've read comments sections about the YouTube announcement that boil down to the same thing: what a load of crap. I don't want to watch any of that. That may not be as bad a sign as it appears, since it's the nature of narrowcasting to appeal to only a small number of people, so any given person should look at that list and find most of it is not for them. But looking at the list, I can't help but think there are a lot of narrow niches that are simply not present at all, and way too much celebrity and comedy stuff that TV and YouTube already has covered.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...and since that post is ridiculously long (I tried to be as brief as possible, honest! :rommie:) I'll make a different point in a different post, namely...

    This is really all about advertisers. TV was invented as a way to corral audiences for advertisers. YouTube is having trouble convincing advertisers that their audiences are worth reaching because their content is embarrassing and the idiotic comments sections probably aren't helping.

    Since YouTube has already corralled an audience, the real job is to sort the audience into groups that are useful to advertisers, and the content is used to do that. But are comedy and celebrity shows really the best way to do that? Why aren't the advertisers just stepping in, as in the early days of TV, and shepherding their own shows through the process, that are designed to attract the audience they want?

    Probably because advertisers are just as behind the times as Hollywood and can't be bothered to think about YouTube and the opportunities it offers. It just looks like a bunch of stupid kids and their cat videos. The real revolution doesn't need to be in TV or YouTube video, it needs to be in advertising. Internet advertising is shameful - crappy banners everyone hates and stupid videos that are just brought over from TV and not at all adapted to the medium.

    One of these days, advertisers will start to get smart. Maybe they need to organize into associations, so that the smaller companies that don't have budget for national TV campaigns, can pool their resources into a YouTube focused campaign. For instance, there have to be horse videos on YouTube, right? And there's a whole industry of companies that make stuff for horses and horse enthusiasts.

    Why aren't those advertisers being matched with content, with the types of content that the advertisers like, encouraged through contests aimed at getting the current users to make better quality videos? Ten thousand small businesses for the horse industry can't afford to buy national TV advertising, but they would have a hefty budget by YouTube standards. They could be subdivided regionally for businesses where location counts (stables, large gear, etc) and not for internet-based businesses.

    And that's just one specialized industry. Think of all the other ones that exist, all across the country. Every one of them is a massive opportunity.

    Crap, this is getting long again, sorry... :rommie:
     
  19. Jetfire

    Jetfire Guest

    Thinking about that Misc topic..."What would you do with $100 million?" I think producing content for my own pro YT channel would be cool. :) I'd need a niche though???

    Anyway...I guess the old way is the best way until someone can find a lucrative alternative...ad money pays the bills...but it isn't friendly to shows with a smaller audience.

    [edit] http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/ca...nielsen-weekly-top-broadcast-tv-show-ratings/

    Broadcast
    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/ca...s-rankings/nielsen-top-cable-tv-show-ratings/
    Cable
    Looking at the top 10 there for the week of the 9th & 10th...looking at the top 25 for both will tell you the content(shows) that are making the big $$$ for networks...which I am sure YT will want similar results. [add] Which is make lots of $$$. You can count the small guy out of YT.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2012
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You don't need $100 million, you can produce your own YT channel right now.

    The thing about YT is that it draws on the collective creativity of a huge mass of people and offers a way to sort through that mass of stuff to find exactly what the individual wants.

    YT could stand to improve their sorting mechanisms; right now, I mainly find stuff by word of mouth, which is far too clumsy. I should be able to discover stuff I like within YT itself, yet I'm continually frustrated in my attempts to do that. (Can someone tell me how I can inform YT once and for all that I will never be interested in Justin Beiber or Lady Gaga?) :rommie:

    To short-circuit YT's development process and pay people to develop content is just recreating what traditional TV already does, only cheaper and crappier. Yeah, there's probably a market for that, but it's regressing, not moving forward.

    It's not really solving the core problem of how to turn YT's system into a profit-making machine. YT needs to find a way to link paying advertisers to user-generated content. They're just evading the issue with pro content.

    Possibly, the pro content initiative is tactical - a way of establishing relationships with premium advertisers and giving YT some credibility. But I don't think premium advertisers (the national brands - Ford, Geico, Burger King, et al) are their natural customer.

    Instead, they should follow the lead of their parent company. AdSense works by tapping into the huge network of smaller advertisers who will never have a budget like Ford to do TV advertising with.

    AdSense gives them a way of associating their companies with search. Now YT can potentially do the same with information, entertainment, and a like-minded community of people. (Note how I didn't say "video" - there's no reason YT needs to stop with video content or define themselves in such limited terms. Why couldn't they compete with Zynga in online social gaming, for instance?)

    So if you want to make $$$ off YT's business, figure out a way to solve the problem that YT is dancing around. Who are the networks of smaller advertisers all over the country (or the world in some cases) that could be corralled into a system that can efficiently pair them with content that attracts the audience they want?

    It's really about building up fan communities on YT that are associated with paying advertisers. The way Chuck fandom latched onto Subway is a good example - the product placement became ever more crass, and that was actually part of the joke. It didn't cause a backlash on Subway. Instead, they just seemed cooler by being in on the joke.

    But Subway is one of those big national advertisers, and traditional TV is already shaped to serve their interest. YT would be foolish to compete with a mature business. The way to extend this to YT is to figure out how some little mom & pop deli can get the same benefit that Subway did.

    There are thousands all cross the country, and individually they can't afford TV advertising. Let's assume that they're at least as savvy as an AdSense advertiser - they understand the internet and they how to use a computer. Maybe they already are AdSense advertisers, that would simplify contacting them. How can they be efficiently paired up with content generators in a way that bolsters their brand and business, and creates a community online?