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The Birth of Online TV

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The big picture of reinventing television on the Internet.

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The Birth of Online TV

  1. 1. The Birth of Online TV
  2. 2. Online TV Shows The birth of a new medium <ul><li>Colin Donald </li></ul><ul><li>Director </li></ul>www.futurescape.tv
  3. 3. The Birth of Online TV <ul><li>New Web series - scripted comedy and drama </li></ul><ul><li>Britain and America </li></ul>
  4. 4. Overview <ul><li>Why is online TV booming? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is making the shows? </li></ul><ul><li>Creative opportunities </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why is online TV booming? <ul><li>Ubiquitous broadband </li></ul><ul><li>Audience aggregators </li></ul><ul><li>New online TV studios </li></ul><ul><li>New funding opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Hollywood writers’ strike as catalyst </li></ul><ul><li>Falling production costs </li></ul>
  6. 7. Widespread broadband <ul><li>Nearly 6 in 10 homes (57%) in UK have broadband (Ofcom, May 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>8% narrowband dial-up (65% total) </li></ul><ul><li>BT to invest £1.5bn for super-fast broadband to 10m homes by 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>HD movies, gaming, graphics, music </li></ul>
  7. 8. Online video viewing soaring <ul><li>12 billion video views per month in the USA (comScore) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rising by 1 billion per month </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3.5 billion per month in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>30% of UK adults have used Internet to watch video content (Ofcom) </li></ul>
  8. 9. Issue – falling TV viewing? <ul><li>Yes – 30% of UK adults with Internet say they watch less TV (Ofcom) </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, but – small fall? 1%? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From 219 mins / day in 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To 216 mins / day in 2006 (Ofcom) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Audience aggregators – Bebo
  10. 11. Online TV studios launching <ul><li>About 30 in Hollywood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 have raised $50m in funding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major studios – digital units </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hundreds of shows in production </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UK indies involved </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New: Shimmer Productions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talkback Thames - Toyboize </li></ul></ul>
  11. 14. New funding sources <ul><li>14 ways to fund a show </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasters, new studios, sponsors </li></ul><ul><li>Download sales via iTunes </li></ul><ul><li>Joss Whedon (Buffy) – self-funded </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Hollywood writers’ strike as catalyst </li></ul>
  12. 16. New funding sources <ul><li>Particularly important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Branded entertainment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product placement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product integration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Controversial – “hidden” advertising? </li></ul>
  13. 23. Issue – product placement <ul><li>Acceptable? </li></ul><ul><li>EU says Yes </li></ul><ul><li>UK culture secretary not keen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Holding consultations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FCC – American TV regulator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also consulting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would and should TV regulations apply to online shows? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 24. Falling production costs <ul><li>The Gap Year (Endemol / Bebo) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One-person “team” following their subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Camera, laptop, liaising with production company </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Higher tech quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sofia’s Diary made in HD </li></ul></ul>
  15. 26. Who’s making the shows? <ul><li>New studios </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasters and established indies </li></ul><ul><li>New commissioners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ad agencies </li></ul></ul>
  16. 27. New commissioners <ul><li>Social networking sites </li></ul><ul><li>Bebo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Gap Year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KateModern (two seasons) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sofia’s Diary (two seasons) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next: The Secret World of Sam King </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MySpace </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I Love Chieftown </li></ul></ul>
  17. 29. New commissioners <ul><li>Ad agencies and sponsors are commissioning </li></ul><ul><li>In The Motherhood </li></ul><ul><li>US Web comedy about parenting </li></ul><ul><li>MindShare agency for Sprint and Suave </li></ul>
  18. 31. Creative opportunities <ul><li>“ Nobody knows anything” </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a new medium </li></ul><ul><li>Previous attempts at online shows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Spot (1990s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Caroline BAFTA winner (2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Strand (2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wannabes (2007) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 35. Creative opportunities <ul><li>Online TV doesn’t mean cheap TV </li></ul><ul><li>Short or long episodes? </li></ul><ul><li>How many episodes comprise a season? </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity – support or straitjacket? </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities across all genres </li></ul><ul><li>Online shows integrated into TV industry </li></ul>
  20. 36. Online TV doesn’t mean cheap TV
  21. 37. Short or long episodes?
  22. 38. How many episodes in a season?
  23. 39. Interactivity: support or straitjacket?
  24. 40. Opportunities across all genres
  25. 41. Online integrated into TV industry
  26. 42. The future: audience co-creation
  27. 43. Online TV Shows The birth of a new medium <ul><li>Colin Donald </li></ul><ul><li>Director </li></ul>www.futurescape.tv

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