Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Content Isn't King

A long, symbiotic relationship has existed between programme makers and broadcasters, either within a single organisation, or in separate companies.

But the reality is that the relationship is no different to that between a sports star and an agent or a writer and publisher. Or, indeed, a film maker and a distributor or an artist and gallery owner.

One provides the creative and the other provides an audience.

I remember walking into the Boardroom of a production company and asking them their mission. They said that they 'existed to tell great stories', but still poured over the weekly viewing figures for their programmes. In reality, they existed to deliver audiences to their clients. Telling great stories enabled that.

And the internet is a brutal place. Most video is going onto YouTube since it has a ready made audience, just like broadcasters do. So, if a broadcaste won't pay for your idea, YouTube will give you some crumbs. 

A million rating programme on HBO might make the programme maker a ten million dollar revenue. A million viewers on YouTube will make you a thousand dollars if you're really lucky.

Content isn't king. Viewers are.