Monday, May 19, 2014

A Sense Of Occasion

I keep on doing it. I miss the finals. X Factor, that dancing show, the calendar for Countryfile, Masterchef. I'm just a bad tvizen. And I rarely blog, tweet or Facebook (is that a verb) about it in real time - where is my second screen?

For someone who lives, breathes and exists for TV I'm really quite a bad viewer.

In the TV industry the periods about which people care about content are called 'windows'. Once upon a time a 'release window' for a Hollywood movie would be half a year. Now it's around thirty seconds.

The releases for 24 and Game of Thrones have to be released globally at the same time to prevent the pirates. Indeed, the release of a drama now has the, er... drama, of a major live sports event.

The problem is that I don't care very much about windows. Even with sport, I'm finding myself increasingly timeshifting. I used to need to know the result in real time. But unless you're IMing your buddies about it, why ? The result isn't going to change.

The value of content is shifting. A sense of occasion used to be worth a fortune. Now the ability to watch a box set in an evening, or a week, is the pre-eminent right.

Of course, this has followed the development of content formats. Films used to be an hour and a half. Now they're more likely to be two and a half hours long and, as major directors move towards box set creation, the value point in the industry is moving.

I suspect this explains much of the feeding frenzy over TV companies being bought out by the majors. It's all about not being defenestrated.