Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Be your own TV network - another warning for mainstream media

Former Daily Mail journalist James Black has been conducting an interesting experiment which proves the democratisation of information has reached the once prohibitively expensive world of broadcast TV.

James (www.ansathat.com) has been kind enough to allow us to publish his thoughts here on FasterFuture.

"Internet TV - the web 2.0 revolution is knocking at your gates
"Who will be the winners? Who will be the losers? Will journalists be losing their jobs?
"Today is the 50th day of 2007 and the ansaTHAT experiment is over. Its final week bringing a full page story in the Chicago Tribune in the USA and its presenter being voted ‘Web Celeb’ of the week on BBC’s Radio One.
"The experiment also sheds light on the emerging $17 billion internet TV market and how it will impact on the present ‘media industry’.
"The experiment began on 01 January 2007 when ansaTHAT began broadcasting a daily internet TV ‘show’.
"The idea was simple, could an individual create a successful daily internet TV show with little experience, no filming skills, minimal presentation skills, no editing skills, basic computer skills, etc - in other words - the average Joe ?"
"Could this individual then find success in both the UK and the USA within 50 days ?
"The show also had to go against the present perception of internet TV.
"It was not allowed to use YouTube
"Its presenter would be the 'wrong' demographic.
"Its chief content was trivial - literally trivial.
"It had no promotional budget.
"It used basic equipment.

It could draw on the skills and enthusiasm of the presenter and unpaid friends of the show.
It did have a basic budget.

"The results made plain from the experiment are startling.
In a short period of time it is possible that semi-professional quality television can be made every day - and made cheaply. The main ansaTHAT website cost $34 dollars to create. The only drawback to what can be made is creativity and time.
"The number of views to the ansaTHAT website compared favourably against those for programmes on a typical lower level satellite TV show, local newspaper, or industry/hobby publication. Programmes / publications that typically cost £10,000 to £20,000 an hour to make, or £5,000 to £25,000 to print.
"The number of approaches to the website to sign them up was two - one from BT in the UK, one from a nameless US ‘organisation’.
"The Google footprint for ansaTHAT reached 36,000 in week two, but presently has reduced to 11,800.
"The number of contacts acquired among the ‘community’ interested in the website was over 400.
"The potential for advertising revenue from the ansaTHAT website was estimated at over £30,000 a year - at a basic level.

"Any 'ordinary Joe' can now become their own TV network for less investment than the purchase of a typical BIG SCREEN TV.
"All they need is a basic camcorder, good microphone and access to a computer.
Of course, they also need a good idea - something that can be shared and appreciated by other people around the world.
"This new army of 'internet TV stars', 'citizen-journalists', and 'webcam warriors', will revolutionise news gathering and interest groups in every conceivable field from how we see the value of a stock or share moving up or down to deciding whether Britney’s ‘bald-look’ is the start of a new fashion.
"The playing field has levelled enough for one-man operators to be able to compete against the big boys.
"The potential impact on those who work in traditional media is also startling - and James Black, the one-time Daily Mail journalist who conducted this experiment is now convinced enough himself to be furiously setting up his own internet TV company) is available for interview.
"The final test is simple - if you watch the final ‘compilation’ on ansaTHAT.com - can you really tell the difference between it and normal TV?
"If your answer is no, then you are in the same camp as the hundreds of advertisers, large and small, who are moving over to Internet TV, the modern day midas-maker."

Fascinating stuff. It certainly shows you can reach audiences and make decent TV cheaply. It also draws on its audience to co-create it - a lot of the right boxes ticked. HowTo TV, hey?


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?