Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Ten tips digital growth | The Australian

Two weeks without a post and this is the best headline I can find.

"Ten Tips Digital Growth"

Well duuhhh!!!

Anyway, it seems like Ten, after having sat in the background and just bubbled along doing their thing without a lot of "NineMSN" or "Yahoo7" Hoo Haa are taking the next step. The TV company that made itself viable by tapping into the youth demographic have hired Damian Smith, formerly of search engine LookSmart and Sydney software firm Nuix (depending on who you're reading at the time).

"He will begin at Ten next Monday, July 10, and will report to Ten's chief executive officer Grant Blackley.
Mr Smith will aggregate and expand the network's existing digital media capabilities, Mr Blackley said."

Digital Media capabilities, of which people keep looping in Big Brother and the phenomenal success they've had in this field. Now, let's be fair for a second. The Big Brother site (and no, I'm not linking to it - find it yourself) isn't really part of Channel 10. It's a separate program site that Ten has a vested interest in.

That said, Ten's been quietly doing their own thing, providing download content from their site including full programs of shows like "Thank God You're Here" (now removed from the site because it's finished its season). Now with someone specifically heading this sort of area and driving it forward it will be interesting to see whether Ten makes the leap from "television station with a website" to "21st Century Media organisation" in the way that the other commercial stations have yet to achieve.

Final note before I disappear again.

"The network said it would also look to offer more downloadable and streamed versions of its programs, after the popularity of the Thank God You're Here season finale which was made available as a free download for two weeks last month."

I'd love to see some figures on just how popular that download was. I checked it out at the time and even at H.264 iPod specs it was around 300Mb. I'm fascinated to know whether people are really keen to sit and watch a postage stamp on their computer screens at their convenience. In other words, does the convenience of "On Demand" beat out the noise of decreased viewer experience? We know people are happy to sit and watch short form content on their screens, but just taking a TV show and moving it from the medium where it works best is another thing entirely. Then again, over 1,000,000 iTunes downloaders can't be wrong. Time to have a rethink, which is a real pity. I'd hate to think that the future of this content is just to take existing formats and try and shoehorn them into a different viewer experience. It stunts the ability for video content in this environment to develop its own format and for content producers to step outside the square.

Enough from me. I had all last week to say something and now I'm back at work I won't shut up.

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