Some friends at Second City and I have been having interesting conversations about the future of entertainment media lately. Yesterday after class some of us (including real live ad kids!) talked about the changing nature of advertising, what TiVo is doing to the network economies, watching tv shows online, all media eventually coming from one channel, being watchable on iPods, and so on.
Our visiting speakers from the Cartoon Network (earlier this year) led me to think about new routes for creative types to get their stuff looked at and produced. Animation is getting easier and cheaper to do. Cartoon Network's overhead is so low to produce some of these shows that they have more flexibility, and a chance to let strange little creative things evolve in ways they wouldn't on a demanding network. (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, anyone?)
Then there are all the examples of people shooting their own sketches and short films on digital cameras, and doing all the editing on their own computers. Assistant Atlas, an LA showbiz assistant with a great blog, has this to say about the evolution of new media:
Will Someone Do the Math That Will Destroy TV? Please?
Question of the day, kids: How much does it cost to run a 24-hour Internet television station with original programming? Because that's all it's gonna take to change (read: hopefully, destroy) TV as we know it.
Think about the advantages an Internet station would have over a terrestrial one.
First and foremost, no censorship. Let's repeat for emphasis: no censorship! None. If some nation gets censor-y, an Internet TV station would be well-poised to migrate. Also, one based in the US would face no FCC regulation. You know how MTV won't let you be? Not a problem on WWW.
Second, low start-up costs. I think. It probably depends on what you want to do. This is where the math part comes in.
Third, more lucrative revenue streams. See, I think it would be much more profitable to launch a channel on the Internet because there are so many possible revenue sources. Think banner ads, text ads, direct email/newsletter ads, product integration, general sponsorship, show-specific sponsorship, and detailed consumer profiles, you capitalist pigs. I mean, um, CEOs-in-training...