I’ve been thinking recently about the different web-based shows that I’ve been consuming over the past year and how they’ve evolved. A few of my favorites –
What I’ve noticed is that the caliber of production for these (and many web-based programs) have been increasing incredibly fast and that the line between a traditional network show (or reality show) and web based shows are getting blurred, which web-based shows actually putting out better content. I’ve been amazed at how much the bar is being raised to succeed in online video. While it’s still about putting out quality content first, anyone with a DSLR, a mic and a few lights can produce video that rivals most programming out there. But like any other web based piece of content, there’s an enormous amount out there. So what are some recipes for success?
1 – Bank on Authenticity or WOW
Because there are so many web video properties out there I think the name of the game is still in the concept. Shoot first and refine later. If your idea is good it will have legs. My Drunk Kitchen was shot originally as joke to one of Hannah’s friends and it went viral from there. Since then she’s gone full time with the show. Kevin Rose’s ‘Foundation‘ succeeds because he has access to some of the most amazing entrepreneurs in the online space today and can pump out good looking video with minimal editing or production cost.
Shows like Diggnation and This Week in Tech which don’t have set timeframes, segments, or censors – which allows the hosts and guests to really be themselves and take the time to interact with their audience via chat, comments and Twitter. There’s no better way to maintain an audience than to let them know you hear them.
2 – Break Down Walls
Online shows that succeed use social media tools and interactive tools to their full advantage, reading comments of giving shoutouts to viewers on the air, taking questions or even hanging out in their own message boards. Taking the time to care and interact with the audience can galvanize an online viewing community. Tools like UStream and the use of Twitter Hash tags can create that live interactive experience for next to no cost.
3 – Be Everywhere
One of the biggest mistakes that traditional media companies have made (in my opinion) is the convoluted licensing of their media. Things such as being able to watch video on your laptop but not your iphone or ipad – or putting out some content on Hulu/Netflix and others in your own app – or not online at all. Right now most of the revenue models seem to be based on ad dollars so with that being said, I think that you should allow people to consume that content in as many venues and on as many devices as possible. While I think we are entering a world where viewers will soon be ok with paying for video content online (or funding the production of it) – If content creators want users to pay, then the content needs to be available on demand and on whatever device we want.