Entertainment Master Class – television on the move

I was graciously invited to come and talk to the Oslo-edition of the Entertainment Master Class 2013. It’s a course that seems to have a lot to offer professionals within the TV industry; if nothing else, it’s interesting to see that several of the participants are coming back for a second or even third stint at the programme.

My subject was threefold – one part was a talk based on the publication ”One Year In Now Media”, one part was looking at television and it’s possible connection to transmedia, while the last part was a talk on what new business models are on the rise. It’s always a challenge to put a talk like this on the right level – too complicated and people will fall off, too simple and no one will be interested.

Other speakers this Saturday include Keri Lewis-Brown from K7 and Simon Brickle from Monterosa, looking at social TV and second screening respectively. There was a ton of interesting and informative stuff, and what really resonated with me – and that I talked a bit about over here – is the fact that the behemoth that is the TV industry is on the move. It’s a bit like watching an avalanche – it starts as a puff of something, but quickly gathers momentum, and anyone standing still and refusing to move will most likely be run over (and have St Bernhard-dogs come digging for you in the wreckage that’s left).

Still, while everyone is – sooner or later – moving towards second screening and multiplatform – when it makes sense in the context of the content of course – some old practices still hold very much true. ”Igniting the Core”, as Rob Pratten says, remains a critical stage of any content. And the fact is that even though there are outliers that show that viral marketing can get something up and running in no time, for the major part of multiplatform concepts traditional initial marketing is key to build a critical mass of audience members. This marketing can, of course, be ingeniously created and build fully on transmedia storytelling principles, but it needs to be there and it needs to be budgeted for.

Likewise, any possible talent, such as a show host, must be as proficient as any other show host; in fact, probably more proficient. Just because the viewers are showing that they are engaging in the show and at times perhaps even contributing to the content doesn’t mean that a show host can step down in quality, engagement-wise and content-wise. On the contrary, the talent must strive even harder to get everything to fit under one umbrella and feel as natural as humanly possible.

So – a combination of the best practices of old with the most exciting possibilities of now. And listening to the other speakers here, I can say that the possibilities are almost endless. Just don’t rush it; make every decision after careful consideration and preferably thorough testing on the target group.

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