Last updateSun, 07 Aug 2022 10pm

Online ... Content is the Same, Only Different

By Andy Marken

Not long ago, Tellywood executives took their big checkbooks to Park City to bid on the indie films at Sundance.

We, in turn, headed for Kona for some diving.

While there, we met a couple who are writers/artists/videographers--part of what they called "the second wave of Santa Fe hippies. "

He said that their work had been turned down by Sundance and the growing number of film festivals around the globe. But in the past few months, there had been a lot of interest in their work from Tellywood and online outlets.

In fact, five of their projects had been sold ... two to Tellywood, three to online firms.

It made us wonder if there might be a super-fast migration from TV to online videos.

If online became a permanent habit, perhaps folks would be less than enthused about returning to fixed-fare entertainment in the family room.


As Jo Anne Worley said, "IS THAT A CHICKEN JOKE?"

Screen Differences
A number of folks like to say convergence is taking place and soon we'll be three-screen households.

Maybe yours, but not ours ... we're way past that.

They're all different, viewed differently.

TV is static fare.

At our house, it is increasingly turned on to go online with our Nuvola 4K media player.

Wireless devices (tablets, smartphones) are increasingly used for video, but minimalistic video (under three minutes) that is used and discarded.

On the other hand, broadband video is about as varied as you can get and is a lot more interactive, more versatile and more interesting.

For our kids, the Web is still the primary source of their music. But the Internet is also the place where they go first for their news, information and other entertainment.

The instant availability of the Internet has made it the number one source for news and information. The growing variety and quality of content on the Web has also made it a major destination for relaxing entertainment.

They like the idea of tailoring their content to what they want to watch at any point in time.

Online Entertainment
Like people around the globe who have decent connectivity, they are watching their video content online.

They, and millions of folks young and old, aren't interested in stealing the MPAA's content as they once asserted.

They're a lot more into the stuff that's on YouTube, Yahoo! Video and the growing volume of video sites.

User Generated Video (UGV) has been gaining a strong following; first from the teens/tweens but increasingly, from all age groups. It's interesting. It's entertaining. It's educational. It's fun. It's full of variety.

Folks seem to be saying the same thing Lily Tomlin said, "You are not dealing with anyone's fool. I am a high school graduate."

It's hell when your stuff isn't good enough to steal!

A recent McKinsey study found that:
- Online viewers watched an average of more than three hours of online video during the month (181 minutes).
- The average online video duration was 2.7 minutes
- Nearly three out of four (74.2%) U.S. Internet users viewed video online
- More than one out of three (36.7%) U.S. Internet users viewed video on YouTube.com
- The average online video viewer consumed 68 videos, or more than two per day

Males and females viewing on line are fairly equal in number and even older age groups are getting into the groove.

As might be expected, men outnumber women in viewing content on the Web but the female audience is growing ... rapidly. Teens and tweens who have grown up on the Internet make up the largest segment of the audience but the middle-age audience is getting in the act and the silver foxes are coming up rapidly from the rear.

Viewing Differences
Age groups and sexes view and interact with the content differently.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project:
- ¾ of the 18-29 year old Internet users watched online video
- More than 50% of the 30-49 year olds viewed online video
- Heck even 4 out of 10 65+ folks logged onto online videos

A recent report by Advertising.com notes that online activity has an impact on television as well:
- 29% of men say online video usage cuts into TV
- 16% of women say online video usage cuts into TV
- 12% of those who view content once a month claim that video usage cuts into their TV

While the amount of online content was O.K., the younger groups age 14-29 wanted more.

Or, as Teresa Graves said, "Different strokes for different folks."

They're also interested in what a recent Nokia study called Circular Entertainment.

Circular entertainment is:
- someone who shares video footage they shot with a friend on one of the video sites
- the friend adds an MP3 soundtrack and passes it along
- another person adds photos or more video and passes it on
- and so the stuff grows in depth and breadth

Female Approach
This is the way our daughter uses her Cyberlink software, developing special, interesting and entertaining content with friends and acquaintances around the country and around the globe. The result is entertainment that is collaborative, democratic, emotional and customized.

Our son and his circle straddle what Future Laboratory calls the Emmersive Living and Geek Culture categories. They use products and tools that often blur the boundaries between commercial and creative activities.

For example, several use their devices to grab content and convert it to H.264 files (they're pushing for H.265).

Sometimes the work even includes activities taking place in their video games, which they repurpose.

He and friends in Boston, Vancouver and Greece often drop in photos of people or "things."

To personalize them and bring them to life, they use Reallusion's CrazyTalk to add expression and dialogue to still photos.

The video development can go on for days, weeks and sometimes even months.

When everyone is satisfied with the creative work, it is usually posted to one of the top 10 video sites that account for more than half of all videos viewed online.

More content begets more viewers, which begets more content.

And folks seem to like it. As Dick Martin said, "You bet your sweet bippy."

Audience Shift
According to comScore research, the audience lost by TV can be found grabbing their entertainment on the Web.

Like our Santa Fe indie videographer, they are not only creating online entertainment but they are finding an eager audience.

It's no wonder that a Deloitte study found that nearly half of the online Americans not only consume video content but also create it.

And with all of the low-cost, easy-to-use tools that are available, the number will continue to increase.

The democratic platform and ease of getting content posted is making almost everyone a director, producer, actor. Most of the content isn't worth viewing but a growing number of quality-focused Indies are finding the Web is a ready platform for their careers.

Some predict that the Web marks the end of Tellywood's heyday, just as music downloads brought the RIAA to its knees.

While there is a growing volume of video content watched on the TV or system, we are still a long way from global broadband to the home.

Broadband in the home is mandatory for Tellywood content delivered over the Internet. As you can see ... we're a long way from complete coverage around the globe--especially in the U.S.

There are still more TV sets, video game players, OTT (over the top video players) in homes that give access to content even without full broadband to the house.

But the changing viewing climate will happen!

It should encourage Tellywood to view their customers differently – not as adversaries, but participants.

Indie Opportunities
Of course, if the past is any indication of tomorrow, that won't happen ... until it's too late.

Consumers aren't hiding their views.

If Tellywood doesn't listen, consumers will simply give them Rowan & Martin's famous award...

It's sorta' Tellywood's game to lose because new OTT channels are appearing on some of the newest smart TVs and new, fresh channels like UltraFlix that has a growing library of 4K content.

Or, as Goldie Hawn said, "Now that tickles my fancy."




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