Strategy & MarketingMedia Production

The Media Shift

Here’s a few factoids from writer Sharon Waxman about where the media is going today:  The amount of video content created by YouTube users, for free, for six months is more than broadcast producers created in more than 60 years of professional, paid programming.  YouTube uploads around 9,232 hours of new video each day.  Think about that a bit.  At the same time, traditional broadcast TV viewership declined 8% last year – which is significant because since the 80’s the decline has only been about 1-2% each year.

That means change has kicked in at a whole new level in the last year.  DVD sales fell 9% in the United States in 2008.  Movie theater attendance declined 5% in 2008.   The problem with all of these numbers is that although the shift is pointing directly to online and mobile entertainment, few have figured out how to turn that momentum into a business.  Movie producer Marshall Herskovitz says, “People truly do not understand the extent to which new media is not a business.”  He speaks from painful experience after losing a lot of money on “Quarterlife” – a web series and social media hub.

I go into much more detail on how the digital transition is impacting media in my new book “The Last TV Evangelist.”  If you want a fieldguide to the media revolution, this is the book for you.  The big question is: What are the implications of this shift?  What are you doing right now to prepare for the future of media and entertainment?

Good readers – share your ideas!

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  1. Phil 

    I’m finding your book very enlighting. So far I"m half way through with the book, and it opened a whole new view for me on several different levels. As someone who is currently developing content geared towards this whole new medium, I’m thankful for your book. It is filling in some of the holes and answering some of the questions I’ve had. I’ll more than likely read is a scond time. I’m also going to have to get Branding Faith. I’m sure it’s full of very helpful info anyone like me could use.

    My question is, how do we as producers develop content at this stage when advertising dollars or sponsors are limited? As someone who is not a non-profit I have to be able to sell my content because I don’t have a donor base. Also, how far off are we from being able to genrate revenue from content developed for the internet? As point out by a friend of mine, there are numerous new networks coming about, but they’re only interested in selling me airtime. I still have to bring the advertisers. If I have to bring the advertisers as well as develop the content then why don’t I just go ahead and buy the equipment and become my own network. Should I just plan for right now to charge per download, and hope I get enough hits to make it worth while. Because that kind a feels a little chancy. Should I send it out for free and then turn it to a pay per download when it becomes popular? I mean for all of us who are really serious about developing content this seems to be a much bigger gamble than broadcast TV is right now.

    Thanks for everything you do Phil. By the way, I was on ORU campus last week for a concert. It’s been over 20 years since I was there last. Things sure have changed from 1980. Thanks Phil.       

    Jack McCune

    Aberdeen Productions, LLC                                                                                 



  2. The shift is simply fragmenting the market into tiny bits. It will require business models that have a slow payback because the time to develop an audience is much longer. It’ll take a lot of money or a slow growth strategy for the typical syndicated TV preacher. I think the syndicated TV preacher will need a multi-platform approach to be successful today.

    For the non-profit (me) we are attemping to have a presence on every possible platform. For some, the medium is the message. For example, some people want to watch video on the iPhone. Sure, content is king, but the iPhone (or IPTV, etc.) is their preferred way to interact with it. And they want to be able to Twitter a link to their "followers." (Kids today are texting each other in the same room!)

    The other issue for the non-profit (and the for-profit content producers) is they must quickly react to what’s going on in the world. People don’t necessarily want to hear the series on Philippians, but they want to know what the Bible says about finances, or relationships, marriage, work, etc. Dealing with relevant issues will drive people to hear Philippians, etc.

    One strategy in the viral category would be to teach teenagers and college kids how to tell a story with a point and maybe a call to action, and yet let them do it in their own culturally relevant style.

    My plans are to move as much video to the web as possible, but it is quite labor intensive, and doesn’t have the payback ratio we’ve been used to in broadcast. But I think its the key to reaching our city for Christ.

  3. I totally agree. As a producer I feel it is necessary for us to teach with our content. Plus we must be able to do it on multi platforms at the time the view wants it.  

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