Lecture 6 – Distribution

Distribution – Transforming formats into successful worldwide programmes.

“If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead”  TV saying

TERRISTIAL TV – If you are a production company your format will be passed on to a business manager or exec producer who will either pitch the format to a commissioner or sell it via programme aquistitions departments of the big broadcasters.  These links are to BBC examples but all broadcasters will have these departments.

ONLINE TV – but you don’t have to worry about slowboat and heirarchial traditional commissioning for your ideas because there are many other exciting ways to broadcast your work….

LIVE BROADCASTING –  Your formats can go straight to air through broadcast platforms like Ustream and YouTube.

YouTube launched in 2005 (just 6 years ago but can you imagine life without it now?).  A simple platform for uploading videos has become something much more impressive.  And now “ordinary” people are making their names known and some are even making money.  The most watched video EVER; Charliebitmyfinger has been watched 386m times!  The family have made more than £100,000 from “Charlie” films to date. The money comes from a partnership with YouTube earning 60p for every 1000 views or per click on an ad.

Further reading on how to make money from YouTube – http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3935617/Brits-making-money-from-home-made-YouTube-videos.html

It’s still early days but academic perspectives on YouTube are starting to come through. Ideas about the ideology and scope of YouTube are interesting Media specialists in 2 broad schools of thought – the technological – How is YouTube influencing how we consume Media? Will user generated content usurp TV? What does this mean for the future of advertising?
and the philosophical – What do YouTube videos say about our society? How is YouTube influencing our cultural progress. What are the consequences for privacy? Here is a list of books for further reading. YouTube reading list

BROADCAST THROUGH SOCIAL NETWORKING sites – Facebook (500m users)  and Twitter (200m users).  Increasingly a marketing tool on these sites you are just a click away from people who can recommend your work.  Recently press and academic concerns have been raised around the issues of surveillance, privacy and data collection.

Some further reading on this – http://frodo.lib.uic.edu/ojsjournals/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Get your stuff out there – you never know who might be watching!

CONVERGENCE.   As the internet continues to dominate our lives and our viewing habits the search is on for increased convergence.   There are issues for broadcasters around control (age appropriate especially) and copyright (broadcasting rights and royalties) are common – and decided in court (search internet tv court cases). Currently the internet is used for “catch-up tv” and as a place to offer programme support (extra information/ audience interaction) but more user friendly and quality Internet Television – it is not far away.

Examples –  No self-respecting format is not on the internet. So this is how the big guys do it – Deal or No Deal and I’m a Celebrity lead the way and so they should – they have all the dosh from those voting lines. And on radio be suitably impressed by the Radio stars Chris Evans and Heart FM’s Breakfast show.

Now you think well why should I bother with this? I’m not a multi millionaire broadcaster with a huge following and lots of time and money to put into this. Well of course even smallfry producers can distribute your work thanks to several easy-to-use platforms to exhibit your work (YouTube, Vimeo, Blogs, Social networks etc).  Your only problem is making your work distinctive enough to get an audience.

Well there are some realistic things you can do….

1. PRODUCE an interactive blog is a good example of how the producers are putting the audience first. There are lots of ways to make your format distinctive;

* Production News with clips and photos

* Opinion invites – asking audience what they think

* Programme material invites – asking audience for their ideas

* Links to Twitter, Facebook, Fansite – all broadcasting must-haves

* RSS feeds – keeping audience up-to-date

* External links – essential if you want to exploit potential revenue streams

2. OFFER SOMETHING DIFFERENT…..

Charlieissocoollike

Charlie news story.  What would you do?

Radio with pictures. Doesn’t that defeat radio’s purpose?  Arguably there is no place for radio on the internet – other than as a player.  What’s the need for all the pictures and webcams etc?  Radio is flirting with pictures, it’s not sure if it likes them or not. It’s trying ideas out on the audience and will respond if the audiences likes it.  (Although BBC is spending less online and less interested in testing out new ideas).  However some radio ideas are crossing the boundaries like this;

Danny Robin’s Music Therapy

2. PRESENT Your Work PROFESSIONALLY

RAISING PROFILE – yours!

So we’ve asked you to put your programmes up on Vimeo
All Formats to be uploade on Vimeo – http://vimeo.com/groups/262mcformatsprod 

This is a good start but it needs to look more professional and a lot more interesting….

Have a look at these showreel examples

Adam Swords – former MP student. Graduated last year! Commercial Photographer. http://www.adamswords.com/  

Ross Rawlings – another former MP student. Documentary Photographer.  http://www.rossrawlings.co.uk/

Joe Shaw – director. This page is more informative and interactive. But most posts are old – you must keep maintain your webpage to make you sound like you are approachable and contactable
http://vimeo.com/9350304

Nick Harris – TV studio director.  This is a conventional professional website, a bit corporate but it charts his career well and contains everything you need to know to be convinced of his skills and ability.
Now you should also be thinking about creating your own personal website – this is crucial if you want to work in the Media seriously once you leave. You will need a web address to send out (much more effective than your CV..)

And don’t forget University based websites to give your work professional appeal.

Shelly’s student website – http://icov.co.uk/

CUTV – University TV channel that’s getting lots of notice.

See Pete Woodbridge for how to get your stuff on – http://www.youtube.com/user/covstudent

And don’t forget the University radio – you should be talking to these guys to get your ideas on air now Source Radio. 

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