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…..
A 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;
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
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
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.
So who or what is going to save Local Radio….
Consider that UK radio listening is on at a high why is local radio facing such huge cuts (in hours of output and staff numbers)?
– 90.7% of the population (47.1 million adults 15+*), listened to radio during the third quarter of 2011,
– The total number of radio listening hours has also increased year on year to 1,076 million hours per week or 22.8 hours per listener
– In addition, listening hours via a digitally enabled receiver has broken through the 300 million mark for the first time to reach
304 million listening hours per week.
BBC is going through a period of review following a series of licence fee freezes. It’s latest report on the future of the BBC can be found here; http://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/dqf/
The radio headlines of this report are;
Changes to the BBC’s radio stations:
- Protecting Radio 4 by keeping its underlying budget stable, excluding the impact of productivity savings;
- Greater sharing of news bulletins between Radio 2 and 6 Music, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and Radio 3 and 4;
- Reducing the amount of original drama, live music and specially recorded concerts at lunchtime on Radio 3, and reviewing the BBC’s orchestras and singers;
- Reinvestment in the Proms to maintain quality;
- Focusing Radio 5 Live on core output of news and sport;
- A new more focused Asian Network with a 34 per cent reduction in its content spend; and
- Making savings in radio distribution costs through long term changes to Medium Wave and Long Wave.
Changes to programming and services in the nations and regions:
- For nations radio, reducing investment in non-news programming and focusing on peak-time; and
- For English local radio, focusing spend on peak-time programmes, but with increased sharing across regions in off-peak slots.
Current Opinion about threat to local radio;
So what is the solution for local radio?
– Shut them all down? Who listens anyway…
Look at how local and commercial radio listening figures compare.
Look at the growth in internet radio stations. From hiphop to reggae there is a station devoted to your favourite music. You can even set up your own through websites like live365.com and software like shoutcast.
– Create a hybrid station – some local at peak times (breakfast and drivetime), some radio5live. Listeners can use radioplayer to hear local content they want.
– Outsource production to commercial radio – TV is made by independents compliant to BBC regulations so why not radio too?
WHAT would YOU do if you were Director General of the BBC?
Still not convinced about the power of TV Formats? Well consider then the impact of Simon Cowell. And then the transformation of a little TV quiz show, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire into a global phenomenon and Oscar winning film “Slumdog Millionaire.” Keep the formatting faith, it could be you next!
THE GOOD NEWS –
Television viewing show no sign of dwindling.
“Viewers around the world will watch 140 billion more hours of television, revenues from pay TV in the BRIC2countries will rise by 20 percent3; worldwide TV advertising will increase by $10 billion, and 40 million new viewers will be added; TV chefs will sell tens of millions more cookbooks than their non-televised peers4; TV shows will be the most common conversation topic around the world and the subject of more than a billion tweets5. In short, television will likely continue to command a growing share of the world’s attention and pocketbooks.”
Global TV trading and most successful TV formats worldwide
The international format trade has seen enormous growth and acceleration over the past few years. While the traditional players are engaging in this gamechanging process by breathtaking M&A activity, newcomers are scrambling to claim some share of the approximately 3bn Euros up for grabs each year.
The FRAPA Report 2009 – TV Formats to the world traces the changes in the format business between 2006 and 2008 and sheds light on the industry’s response to the global economic downturn during the first months of 2009.
International TV Format Trading (2006-2008)
Statistic on the number of exported and imported TV formats (country by country)
Source: Frapa Report 2009
The number of traded formats has substantially increased. During our research period, a total of 445 original formats found their way to foreign screens. In the first FRAPA study on the format trade covering the years 2002 – 2004, there were 259.
The production volume generated by traded formats has grown from €6.4bn for the years 2002 – 2004 to approximately €9.3bn for the years 2006 – 2008.
The UK is still leading in the number of exported formats, followed by the USA, The Netherlands and Argentina, in that order.
Countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy, which were not particularly proactive in format exports, meanwhile jumped on the bandwagon and are now keen to improve their format business with promising results already in evidence. Even Japan, a self-sufficient giant, is showing a growing interest in the format trade.
TOP 10 TV Formats around the world
The most successful TV formats around the world (2006-2008)
Source: Frapa Report 2009
Format global heavyweights such as Endemol and Fremantle face growing competition from many new players; most recently several US studios invested heavily in local production abroad as well as in their format distribution businesses.Talent shows, studio game and quiz shows are the top earning genres, along with makeover/coaching shows. The sales in such scripted formats as dramas and telenovelas are growing.
TV bods around the world are all chasing the dream – THE NEXT BIG WORLDWIDE FORMAT….
Current trends in Format ideas –
“Action, moral tests and attractiveness are the hottest trends right now”, says global TV observatory.
Endemol are the biggest UK producer of formats. But there are many other companies out there from giants like Fremantle (X Factor) to smaller companies like
Scandanavian Production company. Sold formats such as Gay Army, Bingo Banko and
to the US.
The biggest problem facing all FORMAT producers in the market is COPYRIGHT. How to protect your golden idea?
DID you know? TV formats are not protected under copyright law.
Remember Pop Idol and American Idol? They were made by Fremantle. Then along came the X Factor made by Simco (Simon Cowell’s company). So Fremantle threatened court proceedings for copyright infringement. Case settled out of court so the law wasn’t tested.
“Television formats are vulnerable to plagiarism since it is widely presumed that they are not protected by existing copyright legislation. The courts have generally taken the view that formats are merely generic programme ‘ideas’, as opposed to creative works in their own right, and have consistently maintained that mere ideas cannot be protected by copyright law. One reason may well be that to do otherwise would give rise to the bigger media players grabbing a monopoly of the simple ideas, which would result in an injustice to the smaller players. So, although there is a growing format industry in which programme formats are licensed around the world, creating significant revenues, the lack of legal protection has led to the risk of ‘format theft’.”
Source: Legal 500
There is plenty of advice out there. Organisations like FRAPA are fighting for producer rights to protect their work as well as Bournemouth University’s current research project, Exploitation of TV Formats. Questions about copyright have been comprehensively answered by WIPO.
This week we are considering tips to improve your TV and Radio format programme making skills.
1. To be a Formats Producer – “You need to be very creative, dogged, passionate”
Look how well you are doing!
Also recommend you watch
TV studio director video, vision mixing, lighting, etc
2. WORK THOSE VISUALS
– Telly relies on its looks. So pay attention to Set design and lighting. How you present the studio is really important. It tells the audience everything they need to know about the tone and intended audience of the programme.
To appreciate the craft that goes into making a TV studio programme WATCH TV with the sound off.
- How often the shot changes
- What type of shot (wide shot, medium shot or close up) is used
- How often the camera moves within a shot
- What visual clues are included in the shot
- What the lighting is like
- How graphics (words on the screen) interact with the rest of the visuals
– Radio relies on words to paint the pictures.
Making a radio package video explains how to set the scene and engage your audience.
1. Work out what the story is? And be clear on this.
2. Who are you going to talk to? You will need a range of voices from experts and public opinions
3. Choose a location carefully. EG Market gives your piece some good background noises.
4. Check your kit before you go out.
5. Remember the people who speak to you the most passionately
6. Record wildtrack. That’s background sound to cover the edits.
Listen to as much speech radio as you can to deepen your understanding of the medium. The more you listen the better your scriptwriting and presentation will become. Get yourself out of your Chris Moyles comfort zone – hunt around the BBC radio website for some real gems. Use your practice session to get your Presenters talking in pictures.
3. Find good contributors. Formats eat contributors.
There is a constant need for members of the public to take part in shows. Finding “good people” will make your programmes work. And good contributors are not necessarily the loudest or most extrovert;
Casting contributor takes time. The longer and harder you take to cast the better the results.
You don’t want a load of TV wannabees. You want a good ethnic mix.
You don’t always want loud, brash, noisy people. You need people who hold attention, have a strong presence and something about them that audiences will relate to.
Don’t cast individuals, cast the team – people who will work well together or not (as the format determines).
Audition and screen test your shortlist is the next stage in the process.
BE HONEST about your show. You don’t want anyone to pull out at the last minute. Prepare contributors for the media exposure they might get.
Recording vox pops
2. Learn to take rejection
3. Listen…. people will surprise you with what they tell you!
4. Ask open questions – that start with why or how or what to avoid yes or no answers.
5. Speak to a variety of people to get different opinions and perspectives.
4. “Pictures are secondary, sound comes first”. Pay attention to the SOUND recording too.
Voice is everything – looks mean nothing! Both television and radio are about words. Use your practice sessions to sharpen up your script writing skills (everyone can help out with this) and make sure your presenters practice “talking”. Give them random subjects to talk about during the studio setting up time to get them used to this. The more you practice, the better you will get.
Voice video. Tips include Talk to your listener, Uses pauses and Listen back (to appraise your performance) and Dress the part (feel like the professional you want to be).
Graham Norton video offer tips on how to best record sound on an improvised studio programme. Sound is as important as pictures in a TV show. Rehearse moves around the studio so that sound recordist can cover the action. Remember protocol in a studio team and who is allowed to speak, when. Sound technology is a skill that takes time to learn.
5. Communication, Communication, Communication.
Would you describe yourself as a good communicator? Well how do you know you are? Well to be a good TV communicator you need to be good at; persuading, negotiating, putting people at their ease, public speaking, and probably most importantly trusted.
Kate Humble’s video explains the directors/presenter.
– Make sure everyone knows who everyone is and care about your team. Remember to give the team a break.
– Tell the team what you want to achieve
– Presenters are isolated from the action, they want to know what’s going on
– Tell the presenter what type of shot you are using so they know what the audience is seeing
– Make sure the presenter knows the tone of the item/programme
– Do say “action” and “cut”!
Chris Evans and his Producer explain how important this relationship is in radio. Look out for each other. Give each other space. Don’t make any fallings out about the programme personal.
Making programmes should be fun. This is the main reason people who work in telly work in telly. These clever, articulate, creative people have chosen a profession that at it’s core is about promoting happiness. Leave the stress at the studio door – You can’t make good telly stressed!
Further reading- http://www.tvformats.com/formats.html
Last week I asked you to consider this – What are the essential ingredients of an entertainment format?
TV formats are made up of a “kit of parts”, these are the key elements that make the format work. All TV game shows, quizzes and entertainment formats are made this way. Producers spend a long time in development taking apart the format and rebuilding it until they are sure that it works (and if they are cash lucky a pilot or pilots will help them in this process). This ensures that the time spent in the studio is efficient and that the production runs smoothly. This might seem a rather restrictive and prescribed way to make telly but I would argue that there are (small) places for chaos or spontaneity in a format. For example when a contestant wins the big prize, when a celebrity does something unexpected or when the audience gets involved.
Today TV schedules are dominated by formats because they easy to make, can be bulk ordered and most importantly audiences have a huge appetite for them. Why? Well because these formats tap into one or more of the following; our love of winning (particularly if for a big money prize or if beating a baddie), big named celebrities and a good laugh (and natter).
Today we will be analysing 3 different types of entertainment formats looking for their key elements and reasons for success.
So what are THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF A BIG HITTING FORMAT?
Name the last 3 programmes you watched on telly?
X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Loose Women, Gok’s Clothes Roadshow, Deal or No Deal, Question of Sport, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Weakest Link, The Million Pound Drop, Family Fortunes, Come Dine with Me, and so on…..
If you watch telly, you watch formats.
TV formats are an essential staple of all TV schedules. Get the IDEA right and you can make your fortune on telly.
So what do academics say about formats? This explanation of formats here should give you a good idea of why they are a very important part of our TV landscape today.
“In their highly competitive national television markets, broadcasters increasingly look for ‘sure shot’, ‘quick fit’, and ‘hit’ solutions – television formats provide them with a solution. Formats cost less time and money to produce than to create original shows and they have usually proven their ratings worth in more than one television market before being brought to be sold. Besides getting the broadcasters the required viewing figures and hence high advertising revenues, formats also have a high potential for merchandising, multimedia games, phone-in revenue and other brand extensions. These additional revenue streams further increase the allure of formats for broadcasters. This is evidenced by the huge sums of money broadcasters are prepared to pay in various territories or markets for a license or option to an original successful format. The license fees alone for a successful format can cost broadcasters in Western Europe up to £30,000 for 20 to 30 episodes (of 1 hour duration) for one season!”http://tvformats.bournemouth.ac.uk/overview.html
HOMEWORK – for next week 20th October
Watch this…..why is Deal or No Deal an internationally successful format? What are this show’s essential ingredients. Make sure you think about this on your blog before next week’s lecture.
Be INSPIRED – make sure you are watching and analysing one from each box each week.
|Who Wants to Be a MillionaireMastermind
The Weakest Link
A Question of Sport
|Just a Minute – Radio 4
I’m sorry I haven’t a clue – Radio 4
The News Quiz – Radio 4
Whose Line is it Anyway
|Have I Got News For You
8 out of 10 Cats
Never Mind the Buzzcocks
|Come Dine with Me
Mr and Mrs
Deal or No Deal