TV is Dead (letter published in Australia Creative – Feb/March 07)

in Australian Media/Australian Television/General/Media Technology

I recently wrote a letter into creative magazine after reading an article in the Oct/Nov 2006 issue. The letter I sent is below.

I have just read your article “Substance Vs Content” (Nov 06, p. 45). I would argue that “TV” as we know it today, is dead. We have seen an immense fluctuation of viewers shifting to online content. The variety of online content available and TV networks not providing for their viewing audience, is reasoning for this change.

Viewers want to be involved and have control of what they watch. There is evidence of this for example reality programs such as Big Brother and Australian Idol being successful.

Australian media is collapsing and needs not to be reinvented. Digital TV doesn’t have interactivity, this is evidence that networks don’t want to change. The old advertising tradition (30 sec spots) is in danger of extinction, due to the introduction of PVR’s/DVR’s with the skip ad feature.

The main issue that was not discussed in this article was media convergence. Why are these Creatives & TV Executives only thinking of “the box”. The potential for other mediums and devices for example, Web TV, mobile phones, iPods, have a considerable amount of potential for content production. These mediums can be far less costly and reach a wider audience in Australia and Internationally.

There have been unsatisfactory attempts by the Australian networks to produce content for these platforms, by using previously aired material. Alternatively Rove Live for example have developed their own video podcast, providing the viewers additional content, interviews and behind the scenes. The ABC too has a vast online presence with video content.

I agree with Barbara’s comment in the editor’s letter, “if I were an advertiser I’d pull out my money immediately”. We only need to look at overseas networks to see how much Australian networks are straggling. Creatives & TV Executives need to start thinking outside “the box”.

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