Glenn, live on BreeFM @11pm EST, Wednesday.
Glenn has been grieving for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles . It ended on an awesome cliff hanger. More people watched it than watched Dollhouse and it had better ratings. It is all on Dollhouse now to live up to its potential.
Check out The Wire. Glenn has not watched much new TV in the last month because he has been watching all the episodes of The Wire. It is not a "cop show". It is more like a novel. It is weird going back to regular TV because The Wire has "set the bar". It told a very rich and layered story. Breaking Bad is Glenn's second favorite serialized show. With Dollhouse the show got better around episode 6. With the Wire you can tell it is the story that the creators intended to tell. Everything fits together. They all build upon each other in a narrative that makes perfect sense when you have watched the entire season. In TV it is rare to have a road map for a show. There are often plot lines that are never really resolved. This is why first run TV series on cable tend to be better. It is shorter run, and they do not need to do crazy things for sweeps. If you are doing 22 episodes you are not going to tell one complete story. You are under constant pressure for ratings. With HBO it is subscriber based so it is different.
One of the problems with the Nielsen system is that you have one group of people who represent everyone. The way things work statistically we do not know how much of the population they actually represent. The networks have put a lot of reliance on Nielsen ratings. With movies the MPAA is like a dinosaur in terms of the way they rate movies. It favors the large studios. Network TV keeps them self continuously irrelevant because they continue to stress Nielsen Ratings.
On cable if you have something like Breaking Bad that pulls 1-2 million that is like a mega hit for them.
TV is branching out with Hulu so we are seeing a lot of online content. When you can watch the Office on Hulu it is the same as you get on TV. Often webisodes are "sub-par content". No one has mastered how to do this. If it is really good you can monetize it more on TV. Original online series are difficult because what do you bring to the table. If you have a TV series you already have visibility. Product integrations with original web series are on the decline because advertisers prefer to do it them self (advertiser controlled and owned).
In 1-2 years the big media corporations are going to end up being the dominant force in the web series space if things continue on their current path. However the web is more of a free market so independent players will always have a chance. It has to be good, and then it becomes a question of right place at the right time. When you have the billions of the large media corporations you are not going to loose. Either way it is going to work in favor of the large studios. It is a game well played and you can only take it in with 20/20 hindsight.
You have to have both a great product and great business skills. Indie directors just make the movie and they hook up with business people to do the rest. With an online series you have to be just as brilliant on the business end as you are on the creative end. A year ago things were crazy. People wanted to do stuff and people thought online video would change TV. Any time you have people saying they have a new way you have to remember there are people with money who will back the old way and will remain the dominant force. You cannot topple billion dollar industries.
The only exception is newspapers. Was there ever a buzz that blogs would destroy the newspaper industry like there was with mp3.com? Ad sales have been down across the board. If newspapers and magazines had been on top of things they could have preserved a lot of advertising revenue online. Hulu is a way to prevent that happening for the media companies. They do not want locked out the way it happened with newspapers.
Up till 2005/2006 when YouTube came along people did not take online video seriously. TV did not have as much of a problem with piracy.
Eqal is helping bring CBS into "the game", so have things really changed? You are only worth what people will pay you so people tend to join the team rather than starting a revolution. Taking a lot of money from someone tends to be satisfying. Credibility is money in your bank account. How do you make the best business decisions that will give you the freedom to make the kind of art you want to make?
Glenn is not endorsing "selling out" but often the best path is to change "the game" from within. Self preservation keeps you in the game long enough to change things from within. With the music industry the big players are still the big players. Companies that got more money than Eqal are going out of business, so Eqal has found a way to survive by working with the system.
Music did a better job than newspapers and TV has done a much better job. Podcasting took a chunk from radio, but radio just got into the podcast game. Each industry reacts to what has gone before. Even newspapers will continue in an online form.
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