The way we access content is fundamentally changing. Shorter-form content continues to grow apace and, at the same time, viewing is fragmenting across myriad devices and screens. Helping drive this change has been the emergence of a new generation of distribution platforms that blend professional video, user generated content and social media.
In a short time Facebook Watch has come a long way. Rarely a week goes by without its parent, Facebook, attracting negative publicity for allegations that someone, somewhere is using the social media behemoth for nefarious purposes, with or without the possible involvement of the Russian state.
By contrast, the video-on-demand service Facebook Watch appears to be immune to such criticism. One of its first scripted shows, the 10-part Sorry for Your Loss, starring Elizabeth Olsen, won the kind of reviews that most commissioners would die for.
Channel 4 News has announced a partnership with Facebook to produce a new weekly news show.
Uncovered is an in-depth news and analysis programme that will see Channel 4 News correspondents shedding light on unreported stories in 10-minute episodes.
The series will focus on one major international issue each week and is due to premier in the new year.
It is the latest commission for Facebook’s funded news shows initiative to tackle fake news and will be available on Facebook Watch.
“Building a buzz 3: social media masterclass” in late September was the third in a series of linked events run by the RTS centre over the past 18 months, following “Building a buzz: what makes a good PR” campaign and “Building a buzz: what makes a good promo”.
Then with the advent of 24-hour news channels and the internet, news became more immediate. The only delay between a story breaking, and you being able to read about it, was the time it took for a journalist to get on the scene and report.
The old saying “Think global, act local” is the new mantra for the Netflix-led, global tech platforms as they push for ever greater numbers of subscribers. In recent months, Netflix, Apple and Amazon have all started to open offices, staffed largely by locally grown TV commissioners, in the UK and other non-US markets. Simultaneously, the tech platforms are ramping up local marketing efforts.
Amazon has also jumped into local sports markets, purchasing major live sports rights for the UK, including a Premier League football package and US Open tennis rights.
Our reaction to a major change of any kind usually goes in phases…
Avoidance (“I’m not going to look”)
Denial (“I’ve looked but I don’t believe it”)
Fear (“We’re doomed”)
Panic (“I just need to do something”)
Response (“Ok – maybe there is something practical I can do”)
Acceptance (“Well that wasn’t so bad”)
British TV has been fairly consistent in following this pattern when it has faced transformative change in the sector in the past.
Mike Darcey assesses how vulnerable Sky is to a bid for Premier League rights from one of the tech giants
In a high-concept, passionate RTS lecture, illustrated by film clips and quotes from such 20th century giants as John Maynard Keynes and Bob Dylan, Puttnam mounted a passionate case for media regulation to curb the excesses of “data capitalism.”
“Tech monopolies (Google, Amazon, Facebook) are taking over the internet. A pernicious form of corporatism could, under the wrong set of circumstances, replace democracy as we have known and enjoyed it,” he said.
It was “nonsense” that these companies were too big to regulate.
The series expands on Brandon Stanton's blog Humans of New York, which features photographs and life stories of an eclectic mix of New Yorkers.
The twelve-part series features clips from 1200 video interviews with people from all walks of life, telling their own personal stories of life, love and hardship.