By Torie Chilcott 27-11-2014
In 10 years’ time I believe I will be as big a broadcaster as HBO and as successful a vlogger as Perez Hilton. Why? Because I will be both a broadcaster and distributor of the very best content in the world through my own unique channel.
I won’t need a licence or a YouTube channel; I will run my own broadcast platform that anyone can join and subscribe to. My platform will belong to a network of highly opinionated and key influencers and bring the latest drama, entertainment and comedy direct to my followers.
It will be called, naturally, Torie Time and considered the home of the best all-round 40-something women’s drama choices. Torie Time has done all the research and tested all the latest content on the market for the users, so you don’t have to waste any of your precious time watching content that is either rubbish or not suited to your current mood.
If Torie Time endorses it, then you are going to want to watch it on your commute, once the kids are in bed or maybe with the other half. By subscribing to Torie Time, you will be current and have an informed opinion on the latest must-see content from all over the world. Oh, and it won’t be saccharine Lifetime-style stuff but the home for Spiral, Breaking Bad, The Wire, The Bridge, Masters of Sex and Mad Men. I will be the gatekeeper to the hottest TV shows in the world, for a growing niche audience.
Really? Well, yes! If you look at the amount of research and peer-to-peer influence that already helps the millions of box-set/on-demand viewers, plus the ever-increasing power of the vlogger to influence young audiences, the concept of individuals becoming standalone broadcasters is only the next evolutionary step in content distribution.
How will it work? Individuals who champion content within their own channels will have direct relationships with the networks, will be predisposed to champion certain genres and will be recognised as the first to bring great content to their opinionated masses. Advertising or subscription revenue streams may be one way of funding them or, as I plan to have on my channel, an opt-in pay-as-you-go model will work, with costs being nominal and appearing on your media connected bill.
There will be many channels for the consumer to choose from and these channels will all have diverse personalities and reach. They might even work together for exclusive launches and drive the success of selected series. Think how many different places you can watch Breaking Bad now. Whether it was on ad-funded video-on-demand, subscription viewing, their smartphone or tablet, nobody really remembers where they watched it, just that they watched it.
Great content gets people hooked – and people’s high standards for what makes great content will remain. Audiences will only become more discerning and sophisticated, so imagine if you could follow a channel or be part of a channel that is really tailored to you – most likely because it’s yours.
As for TV as we know it, it won’t be dead as such but will become non-linear, genre-based and event-driven. Sports, politics and royalty will feature, for example, but you will be able to watch these events primarily through your chosen genre-based or personalised channel, tailoring the content so you choose where and how to consume it. To some extent it has already happened. YouTube has poured US$150m into outsourcing 100 new channels focused on genres from music to comedy, while WIGS, a romance channel targeting women, has already been backed by US$150m in sponsorship.
So back to Torie Time. It will begin to make money from distribution deals with the studios. By this I don’t mean you’ll need an Ari Gold figure bidding for content in LA with millions of dollars changing hands, but more of an ability to earn the right to share the latest content and, as users watch it (as a result of you bringing them to the content), you earn. Torie Time will work directly with producers and studios to find the best upcoming content, making me the proud purveyor of my unique content offering to my friends, associates and growing aggregate audience of followers.
TV doesn’t have a sell-by date, it will simply adapt and innovate. My challenge as CEO of Torie Time will be to make sure that the content we run is first, fast and the best and if I make some good money out of it, even better.