So, as it turns out, there actually IS a video cast for everything…
This one in particular struck me as rather decent. Is it corny? You bet. Do they have shockingly high production values? No. On the other hand, they don’t spend too much time with imaginary “hooks” that have nothing to do with their content, and I give them credit for that (There’s some stupid-popular podcast out there… I think it’s called “French Maid TV” or something. Arguably, they’re a technology show; but the fake, thick french accents and scantily-clad women act as more of a draw and distraction than anything else; so far as I can tell).
The segment length for this actually felt about right - they weren’t squeezing too hard to get everything in, and at the same time they didn’t seem to be getting bored with it and having to throw in too much filler.
I wonder if this isn’t going to be the way of educational or informative media - a selection of 5 minute videos. Imagine a situation where you get the top 10 headlines in 30 second segments, then you can select a few topics to get a full grounding in. You’re probably getting as much or more value out of that as you would out of a 1 hour newscast (I’ve seen the noontime newscast for this region… they clearly don’t have enough things to fill the hour…) but it’s probably done and settled within 20 minutes. How many people really understand what’s going on when you hear, “another flare-up between Israel and Palestine occurred today” - in a longer newscast it’s just a headline, but if they had 5 minutes to devote to the topic they’d at least be able to put it into some level of perspective.
From a broadcaster perspective, it would let you know exactly what stories are of interest to particular groups or regions. Imagine being able to tell your advertisers, “This story targets 18-25 year old males in the KW Region”. This level of particularistic focus just isn’t possible if all you can see is who is tuning into the 1 hour show. I suppose it’s the Google focus - instead of showing you a lot of advertisements, they try and show you that one perfect ad that will really motivate you. That dream gets a lot closer when you know what eyeballs you’re reaching.
What will it take to make this happen? An infrastructure of TV boxes capable of on-demand media (which is happening now) and buy-in from traditional broadcasters (like it or not, it’s the traditional broadcasters which are capable of putting together high quality material day in and day out).
What do people think? Am I way off-base, predicting the end of the 1 hour newscast?