The Hollywood Writers Strike. Will it help New Media? Probably not, unfortunately.

posted in: Eban's Blog | 0

The writers of what passes for entertainment for the masses have gone on strike. Shows such as Leno, Letterman, and Saturday Night Live are going to be hit immediately and will probably go to reruns. Soaps and other daily fare will be next to be hit hard. Following those shows, the network scripted prime time fare will be hit in January once the currently filmed episodes run out. And then finally, the movie industry will be hit.

What does this mean for people that get their entertainment from the normal channels? Probably a large dose of new reality fare along with the reruns.

I know, that seems bleak.

Many in the New Media world are looking to this as an opportunity for podcasting and other forms of new media to take off. I wish this were true, but I don’t really see it.

For one to believe that New Media will get significantly larger numbers due to the strike, one has to believe a depressing scenario. What is that scenario? That people know of the entertainment that we produce and choose to consume traditional entertainment instead.

That however, is not the true scenario. The real scenario is that people still don’t really get what we are doing. Those that do already consume our products, most in conjunction with mainstream offerings. These people may turn to more of what we offer, but technically, we already have them in out camp.

The majority don’t realize what we produce. they have no idea how to get our products, and many have no urge to learn. To this day, a lot of people still wrongly believe that podcasting needs iPods, or worse, is somehow connected to Apple thanks to iTunes. (Which has not even added podcasts to the iPhone and iPod Touch enabled store, go figure)

Having the choices of mainstream entertainment cut may lead some to look into New Media offerings, but most will not venture into our world. Not without help that is. We can get some new fans, if we work our asses off to get them during this strike, but that is the same case as when there is no strike.

The real fact is, we have to go out and get our audiences. We have to prove to them that our product is easy to get, of great quality, and worth their valuable time. It means a lot of work people. We have to be New Media ambassadors, and we have to work to a plan, not just trowing ideas and actions out wily-nilly hoping to get new eyes and ears to our creations..

We can’t sit back and think for one minute that we are going to be blessed with new fans just because other mainstream choices dwindle. It does not work like that.

Yes, we may have a chance to enlighten some new fans to our entertainment products. It is the expectation of people just finding us that we can’t abide right now.

To think like that is a sure fire way to end up disappointed and maybe even further from getting our products out to the masses.

The company for which I produce content, Podshow Inc., is making good strides right now. We have content on TIVO. We have an improvement on the functionality of the Podshow site coming in the future. We offer the chance to create user generated channels of both audio and video, not just of Podshow produced work, but of any online entertainment. This is a possible way to the future.

There are other ways to get our products out as well. We have to identify these ways and put all of our efforts into furthering our place in the entertainment world.

Let’s not just sit back and expect things to happen for us.


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