Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TV on the Internet :: Reality Show from Am. Idol Creator to Premiere on Hulu

I heard rumblings about this a while back & saw another post by webisode expert Jennifer Van Grove {@Jbruin} on Mashable.  Here's the trailer  for an Internet-only reality TV show by American Idol creator, Simon Fuller, "If I Can Dream"::

Here's a longer preview::

This post does a good job of explaining the parameters of web TV, which at its core is a problem of "clutter." With so many choices for content, how do you keep people coming back to watch subsequent episodes.

Web-based TV, which I think will be a useless distinction in the future, as I feel all media are converging, has the benefit of being able to provide a platform for the soft sell. Online content that delivers a certain demographic can appeal to brands targeting it through contextual ads {more on that} and ads that resonate with the audience. The contextual ads can use the data from the scripts themselves, as well as be reminders of the product placements. A hard sell approach would be a disaster. I'm reminded of those Superman and Seinfeld-starring American Express ad webisodes::
The persuasion model seemed clunky and ham-handed in its approach. AmEx collected e-mail address {great, permission-based SPAM} for users who were interested in the content, not the content and the brand, unlike the BMW-ads of the early 2000s. The AmEx webisodes may have created favorable brand attitudes at a lower cost than traditional commercials, but I think this approach would have been better with an integrated marketing communications approach, where the ad webisodes were tied to a specific promotion that engaged users with the brand.

I think there's opportunity in webisodes for a multitude of levels, from new content to existing TV shows expanding their web presence. I see in the future efforts to consolidate content to increase likelihood of repeat viewing, so each "show" doesn't have to reinvent the viral wheel.

Twitterversion:: Blog about Hulu premiering Internet-only reality TV show from Am. Idol creator. Thoughts on the future of webisode biz model. @Prof_K

Song:: She & Him-"Change Is Hard"

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