This is not an industry comment, but a social one. President Elect Obama posted and says his will continue to post his weekly address to the nation on YouTube, in addition to the traditional media. I want to thank president elect Obama for his foresight and his understanding of “my generation.” This is something that the lame-duck president in office has never understood. Obama may relate to the internet generation because those who voted and supported overwhelmingly for him were part of it. We may not all be young, but we definitely grew up with internet technology, email, IM, etc. I don’t believe I have ever listened to or watch a weekly presidential address other than when it interrupted a regularly scheduled program, or there were highlights on Meet the Press or one of my other Sunday morning political programs.
Obama has embraced the new media and changed the game forever. Not only will US citizens be watching this, but the world. If Youtube is the platform, does that mean Google will also get a bail-out if it can’t find a way to make it profitable? Will the FCC start regulating what can and can’t be said, watched, etc. on the Internet or will it stay self-regulated? What will the television network do online? When will the networks realize that they are not limited by their own content and start promoting other quality programing which is not just supplemental to what is available through traditional broadcasts? Where are cutting room clips? Where is the behind the curtain web show?
Networks, we want more of the same, but more creativity also. It is hard to be creative in a slow economy, but just like for the start-ups, now is the time to make the time investment, which can have the new revenue streams ‘rushing’ once the money starts flowing again.
Update: AOL TW’s social network, Bebo will be featuring content other than their own in an area called Bebo originals. At least one of the mega-media players are forward thinking. Based on my cable service I would not have thought they were capable. Maybe the dinasaurs will follow suit once they see the potential for profit.
Think of the internet right now like the minor leagues. They still draw in the crowds, make money for the owners and it allows a way to develop the talent before they are needed in the majors. I am not saying that the Internet is not a viable platform on its own, and it is, but just that it would be more effective with major media support and marketing.