TV is dead, long live TV!

Or, perhaps more timely: Channel10 is dead, long live VidCon!
They drove on and on, ignoring the warning signs and looming cliffs. Nobody was surprised when they never returned.

In a note to my story about TV’s next phase, Susan Hansen told me that Australia’s Channel10 has entered “voluntary administration”. Life support, in other words.


It’s a classic case of management failing to read thirty years of clear trend lines. Let’s see:

  1. The cost to produce and deliver a show is falling, and this trend is accelerating.
  2. Because of this, the number of new people producing and delivering a show is rising. Which is predictable. And also accelerating.
  3. Audiences are becoming more fragmented because they have more things to watch. (Predictable. Accelerating.)
  4. Advertisers are paying less per capita because they have more choices. Combine this with smaller audiences for each show, and overall revenue per show is declining.

“Iceberg, Captain. Dead ahead.”

“Iceberg, lieutenant? I don’t see anything.”

“That’s because your eyes are closed, Captain.”

Good luck, Channel10. In the meantime, I’m off to VidCon US this week.

Imagine 25,000 people in a room together. Each with a $500 TV studio in their pocket. Each more zany and creative than the next. Some, like Casey and Rhett and Link, with audiences of 15 million or more.

That’s VidCon.

Nobody there thinks about TV. They don’t talk about TV. Many (most?) don’t even own a TV.

And yet they’re busy replacing TV. How?

By creating compelling online videos. By live streaming on innumerable topics. By engaging their audiences in every way imaginable.

It helps that they’re not weighed down by ideology and assets from the past. It helps that they have nothing to lose.

But, best of all, it helps that they’re having the most fun of their lives!

How can Channel10 possibly compete with that?

See you at VidCon!

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