SXSW – Bringing TV to the Web

This is an advanced session from Six to Start and Roo Reynolds and Jo Twist from the BBC – learn how broadcasters and new media companies work in bringing about the intersection of broadcast television and online both now and in the future.

Claire Bateman Jr Games Designer, Six to Start
Adrian Hon Chief Creative, Six to Start
Daniel Hon Ceo, Six to Start
Roo Reynolds Portfolio Exec Social Media, BBC
Jo Twist Multiplatform Channel Editor, BBC

  • RR: TV and the web…so ask audience, how they watch the TV and do they use the web. Is it linear – when it’s on. or in catch up, with an online surface.  Most of the panel play catch up TV with live news/sport. Most of the room are Cs. For me, Most of the stuff about TV on the web is really quite boring – the video bit on the web. i think there is more
  • DH:TV on the web is done. we can do something more interesting now. Linear video on the web is just a matter of streaming.
  • JT: it is important not to underestimate who important web stuff is. But as a commisioner, I challenge production companies to fill in the creative gap
  • AH: video on the web is done.  It’s the things that surround it that make it interesting. Eg the MTV back channel. You can gossip about the show
  • DH: we have got distracted by the wrong thing. It’s not about delivering video; yes shorter episodes are different. It;s just slightly cheaper as it’s not broadcast quality. We can do far more than that – it’s still just broadcast.
  • JT: what I like about the backchannel it;s about how bitchy can you be…people do like to be cleverer than what they are watching and that is a mechanic useful to multi-platform
  •  DH: a lot of people talk about the mobile web and web as different, that is stupid short term thinking, You should be able to develop for the same whatever.  Mink says that when you are out and about, you carry a story in your head. With always on you are surrounded by this fictional field. I like to e able to access content where ever you are. So shows could exist anywhere and be always evolving
  • JT: we want mainstream numbers…the majority of audiences want to be entertained. they are online to be with friends, so how can we play to that, that does not require much effort and still be involved.
  • RR: when you are in a gamespace,
  • CB: the golden circle..you want barriers to having a game being everywhere, you want borders, that what you are doing is within a world that exists.  If the story/game can be anywhere, you still need structure and the boundaries to choose to be in a space and behave appropriately.  On public transport, you ignore people, if you are in the game and you see somewhere you recognise, you can talk to them in the game. The fictional field has some kind of shape around it.  A lot of tools in trad Tv, the construction set, are good for this
  • AH: something like Lost does not scale easily on web for all tv.
  • JT: when we talk to our audience, it depends on genre, eg with a drama, the 16-24 don’t what to engage – or they say that. But when you get really compelling drama (eg Being Human), we did a lot of behind the scenes things, getting fans closer to the mindset of the world.  We are thinking of making that stuff into a TV show.  Another example was Briony Makes a Zombie Movie, which was a documentary about making a crowd sourced Zombie show.  It was TV reflecting the web/ We’re not challenging enough
  • DH: you are taking a dominate media form and supporting it online, but you are not creating a new form. So what is TV good at and what can online learn to create qualitative new experience.
  • AH: there is now a real spectrum of interactivity; the spaces inbetween are interesting
  • JT: to think of TV is a red herring…it is a device and a platform (DH..but where the money is). I’m interested in much more connected entertaining experiences. Again, what can you do in crafting different experiences?  TV is a product that has a beginning and end and then you leave it/
  • DH: when we started working with TV companies, we introduced agile processes…which to us TV did not really do. It’s a gamble to out something out there and improve it over time.
  • AH: look at what we have done – wetellstories.co.uk, Net Native fiction.   different forms.  this is making entertainment for the web, that can only be done on the web.
  • DH:to pre-empt..we don’t know how it is going to be monetised,. It is so early in the game, but there is so much potential, we have to try things,
  • AH: wetellstories got 300k uniques, not that many compared to a tv show.  there are few online stuff that attracts numbers.
  • Q: will you release your measurements..the engagement metrics as well as audience
  • JT: we have a lot of data like that and I think it is really important. How is the impact, how is it changing how people are thinking. We have no understanding how the culture of thought is changing as the result of a show etc. Those measurements we have are TV, but we are getting better.
  • AH: Ch$ did Sexperience. it was about Sex education, they got 50k+ to do STD tests.
  • DH: we look at time spent, it is at least 10mins a session
  • Q: you know something that will be useful to us, so how can you release
  • Q: How did you feel about TV etc…working with them
  • DH: some of them are great to work with. We get involved with some at the concept stage, before they have even pitched. So it’s integrated. Then there are the TV production companies…they ‘get’ the web..which means they put video on it!
  • AH: while some broadcasters are funding stuff like ARGs, they underestimate the effort and budget required.  TV is where the money is…
  • Q: how do you achieve the culture shift
  • DH: you do stuff like this and wait
  • JT: you work together (in her role) with the TV commissioners.  you have online people in the teams.  the best example are around kids..Briony makes a Zombie..
  • DH: Jeremy Ettinghausen had access to an innovation fund with the express interest to try things. We worked with the creative talent and got them interested in what can be done.  They get excited about other ways of telling stories.
  • Q: Not seen many things online that are Lost like..they are doing shiny things, we shoul be past that
  • JT: i see people putting things online that won;t fit into the Tv  /it’s not good can we put it online’
  • DH: we can do some seriously good stuff!   We tell stories is like a multimedia CD rom…tech speaking we are way past this point…
  • AH as the guy who made it….the stuff we do could have been done a long time ago. But it’;s the accessibility…that is an issue.it is diff for anyone to get into an ARG..
  • Q: What about local access, community etc.
  • CB: local community is not the same on the internet, it’s just community.
  • JT: it’s reflecting your cultural world..it does not have to be local, it can be. I’ve seen local project fail so many times.
  • Q: The strength of TV is it can make us eyewitness to events. The weakness is it’s linear.  Why aren’t we seeing less linearity?
  • DH: it is difficult. We’ve tried doing non-linear and it works in some cases.  Linear is easier to follow, people don’t ness want to work at it
  • AH: Linearity is not ness a weakness, it is just a property.
  • Q: TV can be repackaged..the web stuff can have a shorter life – it’s PR/marketing etc? is that how you do things?
  • AH we’re not maintaining them (no budget) but it’s not how we ness think
  • JT: you want to create an ecosystem that allows people to create. It’s a cultural shift, just because the TV show is over does not mean the story is over.
  • DH: an current traditional ARG is not repeatable, they run live.  It limits audiences, it is liked massive primetime tv that you can’t record nor can you buy box set.  We don’t have replayability. 
  • Q: How is UGC video impacting?..web creation impact
  • JT: it;s difficult…it’s interesting when they have a following. It has to be really known talent or really good content. Or we document the process of cultural process.
  • Q: how can ceative people use the web more?
  • CB: just find some geeks!

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One thought on “SXSW – Bringing TV to the Web

  1. Off topic Rachel but that Get Satisfaction was the ultimate waste of time for me to get my twitter account back, although useful for people who don’t read FAQ’s :o)

    It’s also just occurred to me that we’d make a good working team theoretically. I”m the exact opposite of you in pretty much everything. But anyway. Different continents. So just hypothesis and also a compliment.