I have been posting a lot recently about the problems/opportunities that newspapers face in putting video content on their websites. No one would disagree that it’s one hell of learning curve for an industry where there is little in the way of a skills base.

But what about the industries where there is already a skills base? Is TV any better equipped to get online with their content?

It may seem like a silly question. But I think there may be a nasty surprise for some broadcasters later down the line. A surprise that  print people have already dealt with.

The technology – better broadband connections and more effective streaming – means that the web is viewed as just as viable a distribution platform as TV.  The webserver has become the equivalent of the transmitter.

I think this has lulled some broadcasters in to making the same mistake with their video content that newspapers made with text and images – they have invested in a shovelware attitude.

…[a] term given to media content (often from a newspaper, TV or radio station) that is hastily thrown onto a corresponding Web site with little regard to the layout or design.


By simply streaming broadcast content on the web they are not engaging with the unique opportunities the web offers to tell stories in a different way.  And that’s something they will have to do if they want an audience online.

A poll by the BBC makes it clear that the majority of their audience see no reason to watch video online (or on their mobile). The threatened impact on their core audience isn’t there – just one in five of the 9% who watched online or mobile video at least once a week said they watched a lot less TV as a result.  So we could say that, according to the figures this shovelware approach isn’t working.

Well known media commentator Ricky Gervais has a possible answer to this.

I’m sure when the BBC first launched, they were going: ‘Ah, not many people have got tellies. Who’s watching this?’
“So it’s good to get your act together. And then people catch up with the know-how and the means to watch it.”

But the attitude that your audience will eventually catch up with the idea only works if you are the only one producing the content.  Broadcasters aren’t.

The Broadcasters loss may be to the advantage of the none-broadcasters as they learn the hard way how to use this stuff more effectively online.

As the none-broadcasters struggle to find ways to make this work, I’m sure they will come up with innovative ways of using video content – audience pleasing, multiple media content – learning valuable lessons along the way.

The broadcaster may find themselves having to unlearn what they do to incorporate these new forms in to their online content and that might be one hell of  a learning curve for them