NextBrief-TVWe obvi­ous­ly hit a nerve. The strong response to the release of our first NextBrief [link] — exam­in­ing the future of tele­vi­sion in 14 quick-read pages — indi­cates, to us, that many peo­ple are ready for a shake-up in the TV world.

Via @nextsensing and LinkedIn [link], we have been try­ing to demon­strate that the views of the nine NextSen­sors behind our NextBrief were very much in align­ment with oth­er avant garde thinkers on the subject.

In case you may have missed some of those thinkers of whom we have made spe­cial note, here are three of the best.

Lau­ren Zalaznick has held sev­er­al senior posi­tions in the tele­vi­sion world and is pro­filed on LinkedIn as a “Media, Dig­i­tal, Mar­ket­ing, TV & Film Pro­fes­sion­al”. Giv­en her cre­den­tials, the true-or-false test she pro­vid­ed [link] was most enlight­en­ing. Yet, despite any hope that those who want tra­di­tion­al TV to stay that way, her clos­ing com­ments bear repeat­ing here:

My prog­no­sis for “my” indus­try? It’s been out­ra­geous­ly, stub­born­ly healthy over the course of its life­time to date. The future? Maybe we’ve got­ten run down. We haven’t been tak­ing care of our­selves the way we should. We’re just nurs­ing a slight cough, and tomor­row hope­ful­ly we’ll decide to get some inno­v­a­tive inoc­u­la­tions against future virus­es. We do need a shot in the arm, that’s for sure. We need to test some new mod­els of pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion in a host of ways. We need to lis­ten to our con­sumers and learn from them how, where, and why they val­ue our content.

[Thanks, again, @awallenstein, for help­ing us find that link.]

Kel­ly Day @itskellyday is the CEO of [link], and here, too, is some­one who speaks about the world of tele­vi­sion with the ben­e­fit of sig­nif­i­cant expe­ri­ence. Thanks to @Mediabistro, we have access to some of her insights [link] about what’s real­ly chang­ing in the world of tele­vi­sion. For exam­ple, most of us like­ly believe that the con­tent for the TV world is gen­er­at­ed in those few epi­cen­tres around the world where “the big deci­sions” are made — Hol­ly­wood and the like. Yet, allow me to present an abbre­vi­at­ed but absolute­ly fas­ci­nat­ing excerpt from medi­a­bistro’s interview:

Blip works with rough­ly 7,000 con­tent cre­ators to pro­duce pro­gram­ming for 16 dif­fer­ent chan­nel cat­e­gories. How are these part­ner­ships set up?

We basi­cal­ly have a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent ways that we work with con­tent cre­ators. Prob­a­bly the most com­mon way is that they just come to our web­site; they apply. We have a pret­ty sim­ple appli­ca­tion process, and we have a human being actu­al­ly watch your video and look at your appli­ca­tion. We review the con­tent; we rate it. And a lot of this — we’re not very apolo­getic about say­ing it — is kind of sub­jec­tive. We’re look­ing for qual­i­ty, good sto­ry­telling with char­ac­ter devel­op­ment. We’re look­ing for episod­ic con­tent, because that is what we focus on. We’re look­ing for pro­duc­tion val­ues, con­tent that is often TV-14 and above, because adver­tis­ing is the pri­ma­ry way that we sup­port our­selves, so TV-14 tends to be a lit­tle more brand safe. Once a con­tent cre­ator is accept­ed, they can go ahead and start upload­ing, and then we share the rev­enue with them 50 – 50.

More recent­ly, we have done some oth­er types of deals and cre­at­ed some oth­er types of rela­tion­ships with con­tent creators.…

More and more, we are tak­ing bets on fund­ing orig­i­nal con­tent. Some of it is with a brand on board; some of it we are deficit fund­ing, very selec­tive­ly. But the mes­sage, I think, is we’re real­ly flex­i­ble. We don’t have a boil­er-plate way we work with con­tent cre­ators. We like to find the very best types of con­tent. We work hard to curate it and have a point of view about it. And depend­ing on the nature of the show, depend­ing on who the con­tent cre­ators are, we put the spe­cif­ic deal together.

In our NextBrief, we posit­ed the belief that — via TV con­trolled more by apps than by broad­cast behe­moths — more and more peo­ple would become involved in cre­at­ing tele­vi­sion. is a prime exam­ple of just one next-gen TV play­er who is active­ly look­ing for a wide range of indi­vid­u­als who want to pro­duce TV pro­grammes, not just watch them.

Question On TargetVir­tu­al­ly the entire Nextsens­ing team has been prob­ing the TV indus­try as a way to demon­strate that many firms and organ­i­sa­tions will be fac­ing some daunt­ing chal­lenges in the years ahead if they refuse to let go of the sta­tus quo. It’s been a won­der­ful exer­cise for us, but I find — despite the thou­sands of words and hun­dreds of posts and tens of videos that I have viewed in the past few weeks — that the end­ing of a most-insight­ful post by Bene­dict Evans @BenedictEvans, of Andreessen Horowitz, [link] stands out. 

Bene­dict first states that defin­ing the future of tele­vi­sion with any pre­ci­sion is hard to do, because there are so many issues involved. He then pro­vides illus­tra­tions and stats from the US and Euro­pean TV mar­kets. In the mid­dle of his post, he begins to dis­cuss the “user expe­ri­ence prob­lem”, not­ing, for exam­ple, that “It seems pret­ty clear we’re in a ‘pre-iPod’ phase at the moment. That is, all of the tech­nol­o­gy is in place, more or less, but no-one has quite man­aged to pack­age it up in the right way to give the right user experience.”

Yet his clos­ing com­ments have not left my mind since I first read them. They come in the sec­tion with this sub­head: How do peo­ple real­ly want to watch?

Ah, the pow­er of a great ques­tion! Does­n’t that frame the chal­lenge for each and every per­son involved in any way with the TV world? Hard­ware mak­ers, soft­ware design­ers, pro­gram­mers, mar­keters, dis­trib­u­tors — you name it — all will have to be on top of the answer to that ques­tion in order to sur­vive and thrive. Bene­dict expands on the ques­tion in this way: “The real­ly big ques­tion here is how TV view­ing would change if you did move from the cur­rent mod­el of TV as a large­ly undi­rect­ed, pas­sive expe­ri­ence, to one that required (/‘allowed’) you to make choic­es.” Pre­cise­ly right and very well-stated.

If you have not read our own report on this fas­ci­nat­ing top­ic [link], I invite you again to do so. But be sure that you don’t miss the larg­er mes­sage I want to con­vey: There’s a pow­er­ful­ly great ques­tion for every indus­try out there. Do you know what that ques­tion is for your enter­prise? Bet­ter still, do you know how to begin to answer it?

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