converging, internet, user-generating

broadcasting user-generated content

I’ve been pointed in the direction of two recent examples of the convergence of established and emergent media.  the first is UKTV G2’s Totally Viral; which each weeknight at 10.30pm showcases ‘the best of the internet’ as sourced by the editors as well as viewers.


I commented in a recent post  that the BBC was making a news programme consisting entirely of articles suggested by the public, and suggested that what it was doing wasn’t as significant as the fact that it had taken a stand on how (as part of the established media) is was going to relate to the emerging user-generated world.  in creating Totally Viral, UKTV has made a similar statement.  is it TV or internet?  its both.  and better for it.

another example is from the states, where Channel 101 (based on Los Angeles) and Channel 102 (New York) play host to 5 min-long programme pilots.  each month the pilots are screened to audiences, who vote whether to renew (for another month) or cancel the shows.


the ones voted top form the ‘primetime’ of the schedule (which because it’s streamed online is a by-word for the best rather than a description of how it’s broadcast).

so users are generating content, which is showcased and voted on by offline audiences.  the best stand out and the rest vanish, the aim being to stay in syndication for as long as possible.  the established world connection?  Channel 101 has signed a deal with VH1 to broadcast 3 min-long clips in a broadcast show called The Department of Acceptable Media.

both great examples of how emerging media can and will complement the established broadcast worlds.  the rules of programme development and commissioning remain the same, it’s just a much more democratic way of doing it.  and given that anyone can have a go, and the fact that TV companies don’t have to invest in programme development, get ready for the dozens of examples that will no doubt make it into commercial production and onto broadcast TV.

as a final thought – it will be interesting to see if advertisers attempt to use these examples to cost-effectively develop their own content.  I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t.  although how non-commercial user-generators will take to competing against commercial producers remains to be seen…  advertisers will have to be transparent in their ownership of content, and that may compromise the point of them doing it in the first place.

that said, some of the best bits of content showcased on Totally Viral are commercially produced.  the only rule; good content is good content, and in the new world no ones even sees – let alone remembers – the bad stuff.


One thought on “broadcasting user-generated content

  1. Kat says:

    Well hello.
    What do you think of the new ‘Homemade’ on C4? I’m not so sure it’s a good thing.
    Whilst I appreciate the attempt at making T4 ‘down with the kids’, what we get is a filtered, censored, cheap, watered down version of the good stuff – made by ex-X-factor wanabees etc – I feel it belittles the entire UGC category. Yes ok it’s free, but as a viewer I still don’t feel it’s value for money… and I promise this isn’t just my despair at wondering how C4 are going to fill Seth Cohen’s brogues

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