So what does the future hold for television was the topic of conversation at a party I attended this week. Not a surprising topic – almost all of us (including me) were ex-employees of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The CBC, like newspapers, radio and television across North America took some major budget cuts again this year. Even the diehard “old school” media types are starting to wonder what the future holds.
One woman, who has moved from producing TV to producing social media, missed the production values and sense of purpose that she got from a real TV studio and an experienced, professional crew.
Another old TV hand just shook his head and wondered at the economics of the new media. He wondered how paying pennies per click could finance expensive, high quality production values. Will we ever again see the days when everyone sat around and talked about an episode of Seinfeld?
Later in the evening, something interesting happened. After a bit more wine was spilled and we stopped talking about the future of the media, we started talking about old friends. That lead to talking about high school buddies who had turned up on Facebook and then that lead to talking about favourite YouTube videos. All of us had seen the videos. Maybe we hadn’t all tuned in at the same time on a given night, but we had a shared experience.
Another pleasant aspect of the evening had occurred earlier when each of us shared a story around a general topic – not on purpose, it just turned out that way. They were good stories, personal stories, and well told.
The media is changing and no one can predict what new form it’s going to take but the basics will remain the same. It doesn’t matter how they are delivered, people want good stories, well told.