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Canadian broadcasters lose out to internet

Canadian broadcasters have recently have been crying wolf over how little money they make and how we have to support (terrible) local TV. But they’re facing an even bigger foe in the internet, which has progressed to the point where much of the programming they used to enjoy on their television they can now enjoy online.

I have to say that’s been my experience for a few years. I no longer listen to the radio, instead opting for a steady diet of podcasts. And I barely watch ant television anymore. I simply download the best stuff the BBC has to offer, and the rest of my video diet consists of shows people have put together on their own and put on the internet.

And for the most part, I don’t miss TV. But I am a little concerned that as viewers shift online, context and production quality will suffer. I once worked with someone who had poured their heart and soul into making the slickest possible tv show, and after years of success they saw their core audience migrating to internet shows that didn’t look anywhere near as good and were, in all fairness, not as well put together as his show. I pride myself on making video content for the web that looks as good as tv. BUt I sometimes worry that my effort is for nothing, that people’s tastes have changed to the point where they’ll watch any old crap and production value will mean nothing to them.

Right now the industry is in flux, with money leaking out of TV but not enough money going online to sustain producers. Eventually the money will shift online, but I hope that in the meantime quality content doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

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  1. In general, I don’t think audiences will flock to poor content online any more than they do on big broadcast media — at least in terms of production value. I do think that the democratization and economics of web media means that there’s lots more out there that’s “good enough,” and in that environment “premium” content _will_ suffer, as the perceived value to the consumers won’t be high enough to balance out the increased cost.