Podcasting, live streaming, and vlogging are all areas in which mainstream media is only now beginning to dip its toes and test the waters as it seeks out new ways to recapture the audience its sponsors expect. For decades, broadcasting has been dominated by a precious few companies that have traded multimedia content for audience attention across the radio, broadcast television, and cable platforms. This attention allows them to make massive amounts of money on advertising and/or subscription plans. Today, the same can be said for the world of Internet-based multimedia.
Audio and video podcasting has evolved from its infancy as a hobbyist platform to the robust and diverse media force it is today. Live streaming has gone from blocky and small video feeds that buffer more than they play to high definition platforms on which professional-grade media can be cheaply and efficiently produced. Virtually everyone with an Internet connection and a microphone can stake their claim as a media producer. If you have a smartphone or dedicated video camera, then the doors are open to you to produce and send out content that rivals multimillion dollar productions of the past.
Good content will generally find its way to the surface, and the more quality content your produce, the larger your audience is capable of becoming. Popular YouTube producers like FPS Russia and Ray William Johnson are constantly creating quality content and pushing for better production value with each video. Behind the scenes, they undoubtedly have a crew including video editors, producers, and other key personnel. What sets them apart from larger production houses, aside from a lack of massive overhead?
Recently, YouTube has announced that it is fronting US$100 million towards the production cost of creating dozens of professional video productions including sitcoms, sports, and other entertainment shows. The big production companies behind shows like “The Office” are starting to move in, which will only solidify online media as a driving force for advertising revenue and viewership growth.
More and more homes are beginning to add set-top boxes and other multimedia hubs with Internet connectivity. It’s hard to find a television these days that doesn’t either have Wi-Fi or an ethernet port included. Now, more than ever, people are canceling their paid cable plans in favor of online entertainment content.
In the US alone, the amount of homes with cable TV service has dropped from 62.1 million to 59.8 in the last year. This number has been declining gradually since its peak of 66.9 million in 2001. On the other side, homes with high-speed Internet service have increased from 7.3 million to 44.4 million between 2001 and 2011.
What once cost millions only years ago is now available for mere pennies. A $10,000 Tricaster can replace much of what a $2 million dollar studio is capable of. Small, handheld camcorders are now capable of 1080p video with stunning quality and storage capacity compared to studio cameras that run a quarter of a million dollars. This is the world we’re living in today, and there’s only so much time before these giant production houses start realizing it. With 24 hours of video content being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s hard to deny the power and numbers behind online media.
So, if you’ve got something to say, or dream about becoming a television producer (or star), now is a great time to take advantage of online media and start building your audience.