Television’s Last Stand

Amanda Congdon says on-demand media means shorter programming and less network TV.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: What attracts the public to video blogs?

Amanda Congdon: I think that people like a candid approach to whatever you do. I really think that video blogging differs from television in that people get invested in who you are and so it’s kind of a blurry line between personal and professional lives. Also, people know me on social networks because I’m out there on the Internet, rather than a standoffish television personality. But television personalities are now trying to begin investing their time in the Internet. I was there from the beginning doing that and I think that’s one main reason that people have gotten more interested in Rocketboom. I also think it takes a lot of hard work and persistence. A lot of people will begin working hard and really hang in there but then fade away. You’ve got to do other projects and just keep pounding the pavement. Honestly, it sounds cliché but the harder you work the luckier you’ll be.

Question: Why is television on the web so popular?

Amanda Congdon: I think people are interested in television on the web because it’s immediately accessible. That’s also the reason that people are beginning to be interested in mobile television, which is another huge part of what sometimesdaily.com does. We’re on full tv mobile television and we’re the first original content on there. I think that people want a two to four minute fix before a meeting. We pop up right before the top of the hour so while people are waiting for a meeting or something they can catch a two minute video, and I think that whole idea of something being on demand is obviously something that’s caught on, for example, TiVo and DVRs. That’s the only way I watch TV pretty much. People don’t have time. The 21st century is rush, rush, rush so people don’t have time to tune to the evening news and they need the quick hits and they’re getting them with the World Wide Web.

Question: How will television adapt to the Internet?

Amanda Congdon: Well, I think what interests me most about how TV will develop is how shows will be all different lengths. I think that the formula of having the 22-minute show feels a little bit stale, not that people won’t do that because it’s traditional, but we’re going to see more like 15-minute shows, five-minute shows, eight-minute shows and you’re going to be able to watch them wherever you want. It’s a silly concept that people can only watch on their computer or only watch on their television. The mediums will merge and we’ll be able to watch what we want, when we want, even more than we are able to today and we’re already seeing that happen.

Question: Is the Internet shrinking our attention span?

Amanda Congdon: I think when people are on the go and they are watching mobile videos, especially something like a two to four minute video, that’s going to be much more attractive than only being able to watch, say, one-tenth of a movie. I don’t necessarily think that something like Transformers would work on a cell phone. However, on the big screen you’re not going to want to sit and watch a sometimesdaily.com video in a movie theatre. I mean it might work as an intro to a movie but I think that there is something to be said about the sizes of the screens and what you’re doing.

When you’re on the Internet, you’re multi-tasking. You’re checking the news. You’re checking your e-mail. You’re possibly watching a video, “Oh, now I got an email with a picture” or whatever, a Twitter message. And so, there’s the whole idea of the lean forward or lean back media. What do you have set out for your goal for your next hour? What do I want to do with that time? And you’re going to watch different lengths of media based on how much time you want to devote to hanging out and watching something.