Old TV set is crossing new internet media and social network: please meet Current TV, the tv for the rest of us.
At CineShaw in Turin last week, we had the opportunity to meet Davide Scalenghe, prodution manager for VC2 Current TV Italy, the italian branch of the now famous new tv and internet network Current TV (the TV network supported by Al Gore).
Davide gave a presentation of the new concepts (and business model) of its company, talking about new exciting things and some problems difficult problems (financing new ideas, product quality, democracy).
Current TV is basically a user generated content tv, well, not entirely. According to Davide, 1/3 of the contents on air are made by users, the rest is either picked up on the net or produced by the TV itself. Part of the success of the new-concept TV is its social network oriented vision: users can vote and comment on the company website single short films (called “pods”) and those more voted are then put on air also on the TV channel (even though every pod remains always available on the website as well): so that users are currently able to decide what to watch…
To me there were a couple of very interesting points: the importance of making good films/pods (and efforts made by CurretTV crew to educate and train freelance film makers to shot good-made-films) and the business model, which is strictly tied to the problem of aquiring proprietary rights on films.
At Current, pods choosen to be on TV channel are paid for (from 500 to 1k dollars/euros each) but someshort films are also sponsored by the TV channel, which assign to its network of videomakers a job for a certain price. This way the right to broadcast the pods are given to Current TV.
Some money comes in from Companies willing to pay users/videomakers for making new and original tv spots that are then put on the web or on the Current TV channel.
Discussion ignited when somebody asked what differentiated CurrentTV from other user generated content networks like youtube or blip….
Davide fired back and explained why they are different: the internet website enables and empowers the channel programming, and the unique relationship between the web and the normal tv set associated with the ugc (user generated content) pods and the independent view (and money) are key factors.