Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own and not those of CBC/Radio-Canada.
Last week, CBC released an official DRM-free BitTorrent of a prime time show– a first for a major north American broadcaster (see last100 coverage). Since then we’ve been getting hundreds of emails of support and one clear resounding message: give us more. This begs the question, why aren’t broadcasters doing more? Why in the year 2008, seven years after BitTorrent’s birth and a lifetime in Internet years is this a groundbreaking thing? Let’s break down what it takes to get a legal torrent going and maybe we’ll get some answers.
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This is a guest post by Guinevere Orvis. Guinevere is a Web Producer in Toronto, Canada working both freelance and in the broadcast industry for Alliance Atlantis, CTVglobemedia and currently CBC. She has 10 years experience in the online space and specializes in social media, online marketing and content production.
If you’re a TV exec, there’s a magical number that you worship to measure your show’s success… those digits handed down on high from Neilsen ratings. Traditionally, little else mattered, but the television landscape is drastically changing. Is it time our success measurement tools change too?
Our online audience numbers have grown to a level where they’re demanding serious attention. Show promotions, trailers and clips that broadcasters are pushing on YouTube and other video sharing sites are getting more views than some shows do. Television is reaching a milestone where online is veritably driving on air viewership. Neilsen TV isn’t the only game in town anymore. If we are going to understand what our audience wants, we have to consider a bigger picture.
So, if YouTube numbers matter, what about members on a Facebook fan group? What about mashups and fan art? How about BitTorrent downloads? Yeah you heard me: maybe we should use unsanctioned downloads of our shows as a measurement of legitimate demand.
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