A buddy of mine, Ryan Fortune, sent me a link to this article called “Everyone In The Tech And TV Industries Is Passing Around This Speech By Kevin Spacey.”
After reading and watching this video of Kevin Spacey talking about how his Netflix deal with the “House Of Cards” series will change the TV industry, it made me feel very excited and hopeful for the possibilities here in South Africa.
There were two points that Kevin Spacey mentioned that I found very interesting. The one was how people wanted to consume their TV shows by watching one episode after another. I have started to do this myself, since I now download TV series almost every night, and I tend to watch at least three episodes of one show back to back.
The second is when he mentioned that users / viewers tend to consume TV shows and movies on different devices. The most important thing for consumers is the content and not how they view the content i.e TV screens, cinema screens, computer screens, etc.
I guess it is easy for Kevin Spacey to say what he did about his Netflix deal as it is estimated that he received $4 to $6 million per episode. The chances of our local web series producers getting budgets close to their TV broadcaster counterparts is very unlikely.
Does this mean that we should not pursue making web series content that looks just as good as TV broadcast content?
When I was the Multimedia Manager at Avusa Media Live, I spoke to my TV broadcast friends and asked them if they would consider producing content for the web. They reminded me that it takes the same production experience and expensive equipment to produce quality content.
I agreed with them, but knowing how TV production budgets are decreasing and how experienced and skilled people are struggling to get their rates, it might be time for them to consider the web series option.
Let’s keep in mind that there is an estimated 15 million Internet users in South Africa. If you produce a web series that can attract a large enough audience, it will also increase the chances of attracting brands or advertisers to help increase the product budgets.
The biggest attraction for producing a web series for me is the chance of keeping the intellectual ownership of the content you produce.