Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Content Bubble and the Consideration Deficit

I probably need to do a deep dive one of these days and explore the connection between the content bubble and the larger story of how hype and next big thing-ism drive and distort markets. For now though, I'm just trying to document how big and overpriced and unsustainable the explosion of original scripted television (and the marketing budgets behind them) has become.

With Emmy season approaching and with easily a thousand square miles of LA County lousy with "For Your Consideration" billboards, Ken Levine has a post up that perfectly illustrates the point:

With 455 scripted shows and God knows how many unscripted shows out there, it’s shocking how many television programs I’ve never heard of. In some cases, I don’t even recognize the network. Elaborate programs too (at least based on the cover art).  Costume dramas and battle scenes and crucifixes.

And as I thumb through them one by one I feel a certain pang of guilt. There may be two or three of these shows that are really terrific. Some very talented and dedicated people poured their hearts and souls into these shows. And the studio must’ve spent a fortune sending them out. Some of the boxes and packaging is extraordinary. They should give out an Emmy for packaging.

But Jesus, life is too short. And if there is a series I do want to watch they often only include a couple of episodes. Sometimes they also provide a code so you can watch the series in its entirety on line. So there’s thirteen hours, or more precisely – twelve hours I won’t be watching something else.

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