Making the leap from podcast to TV…should you?
What do you consider the measure of success? Is it becoming famous or possibly filthy rich? Is it power? How about a simply happy, content life? In my opinion, it’s different for everyone. Marc and I have discussed this thoroughly and we’re pretty sure the “happy, content life” would be right up our alley (of course money helps with the happy part tooJ).
So why am I asking this question? Well until recently Marc and I have been plugging along with our little video podcast, The Wood Whisperer, growing our audience, building relationships with sponsors and advertisers and honestly just enjoying the roller coaster ride. Then all of a sudden the question was asked “Have you ever thought of doing TV?” I don’t think Marc or I thought when we started our podcast over a year ago that we would even be saying the word TV and The Wood Whisperer in the same sentence. But there it is, someone asking us if we would like to shoot a “sizzle reel” (I’ll get to the terminology in a sec) for potential networks and sponsors.
Now while that particular opportunity doesn’t seem like it will pan out, it got me thinking. How many of us podcasters (specifically video) want to “make it” on TV? I ask this because Marc and I have discussed this very topic in great length and to be honest I’m not sure there is a right or wrong answer. On one hand we are forging our own destiny and producing content the TV networks only wish they could do at the fraction of the cost. Think about it, we are in the golden age of internet content; anyone can create anything and distribute it at a low to no cost. And with the success of iTunes and various other aggregators, podcasts are becoming more and more mainstream by the day.
So if technology is continuing to advance and we are finding new audience members every day; why would we ever go to an ‘old media’? To quote someone in the industry, “TV is king!” Ah yes, but for how long? Wouldn’t you like to put all of your effort into something that will surely be the hot new distribution medium and secure your place in history as one of the firsts instead of busting your butt, following someone else’s rules, and sacrificing your creative desires just so you can hear, “maybe we’ll get picked up by a network”.
The process of getting on television is quite stressful too. In the past few weeks, Marc and I have learned a lot about the business side of making a TV show. The best advice I can give if you are considering the jump, is to get a lawyer and get the details in writing (even if it’s just email). Now to create a TV show, you need a production company. While Marc and I could easily create our own pilot or sizzle reel (clips of your show showing the best parts), I doubt we would have the time to shop the footage around due to our current Wood Whisperer obligations.
To be honest, Marc and I have only gotten through the discussion phase, but I know if we decide to do TV we will learn more as we go (being very cautious of course). So until I can blog more about our experience I’ll give you a recommendation on an excellent book that is full of great advice. The book is called Starring You! The Insiders’ Guide to Using Television and Media to Launch Your Brand, Your Business, and Your Life. Actually parts of this book could also be used for video podcasts (I’m sure that is what the Media in the title is referring too).
I guess there are pros and cons on both sides. Of course TV (if you can get there) will give you more exposure, but how far behind is internet content? There have been some viral internet videos with numbers that would make a TV guy’s head spin with jealousy. And its international to boot! So do you think the general population is really aware of the great content that can be found on the internet? I think we are well on our way. The folks with Tivo’s and Apple TV’s already get it; it is just a matter of time before integration of podcasts on the television is the norm.
So again I come back to the question, do we as podcasters benefit from creating a television show? I really wish I knew the answer. Who knows, if Marc and I agree on a deal with a producer you could see a version of The Wood Whisperer on television. Then again maybe we’ll continue to build The Wood Whisperer and become one of the best damn video shows online! What I do know is 2008 will be a very exciting and interesting year J