Last night, as blogspot was in its final throes, I was polishing off a masterpiece on what I see as the dawning of the next great misstep by the media/technology synthesis project. When blogspot finally died, so did my piece.
Yesterday, as CNN announced its newest pay-per-view service, CNN(Pipeline), it occurred to me this was simply brilliant. More, faster, better! Content! Timeliness!
As a heavy media user on my mobile phone during travel, I am sick and tired of the lag time in the media in getting the feeds to these services. I pay a hefty fee for that every month, after all.
I was right! It's brilliant! Except for one thing: It's none of that.
Which makes Pipeline the next media failure in progress. Hints to CNN: I'm not going to pay your corporate parent, Time-Warner, another nickel for content that I already pay for on my TV. Not for something like news. Another thing you guys don't get is that just as the meaty content must transform, so must the sweets that fatten your middles. More on that in the jump.
Like NBC and CBS, which are tip-toeing around iTunes by wrapping themselves up in some different, higher priced scheme with the satellite and cable providers ($2.99 a download?) It's not too late for these guys to cover their recent misstep, so you see, hope springs eternal, even in the technology age.
The first thing the greedy media doesn't get is price point. Just as Steve Jobs told recording industry execs recently when they announced they were nearing the time for a price increase for downloads: 99 cents is where it's at.
The flip-side of that, of course, is wondering what Edgar Bronfman is going to look like with 100 million iPods shoved up his loathsome, spotty behind.
The iPod Family is a complete commentary on where media and technology need to come together. Small, medium, large. All sexy. All with a specific purpose.
News: We hunger for more, not less. Stop shortening the stories, and maybe we'll tune back in to the network. Really. Give us the meat. Give us an hour network news broadcast. Give us the little shorty clips for the iPod. Where Pipeline fails is in its belief that these things can be "rented" for $3 a month or at the great price of $25 a year.
Fuck you, CNN. And while we're at it, here's a big old Fuck You for MSNBC for being awful at what you do, too. And for never living up to the promise of transforming the mediascape. A bit.
We already pay our service providers big money to bring you into our homes. Don't even think about charging us again. You're not that good.
And stop running stories that ask what's wrong with our kids these days. You know what the problem is. Your corporate parents should be ashamed.
Entertainment: Give us something good. Something that's occasionally good will suffice at this point. How I long for black and white re-runs on cable of some of the filmed soundstage productions that trumpeted television's beginnings.
Here's the short and sweet on television entertainment.
One: There's only so many shows that can make us laugh hard enough to keep tuning in for the 10 years you want to run these shows and wring the life out of the stars in exchange for the bazillions you'll pay them to keep the warm gravy flowing. Enough! Jim Belushi is pretty funny. Not every week.
Two: Stop hiring cute little vixens who make men pant and masturbate in the car on the way to work. As a woman, I would want to see Britney Spears's little boobies bounce or Janet Jackson's nipple ring about as much as I would want to see a lion eating Brian Williams. Well, bad analogy, maybe. That could actually be pretty good.
And I don't want kids to see any of that. Tell me to change the channel or turn it off? Oh, how original. The age of increasing shocking and sexier television has got to plateau at some point. After all, I love sex. But how many fucking orgasms does it take in one night before I just drop dead? And who's happy then?
Stop creating a problem, then wringing your hands over it, or saying that that's what we want. Collectively, we're sick of it.
Advertising: This is the biggie. Millions are reaped by leasing channels overnight to infomercial peddlers. And that's OK. Want to fund some of this stuff we want for free? Make the ads shorter. Nano, baby.
The future of broadcast advertising will herald an age where the 30-second spot seems like an infomercial. Yes, sometimes I skip the beginning of the radio show because the news plays for five minutes, but stop with the 3-6 minute commercial breaks. We want to love sponsors again. The way we'll do that is when we hear that they're paying good money to have a couple or no commercial breaks during the airing of a great story. Think "Saving Private Ryan."
Five-second sponsor ads can be very creative, and could start a revolution in broadcast advertising everyone would welcome.