Are Internet TV shows too hard to create for beginners?

Are Internet TV shows too hard to create for beginners?

I recently listened to a Podcast Answer Man with Cliff Ravenscraft and I found myself shaking my head towards the end of the episode.

Cliff was speaking to his thoughts about the future of Radio and how he believed On-Demand audio will destroy traditional radio.  I didn’t agree (Internet radio stations are quickly becoming popular thanks to unique talent and the lack of a subscription) but I could see his point.

Then he said something that I sure didn’t agree with.  I’m paraphrasing what Cliff said but basically it was “Video Podcasting will be reserved for people with big productions“.  (watch the full episode at the bottom of this post)

I couldn’t disagree more… here’s why…

1.  Equipment continues to get cheaper

My old cell phone died last week.  After shopping around I ended up buying a Galaxy Note 3 because I need a PDA more than I need a cell phone.   I was totally stunned when I opened the video camera app and saw 4k filming as an option.  I don’t even own a 4k television yet!

I’ve been filming what people call Video Podcasts since 2009.  In those short 5 years I went from a 640×480 web cam that looked like garbage to having a 1080p webcam with onboard MP4 processing and I only spent $100 on the camera.

Another example is quality microphones that continue to get cheaper in price, have great fidelity and are simple to use.

2. The Software Keeps Getting Better

Speaking of simple to use, 3 years ago I only had the choice of recording with Livestream’s producer or a fan-dangled daisy chain of hacked software that wouldn’t work right.

Not long after that point I stumbled upon XSplit Broadcaster which was still in beta at the time.  I bought a 2 year license and recently renewed for another 2 years without a second thought.

XSplit has continued to grow and evolve over those 2 years into a really mature product.   Little grips I had initially have been all worked out and now they are on a feature push with all kinds of advanced features.

Plus a bunch of competition is hammering at their doorstep (which drives innovation!).  Wirecast, Vidblaster and OBS (see our battle of the broadcasters for more info…) have all shown promise each of which suits different needs.

3. More Ways To Watch

This year saw the launch of Amazon’s FireTV to compete with Google’s Chromecast and Roku.  While Amazon dropped the ball, the fact that they are moving towards Internet TV is a good indication that this was just a first of new devices to watch content.

Since the FireTV more devices have been announced and the underground movement of “Cord Cutting” (disconnecting your cable TV in favor for Internet Only content) has become almost mainstream.

One of the biggest barriers to amateur films, talk shows and other content was distribution.   Your entire project relied on getting picked up by a network.   With out a network’s broadcasting systems, no one was going to  be able to view your content.

Now a host of small websites are making a successful business out of broadcasting home made video content.   This includes the niche of Internet Talk programs or Video Podcasts and most of them started on a shoe string budget.

4.  Hosting Options are starting to hit critical mass

Another issue in the past was hosting for video content.  Custom video podcast hosting was pricey and the file size was massive.

In the last year even that has changed dramatically.  Vimeo announced earlier this year that they had increased their pro package from 250,000 views to unlimited views plus a full Terabyte of video storage per year. Plus your subscription includes a configurable HTML5 video players, links to MP4 and HLS files and an awesome statistics tracker.  Bet that costs a lot eh?

Only $199/yr.    And it’s enough to run an entire network of shows.   Vimeo isn’t the only one either, many other businesses are dropping their video hosting rates and offering more ways to distribute your content.

5.  People Want Video

I’ve started to see Video Podcasts (or On-demand Video Content) really take off.   One of my channels has racked up 7 million views in the first 6 months of the year.   In fact, each month it continues to increase in rankings and views.  People are hungry for unique video content, even if it’s amateur content.  I watch a tonne of shows that are basically just some guy or girl talking to a camera.

According to the statistics on popular video podcasts, I’m not alone.  As the other 4 reason in this list become more prevalent, the amount of views are going to continue to rise.

Conclusion

While I love audio podcasting, there is a huge vacuum in video content that is quickly starting to fill up with various video shows of varying length and style.   I don’t agree with the belief that video podcasting is only the arena of big-budget productions.   Just like podcasting has opened up the radio market to the home producer, video podcasting (or Internet TV as I prefer) will start to take on the “talking heads” on MSNBC or CNN.

Yes you can make interesting, yes you can make easy, and yes you can make it on a shoe-string budget.  You just have to have the dream and the motivation.   In that respect, it’s no different than audio podcasting.


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  1. Kenneth Jackson
    Kenneth Jackson 4 January, 2015, 03:20

    Whomever thinks that Internet Broadcasting is reserved for those with Big Budgets are idiots. I’ve been an indie producer for many years first in the music industry and now as the Producer/Host of my Internet TV show “Ken Jackson Live”. I live by the code of high quality, low cost production on the poor man’s budget concept. It doesn’t take a big budget, just a big desire to make something great. I launched by channel with a budget less than $1,500 and many of my viewers think that my show is big budget supported. Not! Thanks to Technology and careful planning I now have a successful production and studio.

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