April 30th, 2007
And you thought “user-generated content” was flooding the web with more “stuff” than human or algorithm could possibly process. Well, get ready for the next “wave,” drawn from the endless ocean of content sitting in archive vaults, waiting to be poured on the web as the marginal cost of doing so shrinks daily. Think every TV show EVER made. Every movie ever made. Every radio broadcast ever recorded. Every article in every periodical ever published. Every book ever published.
Think Charlie’s Angels and Starky Hutch — and think “adapted for the web”:
Sony Television is planning in June to introduce an Internet-based service called the Minisode Network, initially offering the mini-shows for an exclusive run on MySpace. (The company may consider establishing a separate Internet channel called the Minisode Network later.)
However and wherever it appears, the network will consist of a lineup of tightly edited versions of shows lifted off the shelves of Sonyâ€™s television library. These are not clips of the shows, but actual episodes with beginnings, middles and ends, all told in under six minutes.
Least you think this is benign:
Sony is even making a mini-version of â€œRicki Lake,â€ one of its syndicated talk shows. â€œItâ€™s great,â€ Mr. Mosko said. â€œThe people get introduced, thereâ€™s a big fight, then they come together, and cry and hug. You get everything in five minutes.â€
And how do we deal with this tsunami of content? Search, right? For when you go searching for Starsky and Hutch?
Sony’s Minisode Network is going to get funneled through social networks like MySpace, where user-generated content will achieve the ultimate irony as a vehicle for stale old professional content.
The end result, however it plays out, will be even MORE content competing for scarce attention, making everybody’s slice of the pie that much smaller.