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Tech Talk Tuesday: Kevin Spacey wants to put me out of a job!
Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 03:09 PM MDT
By Lonnie Valencia
“Television,” the one word that can define my life. It’s everything to me! Television is my career, my entertainment, and my inspiration. If you were to look closely enough at your life, I’m more than 100% sure, you’re just like me. There is not one of us that does have a show, movie, or commercial that hasn’t touched us in some way. So what does any of this have to do with Kevin Spacey? Why is he putting me out of a job? The bigger question is, why am I rooting for him! (Did you see that twist coming?) In this Tech Talk we answer all these questions and get to the bottom of Netflix, House of Cards, and what they doing to appointment television.
Ok... I might have misled you with the title, “Kevin Spacey wants to put me out of a job!” I needed a way to get your attention as this subject is very important. Still confused as to what we are talking about? Well, Netflix released an original series called “House of Cards” staring “Kevin Spacey.” This is very unusual as Netflix is not a broadcast company like NBC, ABC, CBS, or FOX, nor are they a “pay for, cable company” like HBO or Showtime. So what business does Netflix have in buying and producing original series? They are upsetting the order of things. They are rocking the boat. They are undermining the powers at hand. The little “DVD movies ship to your home” startup has grown up to become a “Streaming original series money maker” that is totally new and out of the box. To make matters worse, Netflix didn’t leak out a “House of Cards” episode like you're suppose to, oh no! They gave you the whole series on day one. Who does that? Broadcast Companies spend millions of dollars in marketing to hype shows that start in the fall just so viewers will get hooked and continue to come back week after week to see each episode. Netflix’s new way of doing things have broadcast executive’s heads spinning. But here’s the kicker, Netflix’s is making money this way! Kevin Spacey gave a speech at a television festival in the U.K. explaining the Netflix model. Surprisingly, it’s quite simple. Give us, the consumer, what we want.
In his speech, Kevin Spacey describes how the cable television model is dying and how the consumers only want one thing... stories.
Kevin Spacey - "And the audience has spoken. They want stories. They’re dying for them .They’re rooting for us to give them the right thing. And they will talk about it, binge on it, carry it with them on the bus and to the hairdresser, force it on their friends, tweet, blog, Facebook, make fan pages, silly GIFs, and God knows what else about it. Engage with it with a passion and an intimacy that a blockbuster movie could only dream of. And all we have to do is give it to them.”
After thinking about it myself, I can’t see where he is wrong. Really... I can’t! In fact, I’m behind him 100% and I work at a television station. Don’t get me wrong, I want to keep my career and continue working but that will only happen if we adapt to the changing times and Netflix with Kevin Spacey are leading the way. Think about it. DVRs are becoming more and more popular. Recording your favorite shows only to watch them in a mini marathon later is becoming the norm. SmartTVs and Xboxes are making their way into our living rooms. All these devices are making gaming and internet video part of our television watching habits. I don’t think we (broadcasting) are going away, but our piece of the pie is becoming smaller and smaller.
At the beginning of this article I said television defined my life. I was wrong! Stories define my life. I promote them as a career, I’m entertained by them, I’m inspired by them. It’s stories that we all have been touched by and Kevin Spacey was right. I’m dying for a good story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a series, movie, internet short, or a commercial. I just love a good story. From the dawn of time we’ve told stories. We’ve evolved from the spoken word around the camp fire, to the written word on a page, to film, and now television. Don’t think for a second that we would stop evolving with TV. Now, if only Kevin Spacey can pitch a relaunch of “Firefly” on Netflix, that is one story I would love to have come back. Thanks FOX for killing that one with what is now your archaic way of handling “stories!”
That does it for this episode of Tech Talk Tuesday. As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia..