Friday, October 5, 2007
Navigating Episodic Internet Shows
With the exception of Apple's iTunes Podcast subscription I have yet to find an enjoyable way of watching Episodic Shows on the Internet.
When Prom Queen launched earlier this year it was a pain in the ass to watch the shows in order and catch up if you missed one. Eventually team Vuguru created a weekly recap show but it was hard to figure out where I left off and it still required some work. When the Big Fantastic launched their Summer season of Prom Queen called Summer Heat, Vuguru sent out a daily email and this made it much easier to catch up if I missed an episode. I could just go to my Apple mail and sort my messages from Prom and click on the shows in order.
If you go to Youtube or Revver or Veoh or Metacafe or any other video site and search for your favorite Episodic Show you will find it and it's trailers/promos in some crazy order. If you are at work trying to find that episode that you missed before your boss walks by and busts you for goofing off at work you are going to bail and wait till later to find that episode if you ever get around to it.
So far there are no Episodic shows on the front page of Youtube's Most Viewed (All Time) All: page. This says a lot about how we are still in a time of "spectacle" and have not yet moved into "Story" as far as Internet video goes. Even the Internet's biggest "Hit" story Lonely Girl 15's most popular episode only has had 1,708,683 views and if you want to start from never having seen an episode of LG15 and get all caught up, good luck. There are over 21 pages of search results for "Lonely Girl 15" on Revver and I couldn't find Episode number one so I went to LG15.com. There I found a place to start and a recap video of season one that brought me up to speed but that was work.
We need to speak with our contacts at the video sites and ask them what they can do to help. One viral video could bring a ton of viewers to your show but if that viewer can't find the next episode or the previous ones in a nice neat way that is easy to navigate it will take us all a lot longer to build audiences. The big boys in Hollywood already know how to make a programming dial work. It won't be long before they figure this out too and make it even harder for us little guys to break through the clutter.
Sure there are work-arounds but that involves "work".