วันอาทิตย์ที่ 13 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2553

Andrew Bethell, Teachers TV25 June, 2009





In the wake of the Digital Britain report, John McVay has reminded us that the government is committed to delivering the bulk of its services online - and that this could generate new work for the indie sector. The big question, however, is what will the government be looking for and will there be enough money to pay for it?

Currently, the vast majority of online services are provided through relatively traditional web-based and text-driven applications. But video is fast becoming the online medium of choice and Stephen Carter’s 2Mb minimum is set at that level precisely because it is perceived to be what is required to receive video streams.

The video content that is currently storming the web through BBC iPlayer, and to a large extent through YouTube, is generated by broadcast television. It costs a substantial amount of money to make. Yes, there is a variety of web-only content that matches broadcast standards technically and creatively - but it is still a very small percentage of that total video. As it stands, there simply isn’t enough funding in the system to generate the high-quality web-only video that the government is going to require if it is to deliver its public service messages.

According to Digital Britain, there will be significant spend on complex applications and platforms that will provide multimedia agencies with work. However, the questions that matter to indie producers eager to get their hands on some of that £200m are: how much will go towards high-quality video? And will it be enough to set a standard high enough to engage a public whose expectations have been firmly set by the finest broadcasting system in the world?

I suspect that the numbers will not add up. We may have a blueprint for getting the pipes to the last 30% of the population, but we still don’t know how the public service poetry that will inform and empower them will be funded.

Andrew Bethell is chief executive and creative director, Teachers TV

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