Friday, June 15, 2007

Honda's "Minisodes" on My Space a glimpse of the future of broadcast programming?

"Honda will be the sole sponsor of what Sony Pictures Television is calling the Minisode Network, which is scheduled to begin next week. Visitors to the MySpace Web site (my space.com) will be able to watch episodes of 15 vintage Sony series like “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Facts of Life,” “Fantasy Island” and “Who’s the Boss,” edited from their original lengths of 30 or 60 minutes each to an Internet-friendly 4 to 6 minutes."

I thought this development is very interesting. Not only does it address the problem of many web viewers shortened attention span but their tolerance for extended ad space. I doubt that anyone is going to try to skip an 8-second ad. Shortening a 30-minute television episode is not really as daunting as it sounds anyway. If you remove all the advertising from a current 30-minute episode you are usually left with less than 12 minutes of programming. Subtract from that the intro and end credits and you're probably looking at 8 minutes of content. Remove a single scene or lead up dialogue and you've got your 6 minutes.

The one hour episode is a bit more of a challenge. But think about movie trailers. Many people complain that now days you see most of the main scenes of a movie (2.5 - 3 hrs) in the trailer anyway.

I also find it interesting that the amount of video time is geared toward the "YouTube" time limit. Furthermore, Honda has targeted the coveted youth demographic by introducing the new media in My Space.

I watched the example T.J. Hooker episode and noticed the intro credits were applied over the introductory scenes to the episode and the end credits popped by fast but were still readable.
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