Viral Video. its the holy grail of user generated content. The video that is so much fun, that it is passed from person to person until millions of people have seen it.
Unfortunately for 99pct of viral video creators, there is no financial reward beyond the satisfaction of being able to tell your friends .” you know that video ….., i created that, or that was me in it”.
Viral TV on the other hand is the holy grail of TV profits. Anyone who thinks that the Internet is going to take over and replace TV has never been around or been involved with Dancing With the Stars or American Idol.
Being on Dancing with the Stars has opened my eyes to how different Viral TV is from Viral Internet Video and how much more powerful it is.
On the Internet, I can create a video, put it on Youtube and spend hour upon hour promoting the video. I can spend any amount of money promoting the video. It really doesn’t matter all that much. Its impossible to know which Internet videos are going to ‘go viral’. If it was any other way, they would be episodic with millions of people watching videos from the same creator, over and over and over the years. That just doesn’t happen.
On TV, it costs a lot more money to play the game, a lot more money. But the platform is far more scalable and ubiquitous.
Its no secret that I’m not going to win Dancing with the Stars by being the best dancer on the show. Fortunately for me, votes from the judges for my dancing skills count for only half my score. The other half is driven purely by the number of votes I get from the general public. So trying to “get the vote out” is an important component of success on the show. I practice dancing 4 – 6 hours a day. I try to spend just as much time working on reaching voters.
(http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=6075710747 if you are a facebook user for a sample)
12 Contestants, all their family , friends and associates are out trying to create demand for the show. Emails, social networking, group events, radio & TV interviews, anything we all can come up with to make people care about what we are doing and to vote for us. Half our success is dependent on creating an ever growing network of people who will watch the show and./or vote for us. Its Viral TV.
But that’s not what makes it incredibly powerful. Unlike the Internet, Viral TV has removable and replaceable parts. This is the 5th season of Dancing with the Stars. There is a new crop every season and every season the same effect happens. Everyone on the show works their butts off trying to create viewership for the show and viewers watch and determine what will make them vote or not vote for a particular competitor.
Viral TV is worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Viral Video. Not so much.
The point here is that rather than spending time trying to come up with the next Viral Video on Youtube, if money is one of your goals, maybe the real opportunity is creating the next Viral TV show. That will get you paid.