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The Future of Television

The Future of Television

Our good friend Matt Harding is a bit of a celebrity, in fact he was one of the first internet stars. He’s the YouTube phenomenon Dancing Matt. You know him as that lovable guy who travels around the world dancing badly. We know him as the friend who is killing our industry. But there’s no hard feelings. You see Matt is just on the leading edge of an irreversible trend – convergence. And this time it is real.

In 2003 video game developer and self confessed deadbeat Matt Harding quite his day job and started traveling around the world. He built a website so family and friends could keep track of him and everywhere he went he did his signature dance. His videos went viral things and soon things began to get interesting.  In 2006 some smart marketing executives at Stride Gum approached Matt about sponsoring a new video. They offered to fund his next around the world trip but did not want to interfere with his work. They just wanted the halo-effect of being associated with an internet meme. And it worked. Big Time!

To date Matt’s video channel on YouTube has chalked up over 70,000,000 views. That’s right, over 70 million and Matt, along with Stride Gum have become very well known. Matt’s been on Ellen, the Today Show, Good Morning America and he’s been featured in the New York Times and even a paper or two in a country you may never have heard of. Matt is global. He’s now a writer, star of TV commercials and quite the fun guy to hang out with and swap travel stories. He’s currently working on his fourth video which is going to be the coolest one yet.

So this now brings us to the subject of our blog, how Matt is killing TV. He is killing TV by proving that you don’t always need a national or international broadcast platform to reach millions of people. He is in fact doing to television what TV did to radio; he’s challenging, changing and ultimately improving it. But to do so it will require the death of some current business models.

During the dot com era there were a lot of pundits who predicted that the internet would end up looking a lot like TV. Now I think that is backwards, in the future the TV experience is going to feel a lot more like the internet experience.  And the programming we produce, which is the programming our fans want to see, will also have to change. How?  Well only the future, and maybe Matt know for sure.

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