Far be it from me to jump on the Susan Boyle bandwagon, because from a financial standpoint in this country, there isn't one. However, on this, the day of the "Britain's Got Talent" final, I found myself being interviewed by the BBC World Service about the difficulties YouTube, and the media companies who own the show, have had in monetizing her online video stardom. Since the people I was on the phone with had the live final on in the background, this got me to thinking, was there a way to stream the show, live, over here in the U.S., and if so, who was streaming it?
My search led me not to the Web sites of major, U.S.-based media properties, but to Justin.tv (above) a site which bills itself as the no. 1 destination on the Internet for live video. Only, I've never heard of it. While leaving open the possibility that there were other sites streaming the final (I found justin.tv by clicking on the Susan Boyle trending topic on Twitter search), here's all I found: 3,300 of us watching what seemed to be a possibly illicit live stream, which opened, when I joined in, with a White Castle ad. To the right, people conversed away in a chat room, some of them in English, and many, many of them in what (I think) was Polish.
I have no problem with Poland, or White Castle, or Justin.tv -- it's with the continuing inability of the major media to monetize Susan Boyle and "Britain's Got Talent" beyond the old school parameters of broadcast television in its country of origin, with the hope of big record sales on the side. Yes, I've ranted about this before.
The streaming experience I just had would lead one to believe that there was little interest in this particular show, but more than 220 million video streams of Susan Boyle's appearances of "Britain's Got Talent" later, and with over half of the trending topics this afternoon on Twitter being related to the show, that's not true. Hell, NBC even saw fit yesterday to send Meredith Vieira to London, where she broadcast live from the "Britain's Got Talent" studio. Hey, everybody! Here's an idea! Why not broadcast the actual show that the hype came from and hype it up all week long? Build an audience? Then people would watch and you could sell advertising! More and more media is becoming global and yet it is not, with the possible exception of a few sports events, being treated globally.
I could go on, but I won't. Some media executive might get hurt.