The perils and pluses of the digital age
The fragmentation of the media landscape could erode popular TV while generating “a lot of rubbish” that might otherwise not see the light of day, according to Seven Network script executive Bevan Lee.
Speaking at Google’s Big Tent forum at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Lee said, “There are some fantastic opportunities which new technologies are giving us. But if they are hijacked by trivia and facile creativity and facile debate, then potentially they are a bad thing.”
The creator of A Place to Call Home and Always Greener and co-creator of All Saints continued, “Some good projects will have the chance to shine, which may not have happened in the commercial arena.
“But the strong central core of commercial television may be eroded while we see the opening up of a lot of rubbish that may not otherwise have seen the light of day.
“I worry there will be a lot of bodgie realisations of good ideas. I am calling for a deeper debate rather than sound bites and optimistic grabs.”
The Google Cultural Institute’s Amit Sood urged producers and broadcasters not to fight the changes the web is making to the way audiences engage with culture.
Delivering the keynote speech at the forum, Kim Williams predicted the digital era will spawn a new generation of entrepreneurs, inventors, marketers and their collaborators. The former CEO of News Limited and Foxtel spoke of a “massive cultural change… where nothing will ever be the same again.”
Taking an optimistic approach, Williams said, “Notwithstanding the unpredictability and insecurity the turbulent change generates, the opportunities are infinitely bigger and very much more interesting.”
Williams spoke of a tidal wave comprising ubiquitous mobility, social media, cloud computing and integrated connectivity. “Many enterprises (including very large ones) will rise and fall quite quickly as a result of this current wave, with its almost ferociously unstoppable speed and tsunami like energy and impact,” he said.
“Let’s remember that consumers are genuinely in charge. They now make decisions very rapidly and their judgements are stronger and often harsher than ever before. You ignore their preferences, interests, aspirations and needs at your peril.”
Williams concluded, “The old rules of show business and most commercial life pertain but with greater ferocity; this is above all a hits business and in some cases a winner takes all model.”