Since 2009, I have been working on internet television, in other words, Web TV business. In the period when we started, when internet television was mentioned, it was understood that a system similar to the broadcasts of normal TV channels was offered over the internet. That is, you will have a studio, a program stream, announcers, program guests, and a 24/7 broadcast stream will be followed. Of course, it was not known by many entrepreneurs that anyone who had access to the Internet in those years would not wait on the Internet for any broadcast.
Almost all of those who tried to do this with us or recently went bankrupt, except for those who made themselves suitable for the conjuncture. Because almost no user liked this model, which they are familiar with from televisions, and never followed any broadcast stream of any internet television. They probably won’t be following anymore.
What could not be understood at that time was the freedoms offered to users by the internet channel you made a breakthrough in. The Internet, far beyond the usual style of conventional media, provided users with the opportunity to access the content they wanted, whenever they wanted, with a simple search bar. Although the market was dominated by personal computers in the beginning due to the lack of internet bandwidth and today’s ingenuity of mobile phones, people who had access to the internet, even on a computer, never wanted to give up their freedom.
In those years, I used the “broadcasting” model, which we call “stream”, in which live or pre-recorded content is broadcast one after the other, together with “on demand broadcasting”, which I will explain in a moment. However, the main question in my mind was why Youtube does not use a streaming window similar to classic TV broadcasts, despite having the largest video archive in the world. If Youtube wanted to, it could create dozens of continuous streaming windows on any topic, in any language. It is very strange to me that Youtube does not resort to such an issue in any way and I was thinking about this issue with curiosity.
In fact, what Youtube realized and implemented is based on a very simple idea. Why dictate a stream to people? The user can access whatever broadcast he wants by using the search bar, whatever he wants to watch at that moment. At that time, I was giving the following example to my friends who were in the similar industry: “You want to broadcast a documentary on your own broadcast stream. Why should I wait for the broadcast of that documentary? When I go to Youtube, I can watch documentaries on any subject I want, whenever I want. In fact, I don’t even need to watch an hour-long documentary. If I’m going to watch a documentary about wild animals, I’ll find it. I will follow Arslan, I will find him. In fact, whatever I want to watch a lion doing, I find it and watch it. Why should I be condemned to a broadcast when there is such freedom?”
This issue, which seems so ordinary to the reader now, was not immediately understandable at the time, and so many entrepreneurs lost a lot of money, many dreams were shattered. Offices, studios, lights, decor, equipment wasted.
The second chronic problem Internet television faced at the time was the revenue model. When you set up internet television, how will you ensure the cost and sustainability of this business? What is the revenue model of this business? Entrepreneurs trying to copy classic TVs as a broadcast strategy did the same with respect to the revenue model. Thus, they received one of the main blows to the sustainability of the business from this area. Of course, the main revenue model in publishing is advertisements. However, it is very difficult for an unwatched channel or website to collect advertisements with conventional methods.
Although the operating cost of internet television broadcasting was much lower than that of classical TV channels, even that low cost could not be easily met with classical advertising collection methods.
At the same time, many internet televisions that we set out on, closed their shutters in a very short time. Since I was chairman of a satellite channel before, I didn’t have to wait to see that this revenue model would not be healthy.
In order to keep the broadcast afloat, I immediately turned to the production business, which is a sister branch, and charged the cost of the broadcast to this production business. The banner ads and production activity I bought on the website with classical methods kept us alive. However, after a while, we found ourselves mainly producing, even though the site was open. Because the most important pillar of income was there and we had to focus on this to meet our costs.
In the end, we were able to operate for years, at least without lowering the shutter, removing the sign, using this method and using all of the social media channels actively in the transmission of our broadcasts.
Over the years, mobile phones have gotten smarter, their ability to watch videos has increased, the bandwidth and price of the internet has become more affordable than before. In fact, I can say that the right time for this to be feasible has only just arrived.
Users and viewers have also experienced change and transformation in what can be watched on the internet. While more professional shots, lights and decorations were sought in the past, nowadays even any content taken with a mobile phone can be watched with interest without being strange.
When we first started this business, my basic foresight was that themed channels would gain value. I made a few attempts in this regard, but due to financial difficulties and other reasons, I could not focus on them. I still hold the same view. Therefore, those who want to appeal to a fixed audience should focus on themed publications.
Today, the problem of sustainability that existed in the past still continues. I think that the advertising model in internet broadcasts is not enough for any broadcast to be sustainable. Although there are some extraordinary examples that give publishers enthusiasm and hope, it is not possible for everyone to get the same luck, for many reasons that are not the subject of this article now. It is very difficult to finance publishing with Google Adsense and Youtube ad revenues.
Today, the “crowdfunding method”, which has already become widespread in developed countries and is only recently becoming widespread in our country, can be a serious source of finance for publishers who make valuable publications on a particular subject.
Again, publishers can support the publishing business by using additional business areas not unfamiliar to the industry, such as production, social media advertising.
In particular, if the advertising collection activity can be continued with classical methods, you can combine the concept of advertising with slightly newer instruments, and you can do business with a mixed advertising model that covers the distribution of not only your own channel or website, but also editorial commercial content as sponsored content on widespread social media networks. I think that this is the most valuable and most efficient advertising model for the day.
If you can generate enough income from the advertising model I just mentioned, you can use some of this income to reach more people, as you would for editorial content, so that you can overcome some barriers such as brand awareness and the publication to have enough impact, in other words, to “make a sound”. .
If any TV channel owner comes to me today and says, “I am thinking of moving my broadcasts to the internet and leaving the old system,” this would be the basic method I would suggest based on my experience. I think this method will be supremely effective for at least the next ten years.
These days, we are witnessing that many program producers and speakers that we are familiar with from television are trying to follow a more independent path by opening their own channels. This situation will continue like this and will lead to a more intense leaf fall on television in the coming years. I think that the same phenomenon and trend will be experienced in reporters as well, and that reporters specializing in a certain subject will present their news on their own channels. Maybe this trend can create a different expense item for the broadcasting organizations that will use these news, and an income item for the reporters. Time will show that.
In thematic channels, on the other hand, I think that more specialized and detailed topics will come to the fore.
Since the number of content that can be consumed is increasing at an incredible rate, I foresee that the “content compilation” business can also be an important publishing area. This content compilation work can also be done by software using machine learning. Whatever method is used, the compilations to be made from the content titles that have almost become “big data” will be pleasing to the media consumer.
Earning income through content sales is a new field in the world. I think this will continue to increase. Youtube is also taking a step on this path with its paid channel memberships. Netflix and similar broadcast networks have already made successful moves.
We know that the media has long been financed by certain political, religious and commercial groups for purposes other than broadcasting. I think this situation will not change much in the future, but I hope that publishers who are completely independent and rely on more dedication through new revenue models will also have a significant share in the market.
Ali Aksoy – 21.10.2019
(Translated with google translate)
For the original article, see:
İnternet Televizyonculuğunun dünü bu günü ve geleceği – Ali Aksoy