The Bits blog in the Times comments on the new Current TV, as they’ve now opened up a web site alongside their television network:
It’s a neat site, but I’m still not convinced that television – and Current in particular, with its spot in the ozone layer of most channel listings – matters enough to the young people Current wants to target. And YouTube and MySpaceTV exert what appears to be a stranglehold on the attentions of young video creators.
Two questions are raised. First, whether “television matters” — looking at the numbers of viewers on YouTube, it seems like it doesn’t. Or at least matters less. But there’s one nagging problem with YouTube that has always bothered me — the video quality sucks.
Really, really sucks. Not only that, but most times, the audio sucks, too.
Compare that to Current.tv, where pods are displayed in all their 42″ LCD screen glory, with the audio pumped through a 7.1 home theater system. Seen from the couch, not the desk. It’s quite different, both visually and experientially.
Second question is the stranglehold. Quality aside, there’s no doubt the masses are flocking to YouTube, and their market share seems quite impenetrable. It’s the same problem for a startup like Seesmic — why post there, when you’re already posting on YouTube?
My guess is that, for the Current crowd, television does still matter. The medium seems more “serious.” Seeing your video up on Current’s television network, in the comfort of one’s living room, from the comfort of one’s couch, seems to be something worthwhile to anyone who’s interested in documentary filmmaking.
The Current crowd is probably much more interested in Things That Matter, and less about things that happen to be popular on YouTube.