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Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:21 pm
by HStorm
What would people think of a new series being made available only online? The idea has been mooted in the past about releasing the original series in digital form, as an alternative to a DVD release, but seeing how comfortably KM-GW has worked, what about an Internet-only release for a full new season? Look at the way the US version of House Of Cards was released online-only just this year. It was a real gamble for Netflix to do that, but the series went WHOOOOOOOSH! within days, and became the most watched show on Earth for a few weeks, despite never being broadcast on-air.

I know we're talking a different type of programme (plus KM is never going to have an actor of Kevin Spacey's stature - no disrespect to Hugo or Mark), but still, Netflix has shown that online-only TV can work. And there is mounting evidence that there is still a big audience out there for KM. Could an online 'broadcaster' be found who could do something similar, ending the series' dependence on the satellite networks?

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:28 pm
by Mystara
I think it all comes down to money.

I'm not sure there's enough money available from pure advertising to pay for Knightmare as a series. If it was available as a subscription service then perhaps that might be possible. But how much would each episode cost to watch? 50p? £1? You still need a lot of paying subscribers to make that viable.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:51 pm
by wombstar
No.

The Geek week episode was about 25 minutes long and it took me about 45 minutes to watch. Internet connections are just not good enough around here. I also don't want to watch it on a smallish laptop screen, a decent full size tv without having to buffer or break connection is vital.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:42 pm
by fluttermoth
Oooch, wombstar :(

Personally, I'd be happy with an online series; didn't Mark Knight suggest something similar a couple of weeks ago?

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:55 pm
by pjmlfc05
Yes I think it Knightmare could work online. Like Alan said you would need a lot of paying subscribers but I believe the audience is there. Of course I would prefer to see Knightmare on TV where it belongs but the online option would be the next best thing.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:02 pm
by Mystara
Another possibility, of course, is that a company may gain benefit from the show in other respects.

For example, Google gains benefit from the GeekWeek episode by raising Google's profile and encouraging people to come and see YouTube.

Similarly, the NetFlix shows may not cover their own costs. But if they act as a loss leader for people to sign up to NetFlix, then it makes money for the company in other ways.

All in all, it's very hard to say.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:03 pm
by HobGoblin
I didn't consider an internet only KM when I wrote my 'revisited' article but I'm not sure the market/technology is mature enough to support it. That said, KM was always at the cutting edge...

House of Cards was a massive, expensive gamble for Netflix and it had a huge US audience to try to make its investment back. I'm not sure someone would be willing to take that sort of risk on KM, an old British children's show.

House of Cards was also riddled with product placement - what will no doubt become the advertising method of internet broadcasts with no ad breaks - and we don't want KM ruined with branded clue room objects!

Also, being able to watch the whole series in one go - won't that spoil the weekly anticipation?

I suspect TV is still the way forward, but I'm certainly no expert. Internet would be better than nothing!

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:05 pm
by HStorm
On the subject of 'all comes down to money', well, that's about ninety-nine per cent of the struggle on any route.

The interesting thing with Netflix itself is that a subscription for unlimited access is just £6 per month. No PPV fee at all. They have a vast library of shows of course, and I doubt they would want to invest in a hi-tech gameshow, but it does show that, depending on the service provider, it doesn't have to cost a hydrogen bomb.

Wombstar, it doesn't necessarily have to be live streaming. BBC iPlayer, for instance, allows you to download a show and keep the recording for a limited time, after which the recording becomes encrypted and unwatchable. Episodes of KM could be downloadable, and allow you to watch them within a fixed time limit - say, three weeks.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:05 pm
by Mystara
In fact, I'm going to take back what I said about advertising, since it only really applied to YouTube adverts.

If you could run TV-style adverts, to a guaranteed audience of a few million, I think you could easily get sufficient advertising for Knightmare as an online show.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:07 pm
by HStorm
Hobgoblin, they don't have to release every episode in one go.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:09 pm
by HobGoblin
True enough, but that was part of its USP and an important way of differentiating from linear TV.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:44 pm
by UnclePob
pjmlfc05 wrote:Yes I think it Knightmare could work online. Like Alan said you would need a lot of paying subscribers but I believe the audience is there. Of course I would prefer to see Knightmare on TV where it belongs but the online option would be the next best thing.
I don't believe the audience is there... yet.

As of right now, the Geek Week episode has been viewed just over 400,000 times in ten days. If we consider that we don't know how many of these views were simply partial, or how many were repeated views by fans or people who enjoyed it, it's clear we're still a long way from 1,000,000 proven avid Knightmare fans willing to pay for access to the series right now, especially since access to the YouTube episode is completely free for everybody.

Knightmare definitely has the potential to gain in popularity by reaching out to a worldwide audience, but we need an actual television program in order to do that. Within a season or two, and depending on how many countries the show can be exported to, Knightmare should have little difficulty in gaining a large enough installed fan-base to ensure the success of such an online venture.

The question then becomes, if we already have a Knightmare television series, what is to be gained by moving it over to YouTube or other streaming service?

If Knightmare is being televised, the broadcaster's own catch-up or on-demand streaming service would cover the online-access feature. The only real benefit would be that in the event the series is once again cancelled, online would always be a possibility and the show could simply relocate at that point with it's fan-base intact.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:53 pm
by UnclePob
HobGoblin wrote:I didn't consider an internet only KM when I wrote my 'revisited' article but I'm not sure the market/technology is mature enough to support it. That said, KM was always at the cutting edge...
Knightmare being on the cutting edge back in the day is a well established fact, yet I don't see it as being the reason why it was so popular. Being cutting edge was enough to grab people's attention and generate media attention, but it was the entertainment value of the show itself that sustained the audience if managed to attract.

That was in the days before widespread online access. Even if Knightmare is no longer cutting edge, if it's a good enough show (which we all know it's capable of being) it will still generate a sizable audience of new fans who spread word of the joy via the magic of social networking and the internet.

Being "cutting edge" was a string to Knightmare's bow, but it wasn't the bow itself. We have Tim Child, Hugo Myatt, Mark Knight and all the other brilliant individuals involved to thank for that, not just the processing power of a computer :)

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:28 am
by HobGoblin
I wasn't suggesting that being cutting edge was the reason KM was popular (though it helped it stand out) but rather that Tim Child, who has been described as an innovator (by Dave Morris, possibly others), probably wouldn't shy away from a new method of distribution even if unproven.

Re: Online episodes

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:42 am
by UnclePob
HobGoblin wrote:I wasn't suggesting that being cutting edge was the reason KM was popular (though it helped it stand out) but rather that Tim Child, who has been described as an innovator (by Dave Morris, possibly others), probably wouldn't shy away from a new method of distribution even if unproven.
Seems I misunderstood the gist of your post after the point you said "cutting edge". You're absolutely right there - though now you mention it I'd say mere online streaming might not quite be innovative enough for Knightmare, even though it would be nice. I wonder if an innovative and new way of using the internet in new Knightmare episodes can be found - but if anyone can do it, Tim Child can :)