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Read this: The marriage of tech and TV

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The marriage of tech and TV…

Hello, I'm Mr Rajan and welcome to the media Show podcast Channel 4 launch their big autumnal production last night straight off the bat of Bake Off it's called the circle and Stephen Lambert is the brains behind it Stephen can you explain the circle in 10 seconds? It's a popularity contest with the contestants.

Don't meet each other and instead.

They talk through a voice activated social Media platform which means they have the ability to present any version of himself a truthful and embroidered one or maybe a fictional one that was more than 10 seconds as I can audition for just a minute that was on the station has Steven also brought to our screens the likes of Wife Swap at Undercover Boss and Gogglebox huge ships, which Channel 4 leaving overnight ratings for the circle last night's just got a million viewers the same as the very popular the Yorkshire vet on Channel 5 is that a steady start or a slow one.

It's a good start because Channel 4 wanted to show that would appeal to 16 to 30 for the so easily won the 16 to 34.

Demo, it's a show that didn't attract many people over sixty-five.

We went trying to get people over sixty-five Bi-Turbo you mean demographic we don't need a job on this show Stephen I know you might like to being a senior executive in the TV industry also with me is a former boss of Channel 4 David Abraham he's now shut up his own venture wonderhood studios which has the modest aim at David of reinventing television and advertising at the same time and David well your first moves at Channel 4 when your CEO appointed to you around 8 years ago which to get rid of Big Brother Channel 5 announce that Big Brother won't be returning to their station anytime soon.

Do you think of this as a lost a British TV no? I don't and an interesting moment to ask the question because I've see Steven is out there innovating try something completely new appealing to a completely new generation and that is at the heart of what channel 4 is there to do to innovation try new things so look I think these shows go through long Cycles and I think it's really good that you are things are coming in the oven.

Beating me old ok before all that we're going to talk to you guys.

Lot about their changing TV landscape, but before you do that one about bugbears on this.

Show is the constant chatter among politicians and journalists about regulating the likes of Facebook and Twitter you've heard us discuss this many times before something must be done is the Kray yet.

No one in this country seems to have a clue as to exactly what perhaps that is until yesterday speaking at the Royal television Society conference Sharon white the boss of Ofcom the broadcasting regulator said she was interested by the approach that German lawmakers have taken to the Tech companies which is not to say of course that she and Ofcom want the duty themselves at the start of the legislation was introduced in Germany that gives social media companies just 24 hours to delete harmful content that's reported to them or face large find this idea is being closely watched Around the World in the question is could it come here soon and indeed should it maximiliane kosciach? I hope that right is the political correspondent for Deutsche welle in Berlin and Joyce's on the line.

Maximilian I hope I haven't upset right kosher.

Is that right? Thank you very much station is Germany actually using to control these social media companies on their diverse and the new laws require social media networks in Germany to take more responsibility for the Xbox content being posted on the site and act on it as you said to me was it actually involve people doing do you have to employ lots of people to do this work for any other concerns on hate speech and introduce more stuff to actually monitor as he's concerned these reports and excellent then and there that hasn't also one of the greatest concerns at and because of the

reporting feature that there would be abuses of reporting in any kind of high-speed that people would just like report anything that they don't like and that they would be the culture of the annunciation coming on social network platforms in Britain is slow and immediately out of date because technological innovation is very fast and changing how come that argument hasn't worked in Germany it's covered already by the criminal law and so is the protection of free speech that protected in article V of the German constitution say anything that's regarding the issue of Us hate speech and free speech is already established in the German law system the question was just how to act on social media platforms and holding them responsibly to be part of the conversation 2BA

Able to actually acts on the things that are happening on their own platforms is the feeling that's really that this legislation this new approach is actually working and of course.

How usable is it like as with any digital bet you would have to think about the usability the user-friendliness of how it's done and they have been quite some criticism and that that's not working as much as it's implementation and quite problematic Xbox sound effects Soundboard you have to have quite a high level of legal knowledge know the difference between things like in swords libel and defamation and on every social media user does not have any technology companies actually being fined as as a result of breaking his new rules but on the other side.

I have been fighting reporter Nike misuse off this or people falling victim to these requirements example.

Did the German Justice minister who actually introduces new low salt into the rules himself because I'm he had posted in 2010 long before you became minister and something about calling a person an idiot and dad was then deleted and well, it wasn't quite sure how they would fall into the new law and if that was already exciting on free speech but the politician nevertheless said that im of course he wouldn't call anybody an idiot answer any more of these days.

We should watch very closely and indeed if we can learn anything from what's happening is only maximino kosciach from don't thank you very much indeed for your time.

What do you want encompassing and indeed perhaps sinister place of social media in our lives is the subject of channel fours new reality show the circle which we mentioned at the top of show if you tuned in late last night.

I got that late 9 p.m.

At You Be Forgiven for thinking channel.

Forward one back the rights to Black Mirror has Steven explain the show features contestants cooped up in a block of flats and the only way of communicating with each other is through a

Voice-activated social network known as the circle hear the conversation between two of the contestants one of them is pretending to be a woman I can take home to meet Mumsy? Send this is what's going to tell if I really want to be my friend, but I know when he gets out.

It's going to be but hurt that I was playing him this whole time cos everything wrong with I really can't believe this is happening.

We got a grab this app now.

We've been chatting for ages sweet dreams.

Kiss Kiss 100.

Just tuning in rest assured.

This is Amelia show on Radio 4 at that was a clip from China Falls New reality show the circle Stephen Lambert what on earth are we just been listening to what's going on well.

It's two guys two guys talking to each other but one of them thinks he's talking to a woman like um that's because the guy who's pretending to be a woman has to say.

I said that's what's going to making the most popular in the group and he's persuaded his girlfriend to let him use photographs of her, but the fictional character call Kate and Kate turns out to be very popular and Katie's given the chance to have a a virtual date to a date on the show with Mitchell and Mitchell's interested in meeting Kate but doesn't realise that caters actually Alex ok to before we come to the the philosophy of a show a show that you just alluded to this is talking about the practicalities and especially the Mechanics of the commission did Channel 4 come to you and say we want a reality TV show for that younger demographic or was it the other way round Channel 4 made it clear that they were interested in a big new reality show you mentioned earlier that they ended Big Brother 8 years ago and since then there have been lots of new shows on Channel 4 The hasn't been a prime-time daily fast turnaround reality show like a big brother and appetite.

Merseyside it was therefore something like that, but they wanted ideas and we came to them a creative director Tim Harcourt had the idea of a show that was a popularity contest but rather than the view is deciding who gets in a mandated it would be the group themselves is that the thing if everything's alright to be is that the thing you would say is the original proposition here because some people would say that I love Island which we talked about on this show choose a huge.

It superbly produced over these people would say in its essence some would argue.

It's just Big Brother but in the Sun I there's nothing deep the original what's the original and unique proposition about the circle what I call television shows draw on previous television shows and you know when this is marketed the circles marketed.

It's marketed as as as as as as Black Mirror meets Big Brother meets in American show called catfish.

That's when it was set for the catfish doing a place he wrote The Script for the introduction and they took it out.

It is his black brothers Black Mirror meets big brother.

Isn't it that means?

Black Mirror is it is a scripted show but it takes that idea of interesting ways of looking at technology and the way in which we live or about to live our lives and clearly a lot of people live their lives on social media.

I have a big part of their lives is spent on social media and so to try to find a way of doing a prime-time reality show that tapped into that reflected it reflected both the good and the bad of what's what's involved in social media that seem an exciting idea and did you have any difficulties with the lawyers in terms of their signing off in terms of intellectual property rights you talk about leaning on other shows did any Lewis a hang on a second? This is a bit too close to know I mean that's like thinking that all competition elimination shows are belong owned by one person and they clearly and how much is it costing to make god no idea? How can you not know?

Guess the how much it is costing too mate.

I think it's an expensive show if it has a short run, but I think if it has a long run and it has sustainable ratings then it becomes you know profitable for any channel showing it so it depends on whatever what time.

You're making their judgement as the former boss of Channel 4.

What would I do look very much not telephone? I want to speak to Alex Meyers who is the boss? What would the circle need to do to be recommissioned if you were still in charge as a difficult question to answer that Steven said it's appealing to younger people Channel 4 is the youngest PSB therefore it sticking that box.

So yeah, it's also a innovating and I think part of the remit of Channel 4 is to demonstrate that it can test new forms of television.

I think Steven has proven ability to do that over over many many years.

I think we should celebrate the fact that something bold has come out something you've been cleverly marketed.

Its creating a buzz TV industry.

Is it is very curious?

About it and I think that everyone will learn much from it.

How long does it take to devise an executor pregnant the original pictures about a year ago and it's the whole thing I've done the whole series being filmed or not only we make it in the 24-hour period right.

Ok, so we know where I was looking at tonight show this morning which we had film the day before can you said it Wife Swap another Creations which I think your wife and the genus Jenni Russell helped you come up with that it was vital to be very clear at the outset what the proposition is that a circle pass that test I would definitely I mean I think we we we are just so many people are obsessed by the social media experience the time I spend on it and I think the clear proposition of the circle is that it is it's a show where you see people trying to be popular and social media and we discover what's involved in that we discover the joys of that.

We also discover some of the dangers and have international suitors been in touch saying Steve

You did it before we like the look of this and I think you big sums of cash to replicate this in Holland and Denmark and wherever else there's a lot of international interest in this and every every year.

There's a big market in cam and this is something will be promoting next month at that market.

We've got American buyers coming from Los Angeles during the run to watch How It's Made we've got a big meeting with a lot of European broadcasters tomorrow to talk about it.

Yes, I'm in that's how business models we we create formats in the UK and once we've made them here.

We we sell them in another in the rest of the world and David big be honest.

That's the one Rooley Avenue show would it be good for the circle if there were to be I'd no tonight as a little burst of controversy.

They helped with publicity Stephen smoking at this point which is useful.

Would it help with there was some controversy to really explore this on to the public consciousness and conversation absolutely word, what's great about all these Innovations is they can only possible through new technology and then the way they ripple out into social media so

Course you've gotta keep the Edge and the bars and the drama of the show going that's part of the art of making the show and how it how it how it works in the real world off of the channel so absolutely going to talk about your new venture wonderhood studios in a minute.

Just with your old hat on this is an untested format relatively speaking comes of Stephen Lambert who is it does have a strong track record is presumably big-budget Steve wants a quite how much and is being run every night for several weeks.

What is a ceo's a boss? Can you do to mitigate the risks around this with expensive bet going wrong running any TV channel is in exercising cross-subsidy, so there will always be tried and tested formats that are working right now.

Great British Bake Off is working brilliantly for Channel 4 so that's creating audience with mental and commercial momentum that allows you to take more risks and the balancing act.

Is that the end of the year to get the the books to tutor balance and to deliver to the remit so to that extent you have to keep taking this or if you have to keep pushing the boundaries and a lot will be learn.

From the circle and just as everything this evening are the British producers have done on Channel 4 over many decades sometimes the learning of the first episodes goes into WhatsApp scan the happened.

I imagine Teller Great British Bake Off episode 1 series 1 was not the show it is today so imagine there's lots of brilliant creative Minds learning from what has happened last night and Tooling the show and honer get in to make it the show it's capable of becoming in the future Stephen Gogglebox was another one of your Creations that's very much reality TV you said in the past.

It's a parody of the royal family which is Gogglebox reality TV the royal family drama which of those is the more difficult to make and why am I supposed to Unscripted television at the Royal family vs.

Gogglebox difficult to make a wee wee wee as a company moved into drama a couple of years ago our first show was three girls which was the buyer about the Rochdale grooming scandal and you know how has was it was received very well.

It's not coming up the hard thing is coming up with the popular idea.

I think one of things I always despair at having been in the 80s and 90s documentary maker CBBC is the people somehow think that oh, it's easy.

Just gone to a popular idea.

Where is it doing a difficult documentaries very hard thing to do but it is hard to make a documentary but actually if I'm making a documentary about I don't know the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka I know how to go about that I go there I persuade them I get the axis of my crew comes out with film we come back and be edited.

It's a difficult process if you don't have to do it you pretty when did very well, but it's basically a process that's easy to kind of follow if you know what you're doing.

There's no secret that coming up with a popular idea.

It's really really hard to come up with something that's repeatable but has enough variation so that each episode of different from the previous one that that is is is that will guarantee entertainment drama is really really big.

Concerned about the circle right now haven't seen tonight episode my biggest concern is that it was his where the people will give it a chance and we'll keep watching it and wanted these things take off if people give them a chance and you just hope that in a way one of the things were seeing in the sin in social media is the way in which people make very quick judgements and you hope that in this particular case are so won't be in that same bracket up very quick judgements.

You look at something like love Island which is the show for young people in the last few years that started very small when it launched in 2015 much smaller than than the circle did and it grew over 4 years to become the monster.

It is now I think all these things need time to grow as people discover.

What's what's what's interesting about them and obviously not every so gross but given a chance Gogglebox started very small and it grew into channel fours most popular so until until Bake Off Kim just the question is when?

Economics of the industry David support will allow that shows to have that kind of time you've now across the fence.

You've gone from running a big long as a shim to it being an ordinary all you've launched at wonderhood Studios what is the question to which wonderhood Studios is the answer so the creative Industries are having to adapt to fundamental changes to how content is consumed and I observed that the challenges of making contact that was genuinely distinctive would benefit from a different model bringing together people with creative skills from the advertising industry many of whom.

I worked with within channel 4 and my previous channel experiences because they help to shape and market and differentiate the content in the shows working alongside people who can create the ideas like Stephen cam and creating a new kind of environment in which we could create original ideas.

We have to potential customers for our products one is brand owners who increasingly are finding traditional ways of advertising in becoming more restricted because television viewing and television advertising free sample is not growing it's becoming more fragmented digital platforms Argyle becoming much more complex to to navigate and they're looking quite carefully at how longer form content that may be an opportunity for them to co-create with Partners and get their brand messages out, so does that mean in practical terms? I think of my mate listening to this at-home use are thinking about buying a Renault Clio are we seeing the emergence of a world.

I'm not I don't know why picture Renault Clio I just have came to mine where they say you're suggesting to Brands like Renault that you because of your particular teas can deliver them a service a digital channel online and you're so you can do that better than concurrent advertised.

I don't think many brands will end up producing channels, but a lot of Brands are producing more content.

All the very high quality and they now have many more opportunities to distribute it through digital means and so there's ever more creative and interesting ways in which brands can reach audiences through through content other than traditional paid advertising so a lot of it is shared material a lot of it is he's earned and some of the most innovative advertising that I soaring can this summer for example if they weren't 30 second Commercials there were three or 4 Minute documentaries that brands have brought around certain issues that we shared on the internet and it's that kind of Opportunity that brands are increasingly looking at two.

Are we moving to a world where we see a major drama series which is funded by shampoo maker well.

I mean one of the great movies of the last 2 years been the Lego movie and you can say that that that sofa brands in Dorset piece of entertainment then so my philosophy of wonderhood is if it's genuinely entertaining.

Much of what Red Bull does for example they create events they create sporting spectacle that's relevant for their brand above the entertain people at the same time and I think if you're producing quality and you're entertaining people then it said alternative to interrupting their viewing as as per the old model many many people of charges you know having worked in the industry for a long time.

I've tried to marry the kind of created waves and energy and Buzz of advertising with production capability they might got the balance wrong.

They might have had one as the focus and the other is a tag on.

What are you doing this unique and different for me all starts with the people and the culture so I spent the whole summer carefully hand picking a team of people that I really believe in there a new generation of people who see I think this will merging world and is very excited about the opportunities.

They are also very open to working with each other in new ways.

I think previous generations perhaps were slightly closed to collaborating together, but certainly what I try to do in.

Previous parts of my career is encourage people to come up with ideas that are more than the sum of their their parts and so so far.

It's only been a few weeks, but we're really excited about both the program ideas that we're coming up with the channels including the BBC and your pickling to BBC right now.

We are we are beginning conversations about about ideas which are independent of brand brand thinking but benefit from the discipline that those people on that side of a house can bring to those ideas really forgive me but just be really clear are these languedoc-roussillon BBC2 documentaries mate on BBC 2 on a Sunday night 21 or are they 3 minutes to live entertainment Commercials that you want to BBC Two districts provide a program ideas of a suitable for the channels, but interesting on that particular point increasingly commissioners are interested in digital content that surrounds the long-form ideas that you're creating so quite often and understanding of how digital audiences can.

Be directed towards long-form content is increasingly important to that's a really good example of Southhouse some of these new discipline Mix's can work at wonderhood Stephen is there a colour generational divide where younger people maybe are more or perhaps less tolerant of if you like the incursion of advertising into editorial products branded content think they're more intolerant of ads and they want to be able to watch ad free television which they do on Netflix or if they are streaming conventional programs that are available to them at 3:30 by David future.

We were talking less about spot ads inside your program talking more about advertisers wanting to endorse the overall messages of a piece of work.

Having their name associated with that piece of work ask if you got two fundamental problems with the advertising industry one is Steven Wright the Euro the tolerance of young people have four lads of certain kinds may be diminishing and to the world is moving to mobile pay as you talk about a lot in recent weeks.

Isn't a fundamental problem for advertising that mobile platforms.

Don't sport advertising the same way if I'm going to buy that shampoo or by that car is just not as attractive seeing it on the small screen, but definitely are challenges without blocking is it is a huge issue for big brands and therefore one has to be more creative and add more values so for me or anything which is genuinely entertaining and Ennis and is engaging and audiences at quality is going to be accepted more than the old interruption model but let's keep things in perspective and television advertising in its current form.

Isn't going to disappear overnight head is still a reasonably robust industry.

It just isn't experiencing the same growth as digital so the opportunity.

To work with brands at different time let's sometimes longer and sometimes shorter brings together two device Bose storytelling skills that that that benefit from the combination of skills will bring together because appetizer people have very good at strategically targeting a single a message and other ctbp for the really good at telling stories that great a longer time length.

So if as Jeffrey katzenberg for example believes.

I think he's trying to do a thing call new TV which is effectively entertainment done instead of what school now being called mid form content so you know 5 to 10 minute mobile segments then agencies are going to have become much more used to consuming content in that kind of time limited then all of these opportunities open up in a really big way as wonderhood Studios I've got users have changed you talk to you guys at about some broader themes in the industry and Stephen the director-general of the BBC Tony Hall at said this week that BBC needs more money and beauty can't afford.

Do Willis County doing you got any sympathy for of course? I think BBC plays and continues to play will continue to play a crucial role in in in what's available to viewers in this country and needs the money to be relevant and compete but you said to make you come back to the element of compulsion which sits badly in a world where people want to exercise choice if the service is so wonderful.

Why not give people the choice to pay for it.

Can a compulsory licence fee last well.

I think a compulsory licence fee won't last in the long time.

No, I don't I don't know ten ten years.

Maybe less David is speed a lot at all.

I know you're not privy to this guy.

She has been a lot of talking.

You spoke about it the Royal television society essay about the launch of a new streaming service.

You know what very few people know what's going on with this site visits talking in broader themes about it.

What is the big challenge of a big fit pitfalls to the UK launching a streaming service or British Public Service broadcasters try to to do what we talked about 10.

Will it be a bit capital investment for everyone concerned to break into what is now very crowded marketplace.

I love this comes back to the debate about how prominent will be managed in the world that will be at lead rather than linear channel lead and we're seeing with the matches that are going on globally that all of the new blocks that are emerging will have their own app and that will be globally at position to the question is when you when you buy TV in three to five years time will there be very many public service broadcasters that will have a position on the landing page in this is something which of comic the regulator have recently raised as an important issue for the future or public television in the UK with something we should come back to you.

Not just in three to five years time but very sweetie.

Thank you very much for the both of you for your time circles on tonight isn't it's on every day for next 7 years or something on Channel 4 am.

Thank you very much for you at home for this thing as well remember this show is a podcast and you can make things convenient for self by downloading the podcast.

Search online for the miniature podcast and hit subscribe.

We're back at the same time next week.

Thanks for listening and goodbye.


I've got a favour to ask if you enjoy the podcast please, would you give us a rating and possibly even a review wherever it is that you download the podcast if it's on iTunes or whether it might be because that helps other people finest podcast which of course is the idea? Thank you so much.

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