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Read this: Making a show for Netflix

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Making a show for Netflix…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello it's great to be back with you today.

We looking at the trends to look out for in the news business in 2019 is this the year you ditched that subscription to a newspaper and start getting your news from podcast via a smart speaker and what are you watching TV live on Christmas day? Well, probably not actually the view figures are the lowest since records began.

Yes, you heard that right top Rank with the Queen's Christmas message with a measly 6.4 million viewers.

That's down from 28 million in 1987.

Yes, that's right three decades ago half the country watch this royal sermon today.

It's barely 1/10 Food for Thought for my guests each of whom was trying to interpret or capitalise on the Revolution in media that we keep banging on about on this show Jamie Campbell is here the co-founder of the production company 11.

He's got any sure about this Friday and it's for some American outfit called Netflix that was it Jamie wasn't it? Jamie will tell you all about New Show shortly will let me ask you this if we not having that share Christmas experience of everyone watching the same program at the same time Morecambe and Wise perhaps at the premiere of Crocodile Dundee at have we lost something really quiet uniquely British and special.

I was wondering about that with my children's viewing habits my children is 6 and 4 and I used to get up and watch CBBC when I was younger and I love Phillip Schofield be like that and and the Lioness of it and just wondered if they're losing out on that human address because I wanna watch a lot of Netflix then I had to turn the TV on themselves and they really love the content life in the content on the streaming services for kids at fantastic, so I suppose the question is is there is there a sort of human Element that is lost that respect and I'm not sure that there is adjustment.

Voices fantastic and and and if anyone can have the digital services as well as the streaming services as well as the linear offerings.

I think that's just great for the consumer consumer the winning Jamie Moore from you in 2nd.

Thank you very much indeed Daisy wire is assistant editor at the I newspaper Daisy actually one of my New Year's resolutions is to temper any reference to Netflix with a reminder that most TV viewing the UK still done live today's traditional channels, but that's not the case with the under 35.

What did your Christmas day? Look like was it called a midwife you or the latest series of narcos school Christmas fair.

Would you be doing I've been here.

I think I'm a bit unusual actually for them and any other audience members on myself and I still really enjoy linear viewing so for me.

It would have been called midwife.

I still enjoy but tuning in listening to the conversation on Twitter while, it's happening on TV and the next morning talking about it work.

When is that I just got your role running the at the website of the I paper are you attempt to your digital detox of some sort this January I did tell my notifications off all Eyes on holiday this wasn't it was absolutely brilliant night.

He had my phone on airplane mode.

I'm only feel young again at that time is an alloy with an enemy.

I did that down in blackawton.

Devon and the best thing about a boy who your phone or turning off your notifications.

Is you have to buy a newspaper to get the news which is very cool.

Very good in this I mention digital detox in because if I'll get is Nick Newman and it says it'll be a train for the coming year.

He's the research associate at the reuters Institute for the study of journalism at Oxford University and is joined us to give us an exclusive first look at his annual trends and predictions report Nick we're blessed to have first dibs on your crystal ball think I should be staring us with sauna privilege upon us your report is based on interviews with 200 top editors and executives in the news industry will run for your findings in a while.

Just waiting digital detoxing people reducing the amount of time they spend.

At staring at the screen is going to come a big thing this year.

I've been talking to be all about their New Year's resolutions and so many people of said to me.

I want to spend time more meaningfully and I think something happened last year with the iOS 12 the Apple update on this and they don't use this screen time and people would genuinely shocked about how many times you know they pick up the phone every day walmersley scroll muscly scrolling hamster, how many times how much time does running with Facebook and Instagram no rest for it and you know personally I was pretty shocked as well.

You know I heard all the statistics about you need picking up 200 times a day and I wasn't quite that bad but almost yeah, and yeah.

We took some steps last year to take it out of certain rooms at home and and but I think I think a lot of people are thinking I want to spend time with meaningfully I want to not waste as much time laughing that will have an impact on media actually you'll never seen the shift towards.

Can we spend time or meaningful?

How can we get information button shorter periods of time and BST the same trends? I think let's get into the spread of time getting into the nitty-gritty of your have your train to this year and what was the key message? Will they stop body spoke to you in a bit of a give you what's number one on their to-do list as you know the big challenge is not much reaching people but how did they make money and we've seen that you changing the industry of last few years with digital advertising not really paying back and soap publishers are beginning to realise they can't sustain quality newsrooms on the basis of just after ising alone.

So the big shift is really towards some kind of reader payment so many many news organisations are either consolidating their subscription paywalls or they are starting new one so in our survey of 200 leading publishers 52% said that was going to be the main thing this year.

So that might be starting new subscriptions like the Independent is is is is got a membership or subscription.

It may be the Guardian who are putting a bit more subscription or Premium on top of already asked you for donations the New Yorker magazine and in the states of a singer of this and then tortoise media and somebody's new companies like tortoise Media to correspond in the US also essentially trying to charge for content social media core 200 telling you you are relative terms used to run BBC News to revenue from advertising is drinking and be willing to readers and audiences.

What are the source of revenues in terms of donations grants charities government even yeah, I mean that that was the other thing we we should have asked about where else do you expect the media that the money's come from and so obviously as some of them looking for platforms cause Facebook investors investing 4.5 million in local news to support local news so some of them are hoping that they'll pay that the platforms like Facebook will pay the money to produce video content for example for some of their services new services like Facebook watch which was launched last year then you have government.

So that might be subsidies so the Canadian government I think on this program you talk about the Canadian government who introduced the whole package of measures including sort of subsidies tax breaks and allow them to be sort of charitable donations that they could not a comfortable place to be for a journey, so is it based on to get your money from government handouts doesn't AZ AZ changing surname of state propaganda machine some people are concerned about that.

I think the key things diverse funding sources so if Amy Lee companies think that if they can pick up a bit of your money potentially in areas where the commercial market is not providing and then that's the platforms pay for a bit of advertising and subscription revenue so that the real message is diversification and in the publishers.

We talk to they were really looking at four different funding streams that we're going to be important to them and I think that's gonna be a key to how many companies can remain profitable ok, we bringing daisy daisy were sick note of the eye Daisy I didn't have a website for a Longo

Now that I news.co.uk at you're in charge bit what's the basic strategy get loads of people nobody that is part of it.

We want to as part of the I know we want to bring quality journalism to our readers and it's that's trusted.

We had a big challenge last year in that we we had to increase our audience by quite significantly in order to compete on the same playing field with the likes of times huffington, Post excetera and to do that we invested in Genesis neogenesis always good to hear anything stringer invested in wardrobes, and we also looked at which areas do our readers want to be more about how do we become distinctive in that kind of environment we learnt that our readers love case studies and iveta the law in you know doing more real life more about how do people buy their first home money to pay studies.

This or that game big improvement to our graphic I should declare an interest in so that used to be independent during my tenure the I was Owen by The Independent every separate businesses and Nick mentioned independent is doing some premium type is offering which is a paid-for way of generating revenues for high-quality stuff the website is free to access at the moment have any plans to put up a playable no plans as such you know we're still growing and trying to be part of the media larger picture and get there in terms of our competitors.

We do currently have what you might call the subscription in the sense that we have an app that readers can pay for and at the moment.

That's a PDF of the newspaper and see what we want to do is to try and make that subscription package and bit more the best better packaging essentially including some elements of the website into the the app so it's not just a static PDF so it might have more breaking news or certainly more elements that will be more reactive.

Comes through so you are developing a new subscription offer as part of his last week.

I announce of you guys gonna start running articles and taken from The Economist why are they classed as dino mod rely heavily on The Independent as the source for journalism, so thrust this is just about diversifying streams in which we can rely on that sort quality journalism to bring Trowell the and how to send animations into syndication partnership basic.

So you're not so we are paying them not like it's too late.

You think this kind of partnership is going to become a bigger the more popular way of filling newspapers absolutely as I think newspapers are beginning to realise they can't do everything on every platform in every format and so editorial coverage.

Which singer drowned the best of during the summer course things like the Panama papers, but increasingly to around circulation of the BBC's own newsletter in the morning does the best of the rest and and it until we're seeing a lot more than I think you know that The Economist and the eye pairing up his other one example of that when we talk to publishers there still a bit reticence because of course the news industry just loves to compete and editorial level with each other, but I think that the area that they are really looking at his more technical corporation.

So they're thinking.

Why do we really need technical teams to build you know contact management systems behind the scenes every single time for every publication so Washington Post for example.

Is is one organisation that is building a big content management system and technology which is then trying to sell to the rest of the industry so technically you've also got co-operative deals between the Telegraph and the News UK and others with this new ozone project which is about sort of technical underpinnings to make advertising cheaper and more effective essentially Jamie's any of what you're hearing making you feel.

What do you pay for this is slightly embarrassing but I suppose whisper revelatory.

I'm a bit about The Spectator I subscribed spectator very I forgot the Moorside an appropriate adult and Maisy told me is the only news that you pay for what you told me that he he takes the Daily Mail and The Spectator but as as well as a lot of left-leaning periodicals other night and I thought that's quite good idea in this particular there an age where were you want to get a good spread of polemical and information so we get this potato.

We get your time and eyebrows.

That's a tablet that you don't have to do to persuade you to be one of the news.

Make a relatively cheap.

I think it's about the point of difference with the other stuff that I read that supposed to be another 1 things I like about the New Statesman this and The Spectator is that they will give you a point of view and it's in a vase, so proper journalism in the sense that you're going to have Joanna so giving you stuff that you can't find an associated Press careful that used to have the BBC News website.

I need to get this deal with The Economist subscriptions as you said that you're putting a cover price up by five.

Month and your new owners jpimedia who took control after Johnston Press the previous owner's went bust am I looking to cut costs is locked chat about whether the height self is up for sale and it should make it a pretty decent 12 million at least this year house morale of The Newsroom

Owners that have invested in in in the product with other side of that have hired about 10 digital stuff last year and so this as far as we're concerned that the future is secured for for the eye and do you and other people there think that jpi media will only a year from now.

Do it live with a certain amount of uncertainty Nick one of the things that want to talk about that's in your predictions is smart speakers, you look at the development of smart speakers them something we've talked about lot on this show Google and Amazon Bose tell them what to take up like in the UK and why do you think they're growing quickly I have three at home including one with the screen now, so we did some research on this last year and this is the poor people and rotten for Christmas and it was around 10% in the UK so that's they couldn't Rabanne 7 million homes something like that but in the US police figures.

I saw was around 20%

About 50 million devices at about 25 million homes, so this is an done about 8% or over Christmas so so as you chop up leftover Christmas and people buying them because they are convenient.

It's a quicker way to access music primarily but also to turn the radio on to set an alarm that using them in really quite simple ways.

Yeah, so we're going to the Dreamers that it's all in my conversational end and we really going to relate to them in in the new way in a conversational way, that's not really happening yet when we went into people's homes.

It was very much you no give me the news tell me the weather and we haven't got to that next stage night.

I think that's the problem for the platforms as they have to do that.

Ok that giving your here to talk about the contents your crystal ball.

I'm going to that incredibly unfair put you on the spot and ask about some serious predictions.

I'm glad you guys are laughing because you may have to do the same with the second and let's have some your prediction for this is this real life.

Bourbon entirely accurate and I can do that, but do you think Nick the days is paper will have a different owner in 12 months.

I think so will Facebook be broken up this year now it won't be broken up but I think we'll see a lot of change and I think that there is in a regulation is definitely in the air.

There will be regulation around privacy and a whole range of other areas starting this year and that is going to impact on Facebook and the other platforms which will be the next British newspaper to stop printer stop printing.

That's really good question.

I think well.

Ok pretty obviously it's going to be a local newspaper athletic so I'm not getting no no no I don't think the national ones will this year I think they're going to carry on printing because actually ugly printers kind of coming back.

It's a bit like vinyl.

It's gonna directory thing that tells the new television radio the new radio and the old way more local papers are going to be printed less or

Open tanda tula certainly too quick question is there going to be a merger between BuzzFeed voice box in the Lighthouse BuzzFeed founder suggested? I don't think so, I think there's too many obstacles in the way of that but I think you know what we talked about earlier on centre corporation.

I think that's gonna be a bit of politician.

This is all farted him as it will refer to our journey started will not be more or less powerful in Britain this time next year.

I think he'll be almost identical to talk about your way possible show sex education coming out on Netflix is it out on Netflix 2018 on Friday what's it about New Zealand it's aimed everyone but it is about a 16 year olds colitis.

Who is it a school where all of his friends having sex and he isn't he's a virgin and as a result his status as relatively low.

School is considered a bit of a loser but he has one advantage which she doesn't realise at the beginning of serious but he realises pretty quickly in episode 1 his mum is played by Gillian Anderson is a brilliant sex therapist so there's never had sex.

He's got an encyclopedic knowledge about sexual issues letter to the council other kids in his school and I'm pleased to see you smoking with such vigour at this point.

Let's hear a clip of exactly that this is Gillian Anderson sex therapist character talking to her teenage son and I warn you some of the language is elly adult.

I've noticed you're pretending to masturbate and I was wondering if you wanted to talk about it.

So why don't you start by telling me your earliest memory of your scrotum? You don't need your help.

We need their money anything.

Therapy therapy therapy like your mum is gonna get the backstory for the show go onto Netflix which is the gold dust for it so many people in your industry.

When did you get the idea and how long did it take to get made so we came up with the idea and house and we must be 2 years ago and we wanted a writer who would be able to tell the story brilliantly and we had run a script by Laurie Nunn who was an emerging writer and had nothing broadcast at that point and we met her she had a fantastic reason for the Show had a great vision for how to meld the, comedy the peace with what we all felt was intrinsic to it, which was that there was something to say about the modern world which wasn't just scatological, but hopefully relatively rich and so we.

Worked on the script with her for a while and we went to Netflix we have a contact local Alex a pot.

Who was at that point commissioning co-productions and I give you a quick so to give you a quick answer than the BBC what is it? Is it measured idea that if you go to Netflix you get a quick decisive answer you go to place at the BBC News Nottingham this age.

Are you no idea can take a while to get through the system next nodding really vigorously at this stage will be on suppose that is yes, but there is an obvious reason for that which is mostly Netflix make a precondition of you pissing to them that you have at least a script.

So you've had to do a bit of work in advance and often they like you to come to them with a bit more of the packaged already in place of might be a director or some cost and so inevitably if you if you developing for some like the BBC the process is usually going to

The points you go to the idea and the commissioner scripts and that has its own benefits, but but yes networks can be quicker in that sense and it was another defensive the BBC if you like which is at the BBC has to operate within a very strict code and fewer making sex education of the BBC or Channel 4 you have to work within the constraints of Ofcom and there's a whole section of on programs aimed at teenagers.

Are you going to watershed for instance none of that at the moment apply for Netflix will you conscious of it? I don't do that prevents the BBC from from producing really contentious content that you may the last couple years fleabag of people.

Just do nothing really quite Eddie and subversive.

I wasn't conscious of their being sort of more flexibility in that sense from Netflix but I would say that it is free when you talk to rights and ask them to for example, with the treatment for an idea and the delivery is there is a change in approach.

If you then say to them I can you come back with a revised version of it as if

Pitching to Netflix I really because there is a presumption that Netflix or the streaming services in general can do things in a different way, they they they hadn't had the right to change it in accordance that new production it opens their minds because fundamental but they're not approaching story from the point of the other demographic which is often the way that the linear verrucous broadcasters have to one that one of the really attractive things about Netflix is that variable to Taylor and audience literally to the product when it finally arrives and there is you know there is a quite widespread preconception about the way that Netflix operate switches.

I think that they're not there is an algorithmic method where they say all this about the computer says we need and then they go to produce when asked for that specifically and the producer than us to go to that algorithmic request dolomite sprints is the inverse of that we have we had something that we?

Weed develop with a lot of passion.

We had a interest rate was going to work and then and then they responded to that and I've been really encouraging of the suitable for real freedom of the project in the process.

They haven't they have interfered to tell us the computer wants us to make it there certain ways very good understanding and crunching data whether it's you could next week.

Look at the data to see how sex education is being watch where the people in fast forward in certain bits or giving up after a certain episode and then potentially even get re edit them to make episodes at work even better according to the algorithm.

Is that something you been doing that you can go out and for a broadcaster to monitor over 30 days and see how the holistic reaction to it is working out rather than the linear approach which is the high-pressure environment of the night one for your finger Ray tracing.

Going to be in audience the comfort of the resin and and I think what that breeds is in in a general sense.

I can a pressure on linear programs were almost the expectation is that it's going to fail because it's it's quite the statistics of you having a great overnight are relatively slim.

Where is I think there? Is there is something that is more holistic about taking more literally a more measured approach or a longer period of time you're not going to know on Friday how many people Saturday morning if you don't you as a programmer make the producer in opec producers made by independent production going to know to get that measurement.

I would say that as the executive of any program what I'm looking for its creative freedom followed by the resources to manage backup the greater vision of the show and then you want people to watch the show you know that.

Show me the price of some sex education to be really positive in all of those respects.

You know we we had our trailer go out last week within 2 days 2 million people watched.

It's Netflix been incredibly supportive with the marketing and publicity of billboards.

All I got a nice about chases party nights.

Come to it.

So II original show that was commissioned out of the UK for Netflix was called The Innocents I thought was a great show made by new pictures and I think there was no hasn't been recommissioned and I think as I understand it was the reason for that is that there was quite a high drop off of audience about them around the middle of the show and that seems fair.

You know you that you've an audience has to get you go to the show if you're going to commission series you mention that you measure the trailers up on YouTube I was reading the comments underneath.

It one says this is a British oh, but everything about the school looks American the school logo the lack of uniform the American football jackets the corridor field Locker rooms.

We usually don't have those.

I'm so confused to is that deliver it where it never Netflix clean Netflix Joaquin for the survey global appeal but I know that you've been tweeting photos of the enormous adverts and Netflix is fed up in Time Square New York the courses were very proud that the show is gonna have a global reach and it's going to go out to all those territories of the same time one of things that was really important to the initial concept was that this would be a show that was aspirational and I think there's there's a lot of programming for a younger audience particular.

Its base in a school where it has taken a British Sensibility witches fantastic where you know obstacles, I put in front of characters.

We laugh at them when they don't manage to scale them and there's a sort of athletic to a lot of those shows Grange Hill as a great example where it's all quite, so do you know that the characters have terrible teeth and the school dinners are appalling? It's the worst time of your life.

I love that shows as much as he wants something different here which was.

Create an environment which reflects the best time of your life and I don't mean that you have to have a cuddle americanized approach, but we did want to be aspirational ok.

We're nearly at our could I ask you very quickly girlschool me the BBC is there an access consultation on beefing out the iPlayer proposing shows to be available for far longer.

Not just 30 days, but perhaps 12 month is BBC Miss the boat on this is it too late for the BBC quickly it? Was you know I died I don't know when I think it's the obvious thing to do is to extend that you got Netflix and some time ago the BBC wasn't allowed to get together with ITV and I think that's going to happen.

So so you having more content having wider windows being able to compete properly.

I think that seems reasonable that would be a good competition.

So he said that I turned it was very very keen to do a daisy very quickly watching sex educational Friday maybe not maybe not linearly on Friday maybe like Saturday or Sunday but I will.

No, no, no nothing have enough we can't we don't have any of this nonsense guy.

Thank you so much for coming in really appreciate what I remember.

You can catch up with the show on the BBC Sounds app to search them in Show online and click subscribe with same time next week.

Thanks for listening and bye.


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