Current

Having been laid flat for the last 72 hours I have been watching a great deal of Current TV. After no less than 8 hours spent enjoying the “pods” of Current here are some random observations (assisted by the cold medicine no doubt).

  • The timeframe (4-5 minutes) of the pods does allow you to suffer through stuff you would not normally watch. Three minutes on how Curling is sweeping the nation is tolerable if you know that the pain will be over shortly.
  • The content is almost entirely informational. With the exception of the occasional animated short, the closest Current gets to entertainment is in Comedy Central styled pods on what is being Goggled.
  • The Pod jocks and setting are seemingly too laid back to be cool. Very reminiscent of VH1, there is little that suggests an edge for this new generation of television network.
  • Advertisers are playing in multiple ways. In one case they sponsored a pod producer, in one case they sponsored a theme of pods (adventure) and they also run regular ads. Advertisers are also allowing pod producers to create ads for them and are running them on the network.

Watching the network for an extended period of time I found myself thinking back to my childhood and a show called Bubble Gum Digest. It was a news program done by kids for kids that I believe made short lived comeback sometime later as well. Anyway with the cold medicine still working I wonder about three things:

  • Number one is “where is the entertainment?” Where are the dramas, the comedies, anything that makes me feel something? Is it not there because anyone with a camera can report while entertainment takes a higher level of skill? Is it not possible to draw a creative arc in a five minute window?
  • Number two is “what is the target audience?” With a sensible set and non-threatening pod jocks sitting politely between pods on off-beat subjects I am not sure who will feel like Current is a channel just for them.
  • Number three is “why watch?” With no predictable schedule to indicate when I should tune in to get my curling updates and no real tight targeting of the overall feel of the pods or the network I am not sure why I would tune in. And with all of the push towards pods and UGC I almost feel like if Current actually gets it bigger point across then no one will watch it. It’s a strange measure of success but I think they are on their way to being really successful.
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