Friday, September 30, 2016

The "FUNK" Story

Several years ago here in Germany.....the ZDF/ARD state-run TV empires came to a mutual understanding....a shocker at the time....that young people aren't watching their product.  After a while, they began to grasp that if the trend held out....this growing population of non-viewers would eventually reach the point of suggesting that the TV tax was unfair and that state-run TV was not a necessity in life.  So began a search for a solution.

Yesterday, came the solution...."FUNK".

FUNK is this downloadable or data-streaming network that will exist for a younger audience.

What the ZDF and ARD folks realized is that younger viewers don't watch regular TV.  They prefer to log on and download what they want to watch, at the time that they desire.

They also came to realize that cheap productions don't work.  The younger generation want science fiction and more youth-related TV products, so what FUNK will produce will go into this direction.

Success guaranteed?  No.  To produce quality science fiction TV....means money.  No one said much yesterday but after watching a four-minute review of their product, I can only assume that the TV tax will have to go up a minimum of 2 Euro more a month (17.50 Euro a month now) to meet this new cost dynamic.  Will the kids even come to review this network or download anything?  It's hard to say.

At one point, they wanted people to know that the network will also serve to provide information and news....in a fashion that younger viewers desire. How? Unexplained.

Then I noticed some of the packaged news pieces.  Strong anti-BREXIT products....pro-EU products....environmental issues laid out.  Basically the same themes as the ZDF and ARD players.  Will the news pieces be downloaded?  My humble guess is "no".  They might find 50,000 young viewers....mostly university students who fall into this category, but I suspect that 90-percent of the young audience will just grin and continue the trend toward Netflix and Amazon.

They had to do something in an attempt to reacquire the young viewers but I just don't see this being the success that ZDF and ARD talk about.  In three years, they will assess the numbers and find that it's got two or three shows that get a decent audience, and the bulk of their daily production (probably over 22 hours a day) will be marginally downloaded.

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