Without access to a potential audience of millions in the US and the subsequent advertising revenues, video webcasts on this side of the pond have been patchy affairs. And especially in the realm of tech business news the content tends to be thin on the ground.
Starting at the consumer end of the market, there is the patchy and variable (I’m being kind) BT Podshow . One question: why? All of the tech shows are bought in from the US, but are less functional than the original sites. Its woeful attempt at a Brit-made consumer tech show Podfinder scrapes the bottom of the podcast barrel with a soft-porn-looking presenter complete with speech impediment. Fail.
Moving swiftly on and leaping ahead in actual content if not in video production quality we have Tech Digest TV from Shiny Shiny. The consumer oriented tech show is a long running series, with established presenters like Susie, Kat and Katie (it seems to be a Shiny Shiny requirement to have presenters with similar names). It established itself early in the market, first using YouTube and later Blip.tv which affords better rights ownership for content producers. These guys churn out the video, especially at conferences or trade shows, so you may not see lots of flashy idents and the camera is usually hand-held, but you get a LOT of content, which is more than half the battle.
But TechDigest videos are still not quite the tech business round-up I’m looking for, so onwards…
Next up is ChannelFlip a genuine UK startup by Wil Harris and Justin Gayner creating consumer tech video with a nice interface, some good script writing and higher than average production values (when they aren’t refurbishing their studio). Presenters Katharine Fletcher and Ben Pritchett seem to be be getting the hang of that ‘jaunty’ TV style. It’s still consumer content though.
And I have to mention the Daily Telegraph’s Gadget Inspectors consumer tech show which has that ‘newspaper reporters trying to be TV presenters’ feel. Worth it just for this.
Getting closer to the business end of the market is Bizpodtv which is aimed at small businesses. It’s a good effort from presenter “Ally” and feels like a proper show, as it’s produced by Alex Bellinger, maker of the successful and long-running Smallbizpod series of small business audio podcasts. However, they are going to have to have to produce more than one show a month to pique my interest.
Much closer to ‘the money’ is iball a daily show (that’s more like it!) produced by Interactive Investor. The content is well written (editor Steve McDowell is a long-time financial journo), and, let’s face it presenter Susan Hickey is easy on the eye, even if her accent seems to have fallen somewhere between New York and Galway (well, she has lived in Germany, France, Spain and New York). The show is not about tech, but general business/the markets, but it’s worth including here as they often cover the tech sector.
Very much in the right zone is the Guardian’s weekly tech audio podcast, which is very good and covers a lot of consumer as well as business news, but it’s just in audio, even though main presenter Aleks Krotoski is a former TV presenter-turned-tech-academic. That’s all fine, but I’m looking for some video for a change.
Then I found The Daily Buzz from Mobuzz TV. This is pretty much in the right ball park for me. It’s daily, has decent production values and the content is on topic – tech news, what’s ‘the buzz’ online etc. My quibbles are that presenter Olivia seems to rattle through the content like she wants to be somewhere else and the journalism is sometimes off (er, yes, Michael Jackson does have something to do with the Beatles catalogue) and it seems a bit all over the place. Perhaps being shot in Spain gives it a slightly stateless feel like it doesn’t quite know who its audience is? And they completely mis-read the twitter ‘fight’ between Arrington and Loic Le Meur recently ( it was all a joke) – although they shot it pretty funnily.
On the plus side they give blog-like links to the stories mentioned and it’s also in Spanish and French, which immediately makes me think they are being savvy about Europe.
I’m going to stick with it and see how they get on.
Lastly, to give you a comparison on what European video shows are up against, just take a look at Wallstrip, Loaded, and Tech-Ticker. All high production daily shows – but then it’s a little easier to monetise what they do over there.