Home-grown video shows on tech are almost there. But not quite.

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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.

Elsewhere, Megawhat.tv from the Pocket-Lint guys is another consumer Tech show but bizarely doesn’t allow embedding, automatically rating a fail from me (sorry guys).

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.

  • http://techdigest.tv Ashley

    Cheers for the kind-ish comments about Shiny Tech TV Mike. We don’t really produce a daily vidcast, rather focus on reviews and individual stories. It seems to be working well as last time I looked Shiny was the third most popular British producer on YouTube behind a couple of no-marks called the BBC and ITV. We average around 1.3 million views per month.

    You are right to some degree about monetising video as standard CPM deals will never cover costs. What does seem to chime with advertisers is sponsoring video as part of an overall package that also includes media on the blogs. We are uniquely positioned in the UK to do this as we can offer up to four million eyeballs a month on the blogs.

    As for production values we have always kept them edgy and informal – like our blogs. I think much of our content is superb though and quite the equal of the Americans. We’d very much like to expand and enhance our video offering, so if anyone likes what we do and could help us roll it out to a much bigger audience feel free to get in touch ashley(at)shinymedia.com

  • http://www.broadstuff.com alanp

    You may be interested to know Susan was at MoBuzz before she came over to iBall.

  • http://iBall Steve McDowell

    Hi Mike,
    Absolutely delighted to read your benevolent coverage of iBall in your excellent piece. Our view was that a daily show was the only way forward. It was our intention at the beginning to try and create fun investment show with a serious message since they normally take themselves way too seriously.
    I think we are achieving that so far though the road ahead is a long one. We are learning everyday.
    One point to make though is I have been left astonished how financial companies which invest millions in IT almost all seem to block video. Since we would seem top be both relevant and useful to them it would be damned useful to us if they would unlock iBall. Please.
    All the best,

  • Mike Butcher

    Ashley – Don’t get me wrong, as I said, Shiny Tech TV has set the bar in the UK for fast, edgy, timely video about breaking consumer tech stories and gadgets. I totally agree. What I was looking for was for something more like a rounded ‘show’. But obviously not everyone is after that.

    Alanp – Yes I noticed Susan was at Mobuzz. I’d be interested to hear her take on them, as, looking at it more closely, some of their pages seem to be dead /404s.

  • Mike Butcher

    Hey Ashley – How do I get your video embed to not play automatically when this the page loads?

  • http://www.titousworld.com Titou

    I’m personnaly a big fan of Mobuzz. Just love it, though I tend to watch the french version more (for I’m French). Cool to see there is a variety of video-tech-blogs. But I guess Mobuzz’ll remain my favorite one.

  • http://www.techdigest.tv Katherine Hannaford

    Tsk, tsk Mike! Thanks for the inclusion to your round-up, and also for speaking very highly of our videos (it’s always a thrill when you mention Shiny Media!), but our video reviews go on two of our blogs, Tech Digest and Shiny Shiny, with the video reviews called Shiny Tech TV – published, of course, by Shiny Media.

    Sorry to be so pedantic ;)

  • http://www.jimkukral.com Jim Kukral

    Man, I wish I had boobs. Great shows, all of them, but well, I just wish I had boobs. Watch my video. It’s funny.


  • http://techdigest.tv Ashley

    Ok, this might now sound odd, but we have just launched an experimental vidcast with The Sun. You can watch it at http://thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/fun/gizmo/ It is very early days so please don’t be too harsh, and it has been filmed very much with The Sun’s audience in mind. But it does hint at what Shiny might do in gadgets video in the future.

    Btw Mike sorry if I came across grumpy earlier, didn’t mean to be. Very cool post and one I wish techdigest had beaten you to.


  • http://www.fat-man-collective.com Adam Martin {Fat Man}

    Shiny Shiny please disarm your auto player as I’m now hearing some gubbins about a Blackberry pearl in triplicate, all at different times, it’s like video on demand gone mad!

    Tech is Silicon Valley focused, hence the bountiful decolletage on display together with breaking news. UK & European original web content should focus on topics specific to us, like binge drinking, glamorous crack addicts and laughing at those less fortunate than ourselves.

  • http://www.fat-man-collective.com Adam Martin {Fat Man}

    Aarrghh, I hit ‘submit comment’ and then (because I’m vain) checked out my comment (see above), it looks good doesn’t it, but that pesky Shiny Whiny video started again, I’m now watching it and wondering where the plumbers are with their big spanners and mullets?

  • Mike Butcher

    Right, taking the Shiny video off this site now. Sorry guys. If you send me a better embed code I’ll replace it.

  • http://www.pissheadnerds.com alphaxion

    I’m still bumbling about on my own tech podcast, sadly I’ve stopped doing the tech side for the moment while I try to save some money and buy a few items (new pc, new camcorder etc) in order to produce better quality and more relavant content (little hard to talk about newer games and hardware when you’re stuck with a PC from 2005 that doesn’t even have pci-e).

    In the mean time I’m doing a series of gaming intro tests so that I’m at least working on improving my presentation and editing abilities.

    You can check out everything I’m doing at http://www.pissheadnerds.com. If you’re someone who might know a willing sponsor just send me a message, I’d love to hook up with someone who can help me to afford more items to review and give comment on.


  • http://pocket-lint.co.uk Stuart


    Thanks for the picking up on Megawhat from Pocket-lint. We’ve now added an embed link to all the videos on the site. It was something that we’ve been trying to get for a long time and you’re article pipped us to the post. Hopefully now that we have an embed link we might not get an automatic fail :)


  • Mike Butcher

    Stuart – Glad to hear it.

  • http://unfamiliarlyin.blogspot.com Ramon Waite

    Haha am I literally the only comment to this awesome writing?!

  • http://newsnullify.blogspot.com Pamela Maxwell

    Hehe am I literally the first reply to your incredible read.

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