Many Swedish video on demand services are great successes. They receive millions of visits each day and a ridiculous amount of video is streamed from them. But, they are completely based on video. So, what happens when the episodes can not tell the whole story?
Over the last five years it has become standard that TV stations in Sweden have an on demand video service, usually called something with Play. SVT Play in the oldest of them and big current ones also include TV4 Play and Kanal 5 Play.
These Play services only include video content – usually a mix of short form content and full episodes – and the content is almost always sorted chronologically based on episode number or broadcast date. Some meta data on the episodes and the show is included, often including a text summary of the episode, the length of it and the name of the show. However, the meta data is really only displayed to enable the visitor to find the correct episode to watch. The Play sites really are all about watching.
The Swedish Play services are, taken in total, a great success. They receive millions of visits each day and a ridiculous amount of video is streamed from them.
But, as I wrote, they are completely based on the episodes. So, what happens when the episodes can not tell the whole story?
A major show at SVT is the national song contest, Mello. Mello is broadcast weekly over a period of about two months. Mello is somewhat of a phenomenon with competing media companies covering the event, a lot of social media content being created and lots of chatting around kitchen tables and water coolers going on.
Mello is an excellent example of when the episodes and short form video content types, and the chronological sorting, are not enough for SVT to tell the whole story. Real goals such as answering “Who is competing next week?” and “I want to listen to the songs that are qualified for the finale” can not easily be achieved in the SVT Play service.
There are also many smaller goals that can not be accomplished via the Play services, for example to help visitors understand when the next season starts, what the next episode is about or to help visitors share pics or quotes from favourite shows. To quote the Spider Pig song from the Simpsons movie I would have to scroll in the streamed film or find the scene as a clip. But instead I of cause skip the Play service and go to a Wiki.
The reason to keep Play services streamlined is that most visitors to a TV station content repository have as their goal to watch an episode. But, some shows do deserve more content then that. Therefore SVT has a dedicated site for Mello as a complement to the Mello episodes being available on SVT Play. As a visitor to svt.se I therefore have to chose which site to visit and hope that my goal is fulfilled on the site I chose.
Tomorrow: Content atoms.