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Where’s the Caribbean CONTENT?

Jamaica-We've heard it from friends and read the press releases of all of these Jamaican and Caribbean IPTV companies that have launched, offering authentic Jamaican and Caribbean content online. Great that we now have oodles of distributors, channels to choose from, with only one issue...where's the content? The fact is

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  • Rodney I agree with you, there is now shortage of ideas at all,it’s the execution that gets us…and I’m glad you mention the trouble with a Caribbean market…if we are to buy into the idea that Seth Godin promotes…there is not such thing as a mass market anymore…we are a world of niches….then we need to understand our targets, their needs and desires and create accordingly. Added to that I think we also need to think simply…flip cams and digicams are easy to buy and use…and there must be a willingness to launch simple prototypes and see how the market grabs it, then tweak and make better as u go along..that is the great thing about living in a time where it is easy to get started and get it to a market and see what happens to it…

  • I believe that there isn’t a shortage of ideas for content production, the obstacles lie more in personnel and production/operating/distribution costs.

    I am in the process of developing 3 shows(one already in pilot stage for my Real Estate subsite and 2 others in conceptualization stage). I’ve met a couple young eager guys who have access to decent quality cameras and we’re trying to work on a few things together.

    They have some decent ideas but need some creative direction.

    One of the hurdles when trying to appela to a Caribbean market, is that sometimes, there isn’t a “Caribbean” market. There’s a market inside and outside of the Caribbean made up of mini markets connected to their country/immediate region.

    As an example, let’s say you have a soap opera made up primarily of trinis and jamaicans, the storyline and acting would have to be soo good and captivating that non trinis/jamaicans..can get past the disconnect of the accents they can’t relate to.

    So in some instances, a lot more thought has to be put into appealing to the target market, especially if you’re trying for a Caribbean wide appeal.

  • Well said, finally a good report on this stuff

  • Where is the content indeed!
    I think the main problem is money, but a few creative thinkers would go along way aswell, Jamaican TV just seems to air repeat after repeat, and we get programs like Hill+Gully Ride!! and the same old TV presenter/s. RETV seems to be doing ok with some of the new programs it has and they have started to be a bit more adventurous with there presenters and style of programs which is good.

    I guess it all comes down to money, if there where more investors then we would get better shows, i work with lots of producers of original content who would love to have there films aired in Jamaica, i’ve emailed TVJ several times and have never had one reply! there are so many films and documentaries about Jamaican culture out there with the film owners wanting to show there films in JA yet there seems to be no one looking for this material or willing to pay for it.
    My own guess is that due to the size of the JA TV network and the number of viewers, the advertising revenue is no where near as big as what you would see in the US or UK, resulting in them not having enough money to be able to produce higher quality shows and make new original material, or to be able to purchase shows from outside JA. Thats my guess.

    There is great potential in IPTV as it has the potential to really boost the viewing figures of Jamaican TV channels, Caribcast seem to be the leaders in this field right now, at least the ones who offer the most competative prices, plus they have a good customer service, there is also Jump TV but there website isn’t very user friendly and the prices are alot higher, and Irie TV was the other main one but i’m not sure if they ever launched properly even though they did have an official public launch i’m unsure if they are still broadcasting?
    But all these companies have still not cracked this IPTV thing, the picture quality isn’t very good compared to other streaming media i’ve found online, the quality varies from hour to hour, one minute you can have a perfect TV picture, then the next a very poor and pixelated picture, same goes for the audio, why this happens i’m unsure, i guess it’s all down to their bandwidth(i know it’s not mine). Another downside is that anyone viewing the JA IPTV networks will notice that they cannot view all the content as some programs are not licensed to screen outside of JA so you then get pre-recorded content being shown in it’s place.

    I got very excited when i first heard about JA TV channels over the internet but since i’ve tried them all out it’s not quite as good as it seems, there are still lots of teething problems with the streams from both of the major providers, lets hope they get these sorted out soon, i can see that they have the ability to stream high quality TV pictures but why can’t they keep this up 24/7??? if they could then they’d have a very good product which people would pay for.

  • True content is needed definatley, but for now its slowly getting there… With the launch of an iptv network .. It will push the producers for content and look for new up and comming producers cause tthis is an avenue for them to get there content out there.

  • Thanks for the heads up Nick. I look forward to alot more of the Caribbean online this year. Here’s hoping too that you guys make money as well. Keep us posted.

  • Great blog. We are gearing up to produce original content at DancehallSoca.TV Caribbean Lifestyle Media

    There are also a few others like who will also be launching IPTV channels with all original content

  • there is nothing I hate like tempo

  • About time somebody asked this question. Yes we do have soap operas that came from Trinidad and Jamaica – but original content has decreased dramatically – just look at Jamaica – we used to have Oliver, Lime Tree Lane, Titus, Punchinello, Hill and Gully, Rappin’ and more – ALL GONE

    I believe that the question generates two responses, a question and an answer:

    (1) Who is profiting by creating original content? I know for a fact that TEMPO is not profitable and even MTV has distanced itself from the channel (search anything about MTVNetworks, even on their own site and they mention every channel, including their new hispanic Tres and MTV China, but no Tempo)

    RJR’s acquisition of RE TV was major because it showed faith in locally produced content and Synergy in Trinidad has been stepping it up – but all these content producers need more support from investors, govt. and then leverage technology to reach a wider audience (IPTV comes to mind)

    (2) The Caribbean content is being created slowly and under the radar. Witness the struggling film industry – we will soon be able to put together a triple-digit local movie catalog (still in low double-digits).

    Who wants to start a “Caribbean Content Fund” to provide funding for content creators and then share in the profits?

  • Esteban Agosto Reid

    Where is the Caribbean Content is definitely an interesting question? Apparently,the paucity or dearth of content with respect to supply seems problematic, despite the numerous distributors and channels which/that are currently available.Also,what is being produced locally or regionally is not necessarily of high quality or standard.One is also of the view that technology may not necessarily be the major issue,barrier or obstacle in terms of content creators.Notwithstanding,one is of the perspective that the lack of content is based more so on the crisis of creativity,imaginativeness,ingenuity,and innovativeness coupled with a lack of thorough un derstanding of the original local and regional content required by the foreign markets in terms of demand and counter penetration as alluded to in an earlier post.Hopefully,these issues will be transcended and resolved in the short to medium term by content creators in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.RESPECT !