“Recently, I was invited by friends to attend the Friends of Old Time Radio Convention held last Friday at the Holiday Inn across from Newark Airport. The convention culminates each night with the live performance of three old radio episodes by surviving radio performers of the era,” Richard Menta writes for MP3newswire.net.
“Sharing my table was one of the performers Jeff David, who’s voice is more recognizable to contemporary audiences by his TV commercial and voice over work (Jeff today is one of the in show announcers for Dateline and has hosted numerous PBS and History Channel documentaries). Also at the table were husband and wife team Fred and Ellen Berney who were video taping the evenings performances for posterity. Their business, Satellite Media Productions, does a lot of restoration work on old content including video. It was there Fred told me about his latest opportunity,” Menta writes.
“Fred was approached by a producer recently to digitize 27 high-quality kinescopes of a 1950’s show he developed years ago called Captain Zero. Fred described the show as an American Dr. Who released a decade before that famed show appeared on British television,” Menta writes. “The producer told Fred that he wants to sell the shows for $10 an episode, a price which Fred pointed out was far too much for the market. The end goal is to put these shows on DVD and sell them, but $270 for a single season of a 1950’s show that few people remember is a bit unrealistic in my opinion as well as Fred’s.”
“I asked Fred about Net distribution and asked him what he knew of the iPod Video which just hit stores a few days earlier. He had read about the iPod Video, but was unaware that iTunes was selling first run episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives for the new portable unit,” Menta writes. “I told Fred that there was a window of opportunity here for old programs like Captain Zero. So far, Apple has only come to an agreement with Disney to deliver just a few of its popular TV shows to the iPod. All of the other TV studios are taking a wait and see attitude to see if this flies. What this means is that the shows presently on iTunes have little competition with regards to reaching a potentially large new iPod audience.”
“If Captain Zero was to be made available to iTunes immediately it would be one of just an extremely limited library of content. This would make the episodes very visible on that site as opposed to being lost in a white noise of thousands of programs (which will eventually happen if iTunes video sales prove successful),” Menta writes. “I said to Fred that this producer could make far more money at $0.99 an episode through this distribution medium iTunes created, because early entrance into iTunes can generate significant volume, even if most of the sales are stimulated through nothing more than a camp curiosity by the consumer. The first step is to get this producer to re-think his $10 an episode plan.”
“Fred asked me how he could go about investigating this. I told him he would have to call Apple direct as I have no idea of their process or even of their strategy to expand iTunes’ video content. I suspect that Apple will be open to the idea of older content as they have proven quite open to the independent music community for audio tracks for iTunes,” Menta writes. “I hope Fred looks into my suggestion. It could be the start of something big.”
More in the full article here.