voice + video blog

A TV channel for Croydon

I’ve been thinking about creating a tv channel for Croydon - a streaming service that could play out over Youtube or Periscope, feature guests from the local area and perhaps broadcast live from some events.

It’s an idea that first came to mind when I was running Croydon Radio and being amazed at the huge queue of people who came by the studio to talk about events, fund raisers, theatrical productions, show openings and more.

The demand for air time on Croydon Radio was immense and to field the overwhelming number of enquiries, we developed an online booking system that paired guests with shows. It worked well and was constantly full to the brim. At its peak, we were receiving several hundred requests per month – way more than we could accommodate in our daily schedule. A Croydon Radio video stream seemed like an interesting and useful way of exposing all that goes on in our town.

A video channel for Croydon is nothing new. I’m old enough to remember when Virgin Media started life as Croydon Cable via Telewest in the 80s. More recently, CroydonTV  has provided a video-on-demand service of interviews and discussions. As far as I know, the channel has never provided a live, real time service. Another outlet is Croydonization, a popular Youtube user that documents some of the… err… wilder aspects of our town.

My idea is to run a live show once a week in which we interview one or two guests about forthcoming events, include some local news and wrap it with promotions for other events and activities. It would be a good chance to try out ideas and test the water. Being live, we could additionally shape the show around online activity in real time.

Since Croydon Radio, I’ve been experimenting with various streaming video formats and platforms and have a good feel for how the technology works and what can be achieved.

My recent experience with NowCroydon – my online events calendar - convinces me there’s plenty going on in our borough that’s worth talking about and promoting. Social media, especially twitter and its integrated Periscope platform, are powerful tools that make media discovery and consumption easier than ever before.

I’ve missed the buzz of running a community media outlet but I’ve no desire to be on screen. I’m strictly backroom and, in time, will be seeking local people who’d like a shot at interviewing guests and doing pieces to camera as well as helping out behind the scenes.

For now, I’m on the lookout for a suitable location in which to create a modest studio. I’m seeking a permanent space for at least six months in which to interview guests and record talking heads.

If you have a space for hire in Croydon that might be suitable, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at tim@nowcroydon.uk.