MySpace TV pushes its foray into original Internet-TV for teens with the launch of Roommates.
I want to say that the first installment of this series is as patronizing and ridiculous as the trailer of its soon-to-launch sister site, Quarterlife (which we covered here ) but, honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a group of scantily clad, gorgeous post-grads in a playful tussle? MySpace might be on to something…
Alright, this thing exudes cheese, but will it be a hit with its desired demographic?### I bet. The first episode already has a 96% rating on MySpace and scores of fans serving the usual trifling commentary; if the masses are the desired demographic, they’ve hit it square in the face. Banal melodrama and a happy-go-lucky chit-chat never seemed to fail on old TV, and its certain to attract many to new TV.
The thing is, most High Schoolers aren’t as empty and predictable as News Corp executives might think, and the power of internet-TV is the ability to engage their very diverse interests simultaneously. Roommates marks an important development in the timeline of internet-television — it’s finally beginning to draw broad enough teen viewership to substantiate near-Hollywood budgets. But now that the teen audience has arrived and is becoming engaged, it’s important to recognize that they’ll diffuse like the rest of the media and entertainment markets.
Big players like NewsCorp should take this opportunity not only to create catch-all mega-hits like Roommates, but to explore the growing personality-cults or niches that have begun to emerge on the internet. Instead of mega hits, media companies will begin to explore content that appeals to narrower communities, as Next New Networks has done so successfully.
So vapid teen dramas are here to stay, and they’re not getting much more interesting. But it’s exciting that they’ll soon be accompanied by niche content for teenagers of all shapes, colors, sizes and interests. In the meantime, Roommates has some obvious appeal.