Earlier this week The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast was joined by the co-founder of Kayfabe Commentaries, Sean Oliver. Sean chats with John and Chad about the upcoming releases from Kayfabe Commentaries as well as the evolution of where the shoot interview genre is about to go. Additionally, Oliver touches on the similarities between recent WWE Network shows that have been created as well as some examples of how he has seen some of the unique Kayfabe Commentaries concepts make their way into various aspects of his competitor's productions. You can download this full episode and listen to past Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcasts at this link.
It's a really complicated topic because for better or worse I'm going to blame it on a generational shift. It's a generational shift in that the digital native (someone who has always had digital media around them) from when they were a young aware person, grew up in an environment where whether they like it or not or they subscribe to it or not it was a general pervasive notion that anything digital is free. They didn't create it, they were born into it and we know it is not true and we know that the methods of policing it are so much more different than just the dude that had a Motley Crue bootleg cassette for sale at the flea market. It has become so much more sophisticated. Anyone that produces content has to accept the fact that it's never going away so our world is original content plus piracy.
I look at any two minute clip that a fan wants to put up on YouTube of our programming as a great commercial for us. Now people that put up thirty-five ten minute clips up that is called the entire program and that gets taken down and as a content partner of Google we have the means to very quickly get accounts shut and stuff taken down. But for the most part as a fan who says I love this sh*t and I love this show, that person is a fan. The guy that is leeching the thing to a torrent site is doing it because he is a fan. He's not putting up the democratic debate he is putting up something he is passionate about and that he loves and is sharing that.
The problem is and as you know when you are functioning at this level and you don't have millions of dollars behind you to continue to produce this programming that we are entirely dependent on sales generating from our productions. Our salaries, every light-bulb, every camera, every roll of gaffers tape is dependent 100% on sales. We are not just one arm of some massive conglomeration. So that leeched torrent and that program of ours that was downloaded instead of bought of course hurts us and that is another roll of tape we can't get. It's all about managing it. We have an anti-piracy company that does as much as they can to get stuff down from sites that are compliant and I think things will change but I think it is going to change as there is a lot of media consolidation like as TV companies and movie companies are owned by internet service providers.
Has he felt as if the WWE Network has produced similar concepts to Kayfabe Commentaries:
Well have you? We first started to see it happen around I'd say about 2010-2011. What would start to happen was we were getting a little "concept creeped" (is what I was calling it) and some of our contextual stuff was starting to show up in other shows. A very good example is that our Timeline series had been out for about a year and the Timeline: History of WWE was our first series in the Timeline brand. Shortly after that someone from Titan Tower got in touch with us because I think they won one of our DVDs through a podcast and got in touch with us and said how they loved our stuff and could we send some them (stuff) over there. So we sent a box of Timeline's up to Titan Tower and it's not to Vince it is just some guys working in the library or the production office.
About six months later there was an edition of WWE magazine called The History of WWE and throughout the entire magazine a timeline runs and the whole story was told through call out boxes. Our earlier shows are much more of a linear timeline format and it wasn't just like the pop-ups we do now so that was I guess a compliment to us. But what started to happen was they started to see that they could use their talent outside of their "character" and in kind of like our YouShoot series have fan interaction, fan mail-bags, have fans sending in crazy questions and letting the wrestlers be as "un-hinged" as would be safe for the publicly traded WWE with those "wacky" answers they give. It was more the sentiment of the shoot interview and what YouShoot did for the shoot interview. Now with the JBL series that is just a straight-out shoot interview. We are always going to have an advantage over those guys. I am never threatened by WWE because it can't really be a shoot interview unless you are telling the truth and unless it is really gloves off, totally uncensored and anything goes. That is what a shoot is and what the definition of shoot is in this business.
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