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Can AI help the Struggling Streaming Talk Show?


Now that streaming has become a part of our lives, it’s hard to imagine any kind of programming the format won’t be able to master: movies, series, documentaries, reality shows… they’ve all had successful runs on a streaming service.


But one kind of content that's hit a snag on streaming, at least so far, is the talk show.


This article points to multiple shows that have either been cancelled by Netflix or seem to be treading water; shows that, at least theoretically, would be much bigger deals on broadcast or cable, including shows by Joel McHale, Chelsea Handler and David Letterman.


So what is it about these kinds of shows, staples on regular TV, that don’t seem to work on streaming? One theory is that we tend to think of these shows as being reflections of what is happening in the world right now, and when they are not reliably placed in front of us, like a Late Show with Stephen Colbert, then they don’t seem as necessary to watch. These shows are usually vehicles for current events or things that are slated to happen, like a new movie or record or book, and streaming by nature means the content is supposed to have a longer shelf life.


The article points to that incompatibility, saying that there is just not a way to really make a streaming talk show enough of a hit. And it’s possible that that prediction is right, but rather than just throwing out the entire format, by utilizing artificial intelligence we can possibly find out how to make a talk show that works.


If Netflix were to utilize something like Resonance AI, they would be able to break down the elements of all their content, including each talk show, to find what was truly resonating. While some aspects of the format may not sync well with streaming, uncovering what maintains the attention of viewers increases the likelihood of building a better talk show, one that better reflects the tastes of streaming audiences.


Does that mean the show is going to look exactly like an episode of Jimmy Fallon? Unlikely. As we said, the timeliness of the show itself may just not work as well for a streaming format. But there are shared elements that could absolutely find their way from broadcast to streaming. And to find out exactly what those are you need Resonance AI.


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