The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me

Following on from DOGs, the matter of credit squeezing–the practice, at the end of TV shows, of making the end titles look smaller so that the channel can tell the viewer what’s coming up next. It’s more of a BBC problem – all closing titles on ITV are near-identical and designed to be legible when shuffled to one side – and has been going on for so long that even Equity have noticed.

The reasoning behind ‘credit squeezing’ – of not waiting a second before a show has ended before bombarding the viewer with trailers – is that research shows that viewers start channel-surfing the moment a show has finished and if you want to retain viewers you have to tell them what’s on next ASAP.

I’d like to see this research. Far be it for me to suspect motives, but it’s not unusual for research to end up being interpreted in a way which uncannily matches what the person or organisation that commissioned the research had intended to do in the first place. And BBC Presentation has a vested interest in research that shows what a vital and influential department of the BBC it is.

The thing is, the reason why people start channel-surfing is because they either a) are fully informed as to what’s on next and aren’t interested or b) know that if they stay tuned to the same channel they’ll have to sit through three or four tedious will-to-live-draining minutes of irrelevant trailers and idents before the next show begins. That’s why there is the absurd situation that you get a trailer for the TV show which is on next!

The other irritation is that the BBC hasn’t even bothered to get the software to work! Every time they shrink the credits, they judder. It just looks shoddy.

1 comment:

  1. BBC Presentation is vital, shush, even more so on the radio,shush shushity shush.
    The judder (so like the momentary ratio flicker when the News goes to the regional opt out) is indeed horrible
    I have ranted similarly in the following post in this 'blog http://ianpotter.blogspot.com/2007/05/tv-eye.html
    what is twinned with yours.

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