You got to like this guy. When he was appointed to be the director of our beloved but oldschool national broadcasting company YLE, I actually thought that he is just another politician who wastes taxpayers money into nonsense and eventually drives YLE to the ground — leaving Finland with only commercial channels without any guts to try something different. And for some time to the outside he behaved like my predictions, but lately something has changed.
Here is a guy who is – without a question – a smart guy and capable of doing great work in the background and in the cabinets, suddenly throwing himself into the limelight, stirring the pot and not being afraid of making a fool out of himself in the process. There has been some ”oops!” and ”aaahs!” in the process, but he has shown eagerness to look things sideways and ask questions aloud. And no matter how much I think that he is behaving like a person following Harward Business Review articles on ”Transformative leadership 101” or being coached by Seth Godin, I still like it.
But back to the point. Why should you or anyone care about Mikael Junger?
Because he is finally asking important questions and throwing out ideas that could set positive examples and vision for the future of TV around the world. Don’t believe me? Just follow his tweets.
Here are couple selections:
Turhauttavaa, kun iMacin 27″ huikealle näyttölle vaikea löytää HD-sisältöä netistä. Ei toimi Hulut tai iTunesit Suomessa. Biafra? Albania?
Sort of translation: Frustrating to not be able to get HD content from the web to iMac 27″’s amazing display. No Hulu nor iTunes in Finland. Is Finland Biafra or Albania?
I mean, that is spot on and I’ve already bitched and moaned about similar issues myself, hating the fact in terms of media distribution we are still a third world country even though entertainment and media is global business and in the real time world ideas, memes and media travels with the speed of network packet.
Or how about this:
Vasta vajaa 2 % suomalaisista on kuulemma hankkinut laajakaistayhteyden (100M/10M). Osuutta voisi kasvattaa vaikka seuraavasti:
1) Joku ministeri käy USA:ssa ja pyytää Hulua ja iTunesia lokalisoitavaksi Suomeen. Suosutuu, koska jenkit on hulluna ministereihin ;D
2) Joku isänmaallinen kulttuurialan säätiö tekstittää noiden ohjelmat suomeksi…
3) Ihmisten kiinnostus kasvaa ja laajakaistayhteyksiä hankitaan ainakin edelläkävijäkoteihin (5%?)
4) Maikkari, Sanomat ja YLE joutuvat vastaamaan omalla vastaavalla kansallisella palvelulla
5) Positiivinen kierre on valmis, uusia yrityksiä, uusia työpaikkoja, uusia kulutustottumuksia, uusia innovaatioita
Sort of translation: ”I hear only 2% of finnish households have broadband connections (10/100M). That amount could be grown for example in following way:
1) Some minister / secretary of the state goes to US and asks Hulu and iTunes to be localised for Finland. Americans agree as they love government officials.
2) Some patriotic cultural organization produces subtitles to each and every show ( Don’t know whether he was thinking about teenagers already providing subtitles for pirated movies online .. )
3) Demand for broadband grows, atleast in first mover homes
4) Finnish media companies need to respond with equal national service to the competition
5) Positive cycle is ready, producing new companies, new jobs, innovations and eventually world peace”
End of my very liberal translation.
Never mind the impracticalities or effects on local advertising scene. You got to appreciate the balls on that guy. He knows how stagnated the world is and to truly change something, you need to break out conventional rules and set your bar higher. And what would be better bar than facing the fact that world has changed and in the internet we could – totally – cut out the middle man, also in TV.
So please! Someone on the other side of Atlantic – please take on Mikael at his words and cook up something together – fast, before he is fired. Pretty please and sugar on top!
I want to watch great shows when they are fresh and I don’t mind watching commercials, I actually like to watch – from time to time – American commercials and admire the visual language and sense of consumerism they have. So leave the original ads in place and sell additional ad space for local advertisers. Tech savvy users will be using some kind of AdBlock / Tivo type of system anyway. And don’t worry, we will still buy your advertisers products and love the brands we have grown to like and have attached our memories to.
So, just as an reminder. Contact Mikael Junger.