By Resident Internet Guru Alan Wrongsize
With recent news in the UK that non-essential shops are to close, one retailer has decided to join the crowded market of video streaming services as a way to keep their business afloat. With tougher proposals now in place, and everyone now kept indoors except for essential things like getting the beers in, Colin Foulds-Lotts – the manager of Primark in Telford – has read about the upsurge in subscriptions of these services and wants to capitalize on this trend, as the stores face temporary closure. The proposal he showed to the big cheeses wasn’t successful, but he remains undeterred. I interviewed Mr Foulds-Lotts in his office during his dinner break one day, as he feels if the public react positively to his ideas, it will give his higher-ups no choice but to move forward in this odd direction for the retailer.
TDJJ: “Mr Foulds-Lotts, this is a radical move for the company, very different from your business model, but you feel this is a necessary move for the times. Why do you feel this would be a success?”
CF-L: “Well, we know everyone is probably already bored with being stuck in the house with family members, and there’s nothing entertaining outside any more, just walking the dog, picking up prescriptions or buying alcohol to somehow make the time go quicker. I became aware that streaming services were helping to reduce the arguments and fistfights in the household, and then I started writing possible ideas down for TV shows if we were to create a streaming service of our own.”
TDJJ: “What are the ideas you have? Are you thinking of showing existing content or are you making original programmes?”
CF-L: “I found out pretty quickly how much it’d be to buy in established TV shows and films, and with time being of the essence, we have to move quickly. So after looking around the shop for inspiration, I felt we could produce a lot of quality original stuff. Stuff that our fans would love.”
TDJJ: “Like what?”
CF-L: “We have a hell of a lot of products to choose from, so I reckon we’d get a load of mileage out doing a kind of shopping channel thing where we get someone to talk about, say, a brown dress for about 20 minutes or so. There could also be a soap opera, with employees talking about their private lives to each other, with arguments and affairs aplenty. Believe me, I reckon I could get a decent amount of material together. And it wouldn’t just be the staff getting the star treatment, customers would be getting a load of screen time as well.”
TDJJ: “Would using customers be a wise idea? Would you pixelate their faces, if whatever programme they’d be used on shows them in a bad light? I’m sorry, I don’t know how all this stuff works.”
CF-L “That’s okay, these are valid questions. I’m sure the customers would be fine with us, once they saw themselves in some of the more crazy ideas I’ve thought of. We use CCTV footage to help move the narrative forward in certain shows when required.”
TDJJ: “Well I suppose that would save you a lot of time when filming, to have all that footage already.”
CF-L: “Yeah, shows like Primark’s Quaziest Queues, Wackiest Customers and Refunding Mishaps. I’ve also got some adult programming on the way, for diversity. There’s enough footage from changing room and hidden toilet cameras to spread out into several serieses. I reckon this is gonna be a big selling point, people like voyeurism, like me.
TDJJ: “So if this interview is successful and garners enough positive feedback, and the powers that be give you the nod, when could this service be available?”
CF-L: “I’m working on the footage now, working around the clock reviewing toilet videos, so it wouldn’t take long. Maybe about a week or so. The price point is also going to stay in line with other services, around £5.99 a month. I wanted a premium service as well, but upscaling low res CCTV footage to 4K is a bit too tricky.”