Here’s why local TV should be scared of what’s happening at Earl’s on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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Star bartender Bob Peters is live streaming his Mixology Lab class from Earl’s Grocery at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday on Facebook.

bob-peters-class-earls

It’s the beginning of a massive shift that you’ll see in local media (it’s already well underway on a national level).

I asked Bob about his expectations and he said, “I’m hoping for 1,000 views in the first 48 but I really have no idea what will happen. It might be 200. I would still be honored with that amount of views. This is basically a giant, fun experiment.”

He’ll easily hit this.

If you’re an exceptional content creator like Bob Peters, why do you need TV? Answer: You don’t. For free, Bob can now develop programming directly for Facebook (which of course has a massive built-in audience). Oh, and it’s live.

Bob announced this via awkward selfie-style on Facebook Live and that video has already received over 1,400 views.

Distribution has become a commodity.

You read about cord cutting. You read about how TV is dying. And although you think that you only experience the death of local TV when you cancel your cable and supplement it with Netflix, you can actually feel this death all around you if you look closely enough.

For example, we put a 30-second clip of a prosthetic hand from OrthoCarolina on Instagram last week. It’s not a viral video in the least – sure, it’s interesting, but it’s not a link that goes nuts on Facebook and nobody emails Instagram URLs. It’s just a good piece of video content.

This Agenda prosthetic hand Instagram video has received over 26,000 views. That’s more than the average morning news viewership on WCNC (19,400), WCCB (7,700) and WJZY (1,700). Read that again and you can see why local TV execs might be viewing our Agenda job board.

I’d also argue that the quality of that video view is much better that TV – there is no Instagram DVR and nobody puts Instagram video on in the background as they’re cooking.

Tomorrow’s media programming is being born today and it often seems small – a quick prosthetic hand video on Instagram and live cocktail class – but it’s not.

It takes a while for business models to catch up to consumption habits, but they will. Political advertising and automotive advertising (two major profit drivers for local television) will shift from television to online, it’s just a matter of when. The big winners will be Facebook, Google and content creators.

Cheers, Bob. You’re not just crafting a delicious tequila-based punch, you’re actually crafting the future of media.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).