Chapter 200: WebTV’s Invitation for Zhang Ye!
It was a day off for his parents and they were having an afternoon nap.
In the small bedroom, Zhang Ye was lying in his own room, staring blankly at the ceiling deep in thought. He felt that his career was now at a dead end. There was constant drama happening. After his departure from the television station, there had been no job offers that could further his career objectives. Having odd jobs and incidents here and there was not the solution, this kind of fame was not sustainable in the long run and he would spiral back down into being an unknown. This was not what Zhang Ye wanted to see happen. If he were to depend on such incidents to maintain his popularity, firstly, he would become too tired. Secondly, when would he ever breakthrough into the D-List rankings?
The official website had now placed Zhang Ye as the top few in the E-List Celebrity Rankings. Even after launching his book and filming a movie, it did not let him advance into the D-List. This showed how difficult it was. The celebrities who were placed above him were no pushovers too. They were also garnering more and more popularity every day. If he couldn’t even advance into the D-List, then there was no point mentioning how Zhang Ye wanted to head towards being an A-List celebrity or even international star — This would become an unattainable dream.
Keep thinking of it!
He couldn’t keep being like this forever!
But where could he go? Where could he go? Zhang Ye still had no direction!
Singing? It still wasn’t the right time yet. His singing prowess was not yet good enough. To go the direction of being a singer at this point in time would be making a fool of himself. How about writing songs for others? That would be killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. Although it could help maintain his popularity for the time being, it was not a long term solution. Everyone will pay attention only to the singer, not the composer or lyricist. No matter how awesome you were, you couldn’t possibly become an A-List celebrity by writing songs only. You wouldn’t even make it into the C-List. Acting? With his acting skills, wasting all that film as a minor supporting role and spending a full day just to barely do a passable take, it was better not to think of doing it at the moment. Zhang Ye still needed life experience and work experience. He needed to slowly learn and understand all these life lessons. Be a director? Without an inkling fart of qualifications, who would dare let him direct? Besides, Zhang Ye didn’t even know how to direct. He did not even know how to operate a camera. Write novels? The novel industry also had its limits. Compared to a singer or an actor, it was a small market. Even if Zhang Ye tirelessly wrote a bestseller, a singer who had a lukewarm song would receive much more attention than him as a novel writer, unless he wrote one novel a day and a few hundred novels a year. But that would get him captured and used for scientific research. Television station? No one dared to employ him anymore, so it was a negative. His old job as a radio host? There was too little audience over there. Zhang Ye could not possibly live in the past. Even if he did well there, he might not get into the D-List rankings. The audience base was just not enough!
All his paths were blocked!
Zhang Ye was almost crying. Was this his fate? Was there no other way he could move forward? God, don’t mess with me like this, really don’t do it like this!
Maybe God heard his cries for help.
Suddenly, he received an unexpected call.
A week after Zhang Ye left his job, an unexpected party handed him an olive branch.
It was the very sweet voice of a female on the other side. It was probably a woman whose age was not too young, “Hello, is this Zhang Ye’s number?”
“It’s me.” Zhang Ye said as he laid in bed, “You are?”
The woman laughed, “It wasn’t that easy to find you. I had to get help from a few good friends before I managed to contact an old leader of yours who gave me your number. OK, let me introduce myself. My English name is Victoria and I’m the owner, investor and CEO of Weiwo Company. Our company’s main operation is in WebTV. I believe you might have heard of our website before, it’s one of the forerunners of this industry. As for me, I am probably much older than you, but you can call me Old Wei or Sister Wei, whichever is fine. It’s just a form of salutation. I’m alright with such things.”
Man, you can have such an English name?
Zhang Ye was not really bothered by this, “I will call you President Wei, you were look for me for?”
“I have many friends who are devout Buddhists and I myself am also very interested in Buddhist teachings. A few days ago, I was having a discussion with 2 friends over a meal about your gatha. When I heard it, I became very interested. Only then did I know that there was such a radio host in Beijing.” The woman named victoria continued to speak, “I spent an entire night watching you on BTV-Arts Channel’s ‘Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms’ and I thought that it was really good. The 1st episode had already captured my interest and then I also went to read your poems. I even listened to ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ from your time at the radio station. I understand that all of these are your original works? ‘Lecture Room’ was a program that was mainly planned and produced by you?”
Zhang Ye humbly said, “I guess so, but it was also a team effort.”
He had not expected that by his participation in a movie filming would lead to so many things. It had even attracted the attention of the CEO of a company. She even called him herself!
Look at this!
There were also benefits caused by all these incidents!
Victoria said, “Our web portal has been doing WebTV for over a year now. When I saw your program for the first time, I knew that you were the host that our WebTV was looking for!”
Zhang Ye felt overwhelmed and said, “You are praising me too much.”
“How about it?” Victoria laughed a little saying, “Are you interested in coming to develop yourself in the WebTV industry? I heard that you have been blacklisted by all the television stations and can’t return to that industry anymore. But our side here does not have so many rules like them, as long as you are willing to come, our unit will create a program for you. You are good at program planning, you can decide on a program for yourself. You can also choose what time you want it to be broadcasted at. I will let you recommend your own salary, all of these can be discussed!”
Recommend my own salary?
Decide on my own program?
Choose a time that I want it to be broadcasted at?
Zhang Ye thought to himself that with such good treatment, could there be a catch? So he replied, “President Wei, are you asking me to create another program like ‘Lecture Room’?” Although Beijing Television Station had already fired him, he still had some old friends and an old leader there. Hu Fei had treated him quite well and he was the one who recruited him into the television station despite objections. Zhang Ye would never create a similar program to compete with Hu Fei, Xiao Lu and the others.
Victoria replied with an answer that made him feel assured, “You are thinking too much. I am not intending for you to compete with your old employer. Besides, ‘Lecture Room’ might be a good program, but its audience demographics is older. Even though some younger people watched it, most of those viewers were above the age of 25. If you put such a program on WebTV, it will never work. We have an audience that are in their teens to thirties. This group of people are the main force for WebTV.”
Zhang Ye nodded, “So it’s like this.”
“Mr Zhang, you can think it over first. But you should be able to feel my sincerity. I really would like you to join us and develop together with us. Oh right, maybe I need to tell you this first. Our company is based in Shanghai, so you might need to settle down here, We do not have a recording studio over in Beijing at the moment.” Victoria said.
“OK, I will give it some consideration.”
“Alright, then I hope to have good news from you, hur hur.”
“Thank you for the invitation, I will seriously consider it.”
After hanging up, Zhang Ye’s phone rang again. This time, it was Hu Fei.
“Little Zhang.” Hu Fei asked, “Just now a friend of mine called to ask for your phone number, I think that a WebTV company would like you to join them? Have you replied yet?”
Zhang Ye said immediately, “Not yet, I was just about to ask you for your opinion. Is the WebTV industry any good?”
“You are a media worker, but you don’t know about WebTV?” Hu Fei said annoyingly. But he still explained, “It’s actually just a broadcast that is done over the internet, but their programs are richer. There are variety programs, news programs and even kids’ programs… ”
Over in Zhang Ye’s previous world, WebTV was still an industry in its infancy. It was not really WebTV per se, it was just an online portal to the television station’s programs. It was just putting the resources and programs of a television station onto the internet so that everyone could view it. But upon hearing Hu Fei’s explanation, Zhang Ye understood that this world’s WebTV was different. It was a lot more matured than his previous world’s. This was the true form of a WebTV station. It was similar to television in that they had a program list for the day, it was only delivered over the internet. Its programs were premiere broadcasts and they were not repeated broadcasts from television stations. The advertising model and operating structure were also very advanced and they were administered by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of The People’s Republic of China (SARFT).
“Then, do you think I should go?” Zhang Ye asked for his views.
Hu Fei said, “That will depend on yourself. Right now, no traditional television station would dare to recruit you. WebTV might be the only way for you. There are pros and cons to joining them. The pros are that the audience base is bigger as there are many netizens. For a really good program, a single episode can have a viewership of a few million. With that, it is already much higher than you being at our Arts Channel speaking about the Three Kingdoms. The cons are that there is too much content on the internet, unlike television which only has a few channels and people switch on their TVs just to watch television programs. The internet is different because people do not necessarily choose to watch WebTV when they are online. Some like to watch movies, some watch animations, some choose to read novels, some watch short clips. Therefore, a successful WebTV program would need to stand out. They do not only compete with other WebTV programs, they also compete with other internet content. The pressure is huge so it is not easy to stand out.”
Zhang Ye had some thoughts.
Hu Fei laughed, “But who does not know about Little Zhang’s capabilities? Other people might not stand out in this vast ocean even if they had forever to do so, but you are different. I believe that you can do it!”
“Thanks, Brother Hu.”
“Make your own decision.”
“Sure, I will think about it again.”
After the conversation ended, Zhang Ye was lying on his bed and massaging his temple. He had a headache. There were pros and cons, should he go or not?
It was really hard to decide!
A celebrity was not someone that people should be so envious of. On the surface, it looked really easy. But in reality, only they themselves knew how difficult it was. A wrong step would end careers. Every step could only be taken after careful consideration!
How carefully do they have to consider? Just look at Zhang Ye and you would understand!
Do you know why Zhang Ye always scratches his head?
Do you know why Zhang Ye always has his hands on his head?
Do you know why Zhang Ye always puts his hands through his hair at night unable to sleep?
That’s right! It’s because he was plagued by dandruff issues!