Monday, April 8, 2013

Why is the TV gone?

I was reading this article Broadcasters struggle to win back the "Zero TV" crowd and I thought, "Are they nuts?" There is no way to "win back" people that have moved on. And then I decided to make as list of the perceptional problems of the Networks and Studios, and give the advice that could save their corporate lives.

Misconception #1.  When restaurant patrons choose Wendy's over McDonalds. McDonalds can try and win them back because they have chosen an essentially equal option.  But when restaurant patrons go on a cruise ship, there is no way to win them back while they are there.  They are no longer accessible to the McDonalds market.
Those of us that have entered the online and on-demand entertainment model are no longer interested in a broadcast schedule, an antena, or a cable subscription. We have moved on.

Misconception #2.  When people started to go see talking movies, I am sure there were some movie executives that said, "How can we win back people to our silent movies?" Where are those executives now?  (okay that was a long time ago, and they have probably passed on.) There was no way to get people to get excited about really great silent movies after those talking pictures hit the screens.  This is what has happened. On Demand and On Line entertainment is here. Its here to stay. Start making it like that, or go the way of the silent movie studio.

Misconception #3.  Our content is better and more desirable because we are the "Network" or "Studio."  This may have been true once, but not any more. There is so much content out there, consumers don't have to watch on the network's schedule, so they don't.  Consumers don't have to buy the whole channel of content to get the one show, so they don't.  Consumers don't have to pay to watch most content, so they don't. (or they pay a membership to Netflix and get a high level of access.)

Misconception #4. Because there are still hundreds of thousands of regular TV watchers we don't have to do anything new for a while. Back when I had TV, it just got turned on and left on. No one watched it more than 50% of the time it was playing stuff. The same is not true for Hulu and Netflix. I am watching when it is playing. So you can tell your advertisers that. Not just guess. But use actual numbers. And if you wait to adapt, by the time you do, you will have lost the market share of eyeballs and will be just another also has content.

What should the networks do?

  1. Release content online sooner. Leave no market for pirates and others to re-package your content.
  2. Play it on venues like Hulu and Netflix.
  3. Play all the episodes that are available. (I have walked away from shows that no longer show the first episode online. You have missed the point of on-demand if you roll them off so that I have to wait for the re-run.  And I may never remember to come back.)
  4. Make the easiest and best way to get the show, be your site. If you make it difficult, have a bunch of barriers, restrict availability, or do anything else you think is cute to annoy your viewers, they will go somewhere else.
  5. Make money on your commercials, and find new ways to place advertisements in content so that when commercials are not viable you have a revenue model that will support you.
  6. Watch for the next trend. People are still consuming content. Make sure they are able to consume yours.

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