[qi:032] Did someone circulate a secret memo to the Big TV executives? Suddenly they can’t wait to give away their television shows, betting that old will strike gold in the NewTeeVee world.
First it was NBC (GE), then ABC (DIS), and now FOX (NWS) is giving away some of its shows on iTunes. (NewTeeVee has made a list of places where you can find network television, it’s also organized the networks in terms of 1980s movie characters.)
“What we are seeing is a rather messy and inelegant fumbling into the future of video distribution,” Tim Hanlon of Denuo, a division of ad giant Publicis Groupe, told the LA Times. Fumbling or not, one thing is clear: Network television executives are ready to face the music. Good thing, too, because they are going to find out very soon just how many people are actually watching their shows, and what they can really make off of them.
The advertisers should be rubbing their hands in glee: the television’s game of smoke-and-mirrors, a.k.a. notional audiences is going to be replaced by hard data.
Look, I think what the networks are doing is great — at least they’re experimenting. But for the longest time they have passed themselves off as mass-market entertainment experts; the results of these online experiments are going to show just how expert they really are. Whether or not they can handle the truth is a different matter altogether.
Can Internet Video Deliver A Nielsen Ratings Point?
7 thoughts on “TV Networks: Can They Handle The Truth?”
I agree, the executives do seem to be facing the music when it comes to online distribution. However, when it comes to user experience – they still haven’t figured it out. Some of these companies are developing distribution platforms that are wrapped deeply with restrictive DRM, making it harder and harder for consumers to use the content on their device/platform of their choosing. This I don’t understand.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Om until the Networks wake up to the realities of the internet and have global distribution windows and stop restricting the distribution of thier content they have no chance .
Targeting advertising by Geo Location techniques instead of blocking content with geo location could give them a viewing audience in the billions and the metrics are endless but as one p2p company exec told me last year “Its still baby steps for Hollywood as they venture out into the real world”
ummm…aren’t most of these shows available via an rss feed? once these providers realize that rss provides an ‘over the air ( massive web exposure)’ foundation -this is just as valuable as exposure on free TV once was and still is. Free TV is how the Networks grew so big. Free with ads. That still works and will work in the future. Pay Tv and PPV will mutate biz models over time, but free is free. But the best part is the REAL measurement…no more 500 (ooops, maybe that’s 250) Nielsen books filled out by who knows who telling us all that one show is more popular than the other. Hardly a real picture of Television viewing.
Nobody (relatively speaking) is watching long-form video on the Internet yet. It’s an insignificant piece of the TV networks’ revenue streams today.
It’s easy to call NBC boneheaded (because it was boneheaded) for bailing on iTunes for Amazon, but it isn’t material to success or failure for the 2007-2008 season, though sooner or later (later) Internet distribution of video will be a very big deal.
NBC’s success or failure will be based on how many people watch their shows and the Internet isn’t gonna have much to do with that this year even if it was still on iTunes.
ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC have been giving away most of their content via streaming for a while now. ABC isn’t doing much new with AOL, it’s just giving away the same shows it gave away all last year via ABC.com, but I think the various distribution experiments make sense right now.
Big Network execs care more about big money, and right now, that’s not happening via the Internet. I’m guessing more gross revenue is generated from people texting in their votes during the season run of American Idol than all the networks will generate combined this year for their online efforts with long-form video.
These are still very, very early days. You didn’t name it NEWTeeVee for nothing!
I don’t watch TV much anymore. TV can’t compete with the excitement, fun, well organized news, and other media, that I can reach on the Internet. Between the Internet and my XBox360, TV is pretty dull. I’m not sure the days of people lounging around the boob tube every night at 6:00 are over for everyone but those days are over for myself and the whole group of people in the market like me and I think it is important to acknowledge the trend that clearly indicates more people moving away from the tube because it’s more fun to play video games, more productive to get news online and your cyber identity is more important than watching deal or no deal (or any other mindless, useless, barely entertaining, loaded with comercial, junk they can throw at you). But sports is an important niche and once you can get that over the internet, people should just hook up their TV’s to their computers and say goodbye to the networks. They are not doing their job, which is entertaining me. That is why everyone is leaving.
Ethan Dickenson,Author,Today’s Best of Breed
~~~~~A suite of freeware for Windows~~~~~
The real losers will be the cable/satellite/fiber distributors. It’s just a matter of time until the networks discover how to reach new audiences and cut out the fat.
I am not surprised at all, and saw it coming two years ago, when I wrote the following item on my blog. The simple rule is that videos will go the book way.