Sunday, March 9, 2008

CBS: Embracing New Media

You can look most anywhere and find debate about Nielsen ratings and Jericho or online viewing and Jericho plus a number of other debates. There's old media vs. new media, how to save Jericho again, and email vs. snailmail.

It appears to me the bottom line is money. CBS wants to sell ads, advertisers want you to buy their products, and you want Jericho to have Season 3. So, I asked myself why CBS should be embracing new media.

"CBS seems to have been a little self conscious in the way it has handled Jericho", says Terocious of Jericho Junction. "This is understandable because I believe the whole industry has been watching and enjoying a free education. We should be concentrating on getting CBS to see the advantages of being at the center of the storm; advantages such as having as much web traffic as the other big three combined."

I then decided to ask Rich Becker of CopywriteInk,"What's in it for CBS by embracing new media?"

"CBS, like all networks, are recognizing that a growing number of viewers — sometimes equal or more than live viewing — are watching original programming when they want. The devices don't mean as much to consumers as much as the quality of the content. This trend is tied to the eventuality that almost everything will be on demand, with little regard to what devices they are being watched on. While old school thought is tied to live programming, especially by rating system proponents, the future clearly points toward the convergence of broadcast and Internet. Those who say this will take five years or so have no understanding that the networks are moving faster than ever to make the changes. When I first noted the trend a little more than a year ago, it all seemed like science fiction to some. But now, within that year, some programs have already been brought back to life. And, even more importantly, fans are becoming more engaged then ever — they talk about their favorite shows online as opposed to simply seeing what's next. So, a single show has three to four times more entertainment value for them than a single hour its broadcast time."

Additionally, Rich states,"There are only two minor bumps in the road, which are short term challenges: Monetizing future programming and bandwidth. Both are very short term because the networks are already finding ways to generate revenue streams on the Internet and they are quickly learning that most people do not watch the same programming at the same time. It already seems like a long time ago that people used to plan their lives around entertainment. Nowadays, they just do what they want, set the DVR, or download a missed show. The only exception seems to be live programming such as contests, awards programs, and sporting events. Personally, I look forward to the day when people will be able to create their own prime time lineups with the click of a few buttons."

"A new study released earlier this week indicates that online video has had an affect on the way people watch television.

The research would seem to indicate that some viewers do indeed watch shows across multiple platforms, a theory that NBC has pitched to Madison Ave, saying that advertising across multiple platforms will accumulate a broader reach and different levels of engagement with viewers.

The research also indicated high levels of brand recall and other metrics among NBC Rewind users."

Amy Vernon of RemoteAccess sums it up very well:

"Leading the way can be scary. You make mistakes, have missteps, sometimes get lost. But if you’re leading, you still get to the destination first.

When you follow, you always are trying to catch up. No matter what you do, you’re always behind. Is that where you want to be?"


erika said...

Great, just great! CBSis, of course, out to make money, and we want quality TV, and I think eventually, cross-platform viewing will be the solution. Until then, I hope CBS can see the successes jericho has given them, and keep it around for a little longer.

terocious said...

Also the leader here could find they expand their loyal viewer base. People are becoming more aware of how the internet works. They know that by counting hits and streams the networks have the means of tracking their online activity. If you consider radio then the networks have around a century’s worth of data as to which type of folks watch which type of shows. By combining this data with focus groups they should easily be able to determine a base audience for their programming and sell web advertisements based on this. No doubt their conclusions would leave some people out but we are looking for solutions to speed the transition. The new methods for determining the demographics of a shows audience can be honed overtime but for now this is a way to assure this new type of viewer that their opinion counts.