Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Kagan study: cable nets in good shape

Major media companies with cable network distribution are doing better than believed while independently owned cable networks are struggling, according to this SNL Kagan study. Not earth shattering news, I must say. The power of these large companies with multiple brands converging across multiple spaces, broadcast, cable, print, etc seems to me to be the driver of this success. Just this morning, the NBC Today show brand is pushing CNBC and their Fast Money program. In addition, references to their websites offers more synergies. Disney is the master of this synergy, too; just look at the runaway success of High School Musical, and its merchandising across many businesses. I even understand that ABC Good Morning America will be highlighting its sequal on Thursday mornings show. Across many brands, content is pushed and leveraged to create even more revenue lines.

It becomes harder and harder for content to breakthrough the sheer number of shows and networks now available on TV, on demand, and online, without the power of a larger media company behind you to get noticed. Is it possible to breakthrough, sure, but that long tail is awfully long. These same conglomerates are able to package these opportunities to their advertisers assuring metric goals are met and revenue attained. The little guys can survive; but in life, the big fish tend to eat the little fish.