Friday, March 7, 2008

Do Online Video Clips Impact TV Viewership?

Do clips of TV shows lead to higher ratings? So many people assume that the promotional value of clips on you tube, hulu, and other video sharing sites provide users with the snacking to then become long form viewers of the show.

How many of us have seen the Jimmy Kimmel/Ben Affleck clip and the Sarah Silverman/Matt Damon clip. Both first aired on the Jimmy Kimmel show on ABC, but has it turned non fans into fans; that is, have these and other clips of the show increased the overall ratings for the show. Some have told me that no relationship exists. And from my own experiences, while I have watched these clips, I have not been converted into a viewer of the show.

I have been surprised to hear that this video snacking, regardless of the shows they come from, have not significantly impacted the ratings for the show on TV. So if the promotional factor doesn't impact ratings, is the buzz factor enough to matter. Or do these online clips need to exist distinct from their linear counterpart and require their own monetization model to maintain their existence.

I was initially surprised to learn that users aren't flocking to watch the Daily Show or SNL because they liked the highlights that spring up online. I would have thought that it would encourage viewership because of the buzz factor. And while the online hits grow, there appears to be no synergy to the linear platform. Still, it does create news and may have an indirect impact on viewership.

The bottom line is ratings and revenue; if online can at least expand the reach of the audience and incremental revenue can be built, than the long term value will remain; else these clips may start to appear behind walled gardens to maximize the return.