Friday, December 9, 2011

TiVo Having A Good Month

TiVo seems to be all over the news these days with more and more good news regarding its distribution. Earlier this month came word that DirecTv was pushing its TiVo box and now the rollout of TiVo on Charter in the Fort Worth system and full rollout by June 2012. This deal was announced almost one year ago so it is nice to read that it is actually available in market. "Charter-branded TiVo PremiereCharter's TiVo DVR will be $20 per month; during a limited promotion period, subscribers can get additional TiVos for $10 per month for 12 months."

"For TiVo, attracting subscribers through operators including Charter and DirecTV is critical to its future. For the quarter ended Oct. 31, TiVo gained 117,000 net subs, thanks to the rollout of a TiVo-based box by the U.K.'s Virgin Media -- its first net gain in more than four years." These US deals should give TiVo another strong quarter. As a TiVo fan, I look forward to seeing them drive distribution across the other major cable operators.

ABC Putting First Season Shows On Web

There always seems to be a little hesitancy when it comes to making TV shows available outside its linear time slot. Before web video, it was on demand and networks were extremely cautious about offering their best shows on this new distribution platform. When on demand first was offered, cable operators were lucky to find scraps of shows that networks were willing to offer. Some may argue that contractual issues prevented networks from placing shows on demand; most others were fearful that on demand would take eyeballs away from ratings and thus hurt their financial success. But there were some cable networks willing to take a risk with on demand. Some actually offered sneak peaks of their first run shows prior to their linear time slot. The result, audiences grew and ratings didn't suffer. Today we have more sophisticated research to show viewership and build ad revenue, but it has taken years to gain acceptance.

But technological change doesn't stop and the growth and demand for more online video runs rampant. So it is great to read that ABC is using the power of the web to grow interest and ratings of its first run series. "Looking to give a promotional push to two promising series, ABC will make their entire libraries available online over the next month. All episodes of new first-season shows “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge” will be accessible on or through the network’s iPad player." Especially for episodic shows, a great opportunity for new viewers to catch up and get engaged with the show.

Online can also provide better targeted advertising that appeals to the viewer. More interest, more viewers, and more revenue. Today's primary audience, Adults 18-49, are spending more and more of their time on their digital devices - laptops, iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Getting them to discover new TV shows is tougher given the clutter of choices that exist. Bringing shows to them online is the first step in re-engaging with them where they are most likely to view. I look forward to hearing from ABC how this digital tactic has worked to build stronger viewership and interest in their shows.