Friday, November 16, 2012

TV Watching On My Terms

It is a difficult job these days being a corporate television scheduler.  You may want to program your show on Monday Night at 10 pm, but your audience wants to watch it on Thursday at 8:30 pm.  With the help of DVRs, on-demand, and other platforms, the choice of when to watch is in our hands.  "This fall, 38% of young-adult prime-time viewing on the major networks (and 23% of all viewing) consists of previously recorded shows, Nielsen says. That's up from nearly zero a decade ago."  And while great for the consumer, it has brought a bit of havoc to the television and advertising industry.

As we have found, live TV viewing is down and consumers are watching shows past the 3 days that networks get credited for their ads to run.  Plus with Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, and other platforms, are choices have become unlimited.  But in that fragmentation, we have lost a bit of that water cooler mentality.  Very rarely now is there a TV show that encourages us to watch it live only to report back the next day and share in the gossip of retelling events and character lines. While some of it may exist in live reality TV, like America's Got Talent or The Voice, the scripted series has suffered.  No giving away plot lines as I have the show on my DVR to watch this weekend.

is this necessarily a bad thing?  I don't think so.  The access to content means that a show once aired has the ability to be watched on our schedule.  We are no longer forced to wait for a repeat airing over the summer. That the ads are being skipped over with technology.  Blame that on overloading ads into our shows.  DVRs have become both "payback" and "playback".  Innovative ad opportunities still exist.  Disruptive technology certainly changes the old business model but that always tends to lead to a better mousetrap.

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