Thursday, September 18, 2014

Couple Cable Nets To Rebrand

Despite the fragmentation that is occurring in the cable net universe, the idea of networks staying true to their niche identities continues to evaporate.  We have watched as highly focused networks continue to broaden their format to embrace as wide an audience as possible.  And the result is that it has become harder and harder to differentiate one network from another.  Original programming does try to enable differentiation but overall the goal is to become more general entertainment to the masses. 

The latest round of branding goes to The Hub, a joint venture between Discovery and Hasbro.  The new network will be called Discovery Family (eerily familiar to ABC Family) and most likely going after the same demo.  The other network, TV Guide Network or TVGN will be rebranded as Pop, a broad entertainment net most likely reaching the same audience as TBS, USA, and others.  Will a new suit help these nets to drive more share of audience.  The pot is so fragmented now and with a leak in the boat as audiences embrace digital, total audience reach will be difficult. 

New Tech Announcements As Amazon Launches New Devices

The old joke goes, 'what is the secret to comedy'...

September has become crowded with tech announcements as Amazon makes its announcement one week after Apple.  And while Apple and Tim Cooke went splashy with a huge event, Amazon went PR with multiple upgrades including a low end tablet and a high end e-reader.  According to the Wall Street Journal, "Amazon extended some additional services to its new tablets, as well. Family Library will let users link their Amazon accounts to one another so they can share purchases of e-books, music, video and apps. And, as with the Fire phone, the retailer is offering unlimited cloud storage for photos taken with the new Fire tablets."

Certainly, Amazon is not afraid of Apple and the timing of this announcement may have been an attempt to divert attention off Apple and back to Amazon.  But as consumers start downloading their iOS 8 upgrade, their focus might be on all the new tricks the Apple operating system offers instead.  Amazon's hope is that they create their own buzz in time for the holiday buying rush.  And likely Samsung is waiting in the wings to make their more announcements too.  Clearly the timing of this Amazon announcement was strategic and the hope for Amazon is that it pays off with strong product reviews and high consumer interest.