The Internet Killed the Television Star

I was talking over the weekend with a group of people about the rapid advance of Social Media, and was asked where I thought that it would go next.

First of all, in this context I think that the term “New Media” is a better term than “Social Media”.

Over the last few years seen the shifting of music, books, and magazines from physical to digital forms, and there is no evidence that this shift will slow or reverse.

Now, I’m going to get a bit futuristic here, but I see this shift continuing and accelerating.

5-10 years from now, this shift will be almost a wholesale change…and it’s not just music, books, newspapers and magazines that will be consumed on iPad-type devices (that’s an easy prediction to make).

The business model for media is going to change as well.

Primarily how do TV stations/broadcasters make money?  Selling ads. (yes, HBO and Showtime et al, are the few exceptions).  And providing content that makes you want to sit though ads, when they want you to watch that content.

So in a future world, where I’ve got several devices in my home all connected to the internet, and all designed for the distribution/creation and consumption of content, this business models doesn’t fit.  In part this is seen today when only 18% of TV ad campaigns have a positive ROI, and a 90% of people with DVRs use them to skip through commercials.

There is no good reason why programs should be only available on TV.  You can sell an ad or a subscription for anything, and the value that the broadcasters provide has eroded, and will continue to erode.

Of course there is a reason that this will be fought, and that is because the existing networks are entrenched and fear change.

There are lots of people currently who have some of these pieces in place, but I don’t think that anyone has put it together (yet).

Somewhere out there is a bright entrepreneur who is going to begin putting quality first-run content on the web only…and if they do it right it is going to be a homerun.

There are a fair number of TV shows that are canceled, while still having a loyal fanbase…renewing those for the web-based media channel is a good start.

People will have the devices and the access, and they will have a desire for great content to be accessed anywhere.

There is content that exists and will be created, aggregating it and providing enough content with a great user experience is going to solved by someone, and if it is done well, people will pay for it.

Lots of people will pay for it.

1 Comment

  1. Since I posted this a couple of weeks ago, it seems that Netflix is going to be the first mover in this space (which shouldn’t be a huge surprise).

    Netflix has acquired first run rights to original series House of Cards directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey.

    “We want to confirm our theory that because we are click-and-watch rather than appointment viewing, we can efficiently build a big audience for a well-produced serialized show,” CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells said in a letter to shareholders on April 26th, that was included in its first-quarter earnings report. “We’ll license two or three similar, but smaller, deals so we can gain confidence that whatever results we achieve are repeatable.”

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