I have been wondering for a while: "Why are TV studios are doing the things that they are doing in regard to providing their content in a manner other than appointment TV?" The general answer was a shrug followed with "well it is a new medium and they are scared to change the old models that worked so well." Not the most satisfactory answer and vague enough it might just work.
The Good: The online advertising debate will move forward. With the more traditional means of advertising and advertising expectations moving online this will put pressure on the advertisers to pay more fairly for their advertisements. Currently most advertising reaps the benefits from the add with viewers seeing the product but they don't have to pay for it unless someone clicks on the add which results in many free adds for advertisers. The TV model will hopefully fuel the debate and put pressure on advertisers to more fairly pay for those add views. It will also fuel the debate over what counts as a fair add view and how is it tracked. All good questions that need to be discussed.
Advertisers pay more online because there is a better accounting of how many viewers see the ads and an extra benefit that an impulse to purchase can be acted on with the click of a mouse.
"For an advertiser, you're getting a clear performance result," said Bob Davis, a Web investor. "No matter what the click-through (rate) they get, it's infinitely larger than the click-through they get on TV. The click-through they get on TV is zero."
The Good: With NBC realizing that free advertisement supported content online is more valuable than pay per view model they will hopefully put up more content and leave shows up longer. There are many shows that I would watch from time to time with adds online but I would not buy on DVD. It is an undeserved market and I'm excited to see NBC taking up the charge. They should also leave the content up longer giving word of mouth movements to drive up their ratings of shows that may be good but have bad advertising.
For TV shows at least, ad-supported free viewing online has proved more profitable than fee-based video downloads on services like Apple Inc.'s iTunes, said George Kliavkoff, chief digital officer of NBC Universal.
The Bad: With the value of commercials being so high online and the studios desire to get even more out of their online revenues there is concern that they may move away from sharing that revenue and try to drive viewers to their individual sites, pulling their shows from aggregating programs like hulu and Joost.
The Ugly: Those studios that think that this is just a fad to draw viewers back into appointment TV, causing them to play games and annoy viewers and in turn driving down online viewership online through false means.
"The thought was purely to try to find new eyeballs in a medium that generally appeals to younger demographics, and then drive them ... to watch on their beautiful plasma-screen TV when the series takes off," said Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive.
CBS, who's player and site experience is most unpleasant. I have been annoyed with them all season because of the stupid games they are playing. I really enjoy shows like The Big Bang Theroy and How I Met Your Mother. I would watch it through my Joost player because the experience is convenient and pleasant. I have actually fallen behind in many episodes because CBS was not releasing the current episodes in a regular fashion to Joost. I hope that this delay is not due to them playing games to drive viewership back to appointment TV.
Overall this news is promising and hopefully studios will continue to move into the new media.