Appointment TV

Neilsen’s Ratings: A Lesson For The Studios

decabled450Neilsen put out their 3rd quarter report and there are some interesting trends I hope the studios notice.  Don’t fear online viewership it’s an asset.

...in the third quarter DVR use and online video grew 21.1 percent and 34.9 percent respectively, year-over-year, according to the latest Nielsen A2/M2 Three Screen Report.

The rise in time shifted viewership is a trend the studios need to take advantage of.  What appears to be the main resistance to streaming online content is the fear that it takes away from appointment viewership.  Although there is a slight loss due to the shift the rise in viewership is far larger then the loss.

Regular appointment TV ratings have dropped over the past decade because of:

  • Alternative work schedules / rise in 2nd and 3rd shift workers
  • Working multiple jobs
  • Rise of the MMO
  • Rise in decabled audience

Where is this rise in viewership coming from?  The audience share that has other things to do at the appointed time of the regular show.  Those who are curious about what’s on in their spare time and want to see what their friends are talking about.  Those who are decabled.

I hope the studios realize that their cash cow isn’t dying it’s just started feeding in several different pastures.

(via NewTeeVee)

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Could Hulu Be in Trouble?

Some sad news out, GE is moving forward on a deal between Comcast and NBC.

Hulu, LLC Image via Wikipedia

Under the terms of that deal, Comcast would own 51 percent of the new entity, which would combine NBC Universal’s broadcast network, theme parks, movie studio, and cable-television channels USA, Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC with Comcast cable networks E! Entertainment, Versus and Golf Channel.

What does this mean for Hulu?

Hulu would then have 2/3 of their owners more interested in the company going away rather then succeeding.

Comcast is interested in keeping the public watching appointment TV and paying for a cable bill, putting their interests against Hulu.

Disney owners of ABC have a long history of ownership issues which is only furthered by the odd change in Hulu’s direction with their acquisition this year.  This season’s lessening of Hulu with many shows on a one week delay and the things going down with yanking Eastwick.

I’m not so concerned that Hulu would get shut down overnight.  What I do see as a possible future is a slow corruption in the quality of the product.  Lessening and restricting Hulu from making the advances necessary to grow it’s audience share.  This would allow it to become insignificant and to fade away.

With hope I want to believe that Hulu’s success will keep them from taking this great product away from everyone.  Hope is not enough.

How do we move forward?

What steps do you recommend we take to help the big studios see the value in offering shows streaming online and the value in services like Hulu which can aggregate those shows into a good player?

(via NewTeeVee)

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TV to Stream Netflix Videos Directly

Netflix, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

LG Electronics will start selling high-definition TV sets that stream Netflix videos directly from the Internet, without an additional device.

This is great news for several reason!

Less devices to have hooked up in my entertainment center.

I am overjoyed that LG Electronics is making it easier to stream internet content directly to a TV.   My entertainment center has so many devices, wires, plugs, and switchers that I can not hook up another device.  I finally got fed-up with having to switch between devices and buying new switchers and having to sort through wires and plugs that I had to draw a line in the sand deciding there needed to be a simpler process.  Why can’t I have my streaming shows, DVD’s, and video game consoles fed through just a few devices.  Thank you LG Electronics, hopefully this will begin a trend for other TV designers.  Thank you Netflix for offering options to your customers and not forcing us into another single purpose device.

Making it easier for people to Decable

With Netflix and LG making it easier for the mainstream market to stream content through the internet more people will realize the joy of breaking free from appointment content.  For many years I have worked irregular schedules which forced me to miss all of the appointment content provided through cable.  Because of that I had to  find alternative means to get that content.  I have been an advocate of the process of breaking free of appointment TV for almost a decade now I just didn’t have a name for it.    Now thanks to Jeff over at Command N I have a term for the process which is to Decable.

(via Fandango: Entertainment News)

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New Media is not Small Media or Binding

I was reading an article on The 10 movies you shouldn't watch online.  In which, once again they demonstrate how people don’t get the new media.

Hulu recently added 1962's "Lawrence of Arabia," which raises the question: Should anyone watch a nearly four-hour-long epic of sweeping grandeur on their laptop? Or, heaven forbid, their cell phone?

New media is about being freed from schedules and opening up more choices.  Yes, some watch Hulu and other shows on their portable devices but the growing trend is like myself to have Hulu tied into our main entertainment center and watch it like one would watch a DVD or Television.  I love my Apple TV and Boxee which I run on it to allow me to watch Hulu on my Big Screen.  Besides if you were on a long flight with internet access and I had to choose between the big screen in-flight movie or Star Wars on my laptop, well the decision is easy.

Watching movies on Hulu is about being freed from appointment TV.  This way if they show his #5 pick Star Wars on TV I would probably have something going on during the time slot when it would be aired.  Yet on Hulu I can load it up when I have time to watch a movie on my schedule.

What do you think, do you watch movies on Hulu?  If so how do you like to watch them?

Good Bad & Ugly Online TV

briansimpson 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.

via Press-Enterprise

Series Four Doctor Who In The U.S.

I am pleased today to see the U. S. distribution of Doctor Who speed up. For years now I have been disappointed with how slow and difficult it is to get to watch Doctor Who in the states through legal means. Usually that means waiting a year or so for it to be shown on Sci-Fi Channel or waiting for the DVD release. This year they have speed up the release of series four in the states to only a 20 day wait! Much better than one year and defiantly a step in the right direction.

Some of you who are saying that Sci-Fi channel are releasing series four on the 18th are mistaken, that includes Sci-Fi channels schedule. They are releasing the series three special Christmas episode on the 18th but the first episode of series four which airs on BBC TV on the fifth will show on Sci-Fi channel on the 20th.

It is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done. They are still excluding a large market of SF fans who no longer watch appointment TV but have a great desire to watch the show and participate in the conversation. By keeping these shows unaccessible they encourage fans to turn to piracy to watch the show. I don't endorse piracy and I have to exclude myself from the conversation because I don't participate in it. That being said, the easiest way to reduce that piracy problem would be to make the show more accessible and in a more timely fashion.

I am not able to catch appointment TV this being another example. Looking at Sci-Fi's schedule I am working during both the 9pm and 11pm time slot and thus not able to watch them.

Hopefully they will continue to move in the direction of making Doctor Who more accessible and maybe Sci-Fi channel could get permission to put it up on Hulu or some other streaming service... Fingers Crossed!