When the “Telly” Breaks
The television space continues to flood with new technologies and market entrants causing content to overflow into new reservoirs to feed the masses. Over-the-Top (OTT) technologies (Roku, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play), streaming service giants (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant & YouTube), and app-ready Smart TVs and Tablets are all viable ways for viewers to access content whenever and wherever they choose. Aside from time-sensitive content—live sporting events & popular shows with fans so entrenched in social community conversations surrounding the show it necessitates live viewing—the majority of content can be watched at a viewer’s own convenience. TV networks must develop savvy content strategies which empower and enable viewers to use a variety of outlets to access the content in the form they want it: DVDs, video-on-demand (VOD), a network’s owned website, mobile apps and streaming services—just to stay relevant and meet the expectations of today’s modern realities.
A Flood of Content
The new, so-called market “disrupters” still depend largely on the premium content of traditional broadcast & cable television networks. They cater to the networks by helping them add new revenue streams by paying them handsomely to distribute their content, but also offer the possibility of increasing overall network viewership that could lead to future live ratings boosts in linear TV down the line. This will, of course, drive ad revenue and give the networks the opportunity to continue cross-promoting other shows when the viewing is done linearly on live TV or on their own websites. Vince Gilligan, the creator of AMC’s hit series Breaking Bad, accredited the exponential growth in viewership for his show to the Netflix phenomenon. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and even Amazon have identified this as an opportunity for themselves and now invest heavily in producing original, premium content to by-pass the networks and distribute their own content as they please, often binge-ready. Thus, there is even more content for viewers to consume and even more ways to consume it which makes it increasingly hard to compete for viewers’ time and attention.
Fan Conversations Float Content
Now, more than ever, the content that is produced must be compelling enough to attract viewers to the show and coming back from one episode to the next. Many networks experiment with unique ways to engage the viewer and make them part of the communal experience around the story to keep them viewing linearly or online to maximize their ad revenues. Yet, shows are always destined to fail when they don’t strike a passionate chord with viewers and are passed over for superior storylines. Content still is and always will be king. You are what you watch and what you watch is social currency. In an intensified battle for viewers’ time and interest, shows must not only be valuable enough for people to watch, but they must offer increased ways to be a part of and share their passion for the show’s overall experience. With different metrics across mediums to help measure the success of content, Online Social Conversations offer a consistent standard that are device agnostic and more inclusive of total viewership beyond traditional Nielsen measurement time windows of Live+3 days or Live+7 days.
In the below case study analyses, NetBase examines one of content’s new reservoirs—Netflix—and use our Social TV Analytics to reveal what makes their original content series, Orange is the New Black, so compelling.