Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Poor Traditional Media Companies

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They have so much trouble noticing the drastic shift in consumer behaviours and how that will impact them. Instead, they just to repackage the same products they have been selling for years. Unfortunately for them, that isn’t likely to work anymore.

The most recent example of this comes from TV broadcasters. A little credit is due – they have recognized that consumers want to watch TV programs on demand on the internet. Most major networks have pushed a lot of their content online, although still struggle to find a profitable business model.

But that has been the extent of it for most of them. Moving the same TV shows to a different platform is essentially just finding a new distribution channel. The piece the networks have missed is that there is a fundamental shift from consuming content to interacting with content.

The VP of Bell’s TV service was quoted in an article as saying “The generation that’s coming up is not the same in terms of … how they will consume media.” [Emphasis mine] The use of the word consume makes is blatantly obvious that they just don’t get it.

A few brands have actually made progress in this space. A partnership between CNN and Facebook has integrated live commenting by users while they are live-streaming events online. There was lots of positive feedback on this service when it was used during Obama’s inauguration last year. Sadly, this hasn’t caught on in a meaningful way. Imagine being able to message with other fans when watching a sports game? Or commenting on a joke in the latest sitcom with your friends that are watching it at home? Imagine a ‘choose your own adverture’ TV show where viewers could pick what the characters did at key junctures in the show?

The networks are frustrated that consumers won’t pay for consuming content online. What about interacting with content online? Helping create content online? Consumers are looking for better value and this is a clear way to improve their offering to a generation of viewers that won’t pay for TV the same way that their parents did.

What do you think? Can the TV industry adapt to new consumer behaviours?


Written by benwisebranding

March 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

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