TV Stations On Mobile: Is It Too Late?

For years TV stations have salivated over the prospect of mobile devices running their most prized content: news.

The theory? Their well-known call letter brand names would drive existing (remaining?) viewers to those mobile areas. But it appears that the same outcome might occur with those brands that happened on plain-old laptops and desktops.

New digital consumers are already using new media platforms -- some local, some not -- to access information on new-found weather, traffic, and news apps. A Pew Research study says as much.

More than a few local TV media and marketing executives note that just having TV call letters isn't enough on new digital platforms -- that to truly distinguish a "new" digital brand, local TV programming and marketing executives need to come up with new brand identities -- perhaps including some hint of an association with the more traditional local TV brand name.

But all this should go farther. Given the rise of digital platforms, many believe hyper-local newscasts will be the real value in the future. Make that long-term future. (Hello, AOL's Patch). Money is the big reason. TV stations are already strapped in their news-making budgets.

Then, how do they expand news-making operations that need even more reporters for an increasing niche audience? Does everyone get paid less? Will local news journalism become a sideline hobby for wannabe journalists? Grabbing nascent bloggers for conversion to the big time could be the way to go. Even then, where is the monetization, the advertising dollars?

All to say, the business is not there yet. Stations now have big-time competition in all areas where they used to have a near monopoly with radio and newspapers.

What they do have are many news-making professionals. In that same Pew study, local TV -- by way of its traditional platform -- was found to still be the place viewers go for breaking news, weather and other content.

The questions are how to brand that to new information-seeking digital consumers who are convinced they can get deeper -- and maybe better -- information on new digital platforms.

Tags: television, tv
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4 comments about "TV Stations On Mobile: Is It Too Late? ".
  1. Brian Hayashi from ConnectMe 360 , September 27, 2011 at 5:45 p.m.

    IMHO the key is to stop thinking of audiences as passive recipients of a broadcast. So long as broadcasters remain mired in yesterday's distribution models, they will continue to be marginalized by each new development.

  2. Mark Walker from aka Media Mark , September 27, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.

    Hmmm, I know I live to watch TV on a 40inch screen!
    Does anyone really care? And if they do, I'll bet they are now waiting for TV on the iPad!

  3. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct , September 27, 2011 at 6:36 p.m.

    I'm never a fan of the "too late" argument. It's a flavor of FUD salesmanship (where FUD stands for creating "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" in order to sell something).

    The web was sold that way. But did it end up really mattering whether an existing brand jumped into the web in 1997 or in 2006? Not really. What mattered was to have a smart strategy - to figure out WHY you were there and HOW to make it work for consumers.

    Let me suggest the same for mobile. Agencies and the mobile elite are once again trying to intimidate people into taking ill considered quick actions (a decision made before its time is as wrong as a decision made too late - and sometimes much more catastrophic). Taking action based on FUD sales is as dumb as the word sounds.

    I think a deep breath is in order here.

  4. Bruce May from Bizperity , September 28, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.

    CNN is already doing this... in case you haven't noticed. Don't you think everyone will follow?