TV Somewhere: When Everywhere Doesn't Work (Like With Kids)
For many years, broadcast viewer erosion due to cable grabbed big headlines. Now we lump all TV viewing together in one brew. That’s because there’s a new alternative in the land – those crazy digital video platforms looking to make hay.
At first, we assumed digital video would foster continued viewer erosion for the old TV media.
But those rumors were quickly quashed. TV executives said the reverse was true -- the Internet was helping viewership grow by functioning as a marketing tool, most recently through social media.
Now we might be focusing on erosion again for one particular demographic: young kids. More than a few analysts have recognized that these viewers like watching the same stuff over and over. Enter Netflix.
It seems that Netflix has caused some lowering of traditional kids’ TV viewership – with Viacom’s Nickelodeon in particular, and perhaps with a few other places.
Right now Netflix is having some real issues according to some media analysts. They wonder if it is going to be around past the next couple of years.
"Turns out, Netflix Streamers watch just as much traditional TV as Non-Streamers," Todd Juenger, a former TiVo ad exec who’s now a Sanford C. Bernstein analyst, wrote recently. "However, there is a significant share shift among Streamers. Kids' networks (not just Nickelodeon) and syndicated shows are getting severely whacked."
Should one be worried that slightly older TV viewers might go in the same direction? No. As consumers get older, they realize they can get bored easily. Everyone wants new stuff.
We might now be entering a new experimental stage in the TV-to-digital business transformation. According to Juenger, that means companies like Viacom and Disney may reverse their strategy and leave Netflix, costing them each some $75 million a year.
That sends a new signal in this marketplace: We tried to make stuff available everywhere. But some of our services are eating into others. That’s not good. We only wanted to do business with the likes of Netflix if it is additive. We don’t like subtraction. We don’t like erosion. It’s not TV Everywhere. It’s TV Almost Everywhere.