Will Overpersonalization Hurt Mass TV Content?

by , Dec 20, 2013, 1:18 PM
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Reed Hastings, chief executive officer of Netflix, is concerned that “overpersonalization” of media might create borders where viewers will never sample new TV or video. Hastings spokeat a meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in Washington.

This is interesting coming from Netflix, which has, in part, caused some of the audience fractionalization -- though probably not “overpersonalization.”

Hastings said TV and society have benefited from mass entertainment, such as big sporting events, which shouldn’t be lost. I’m sure Hastings was referring to the likes of the Super Bowl and the Olympics, which can still pull in mass audiences.

Marketers over the last few years have also been concerned about how to get viewers to sample new TV content.  Many have done their best to align with new digital platforms and social media sites, such as Twitter, which can link comments to new and existing TV content, as well as providing added social media extensions.

But is all that enough? It might help pull back younger-skewing audiences, but what about older viewers? And how can social media pull in necessary diverse niches of audiences -- young, old, female and male -- to sample new shows?

The economics of TV production still count on around 1 million or more viewers of all kinds for some cable and niche networks to as much as 10 million for bigger broadcast network shows.

How can marketers get those viewers when they are going in a number of different directions, on a number of devices and platforms?

Better optimization and aggregation tools for those audiences will be needed -- perhaps to lessen personalization of media.

3 comments on "Will Overpersonalization Hurt Mass TV Content?".

  1. Joe Bretz from Digi Dev Group.
    commented on: December 20, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.
    Wayne, IMHO Netflix has done tremendously well with their original content, with the number of subscribers allowing them to easily advertise within their own "eco-system" - Netflix has a a horrible recommendation algorithm (if you can even call it that) I am willing to bet that most people spend at least 15-20 minutes on average trying to find something they feel worth watching based on the recommendations. So what will it take? GOOD CONTENT seems to win out in the end, yet I agree 100% search is KEY along with better optimization, mostly for those of us who cannot afford a massive advertising campaign to reach the masses. TV is rapidly becoming an "APP", niche content is key. Focusing on smaller "hits" begets larger wins. Joe Q. Bretz President The Digital Development Group. www.digidev.tv www.digidev.com
  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited
    commented on: December 23, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.
    Overpersonalization hurts the population because it is segregating. People are told what they should like and are directed to it. Choices they have fall off the truck.
  3. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct
    commented on: December 23, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.
    Someone I know once observed that hypertargeting would finally give companies the ability to destroy themselves. Among other problems, the theory of targeting is out of control in corporations - driven by the massively fragmented internet. It's interesting to note that internet theorists tell us that targeting is such a powerful strength on the internet - yet what it's really done is drop the economic power of the web so that cost per rates online are absurdly low...because they really can't charge more. So I'm surprised to agree with Hastings - and I'm not sure I agree with his logic - but I do agree that applying this hypertargeting to TV is more destructive than useful.

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