Major media content creators believe they still hold the upper hand for getting every bit of their TV shows’ viewing accounted for on new digital platforms. Confidence is high. But a firm schedule of those changes is another matter.
Dreams of counting all the currently uncounted viewing and engagement must seem so close. What does that mean? Maybe that $60 billion TV business turns into a $120 billion TV business.
Viacom's Philippe Dauman says good news is just around the corner -- like next year -- for counting up all the viewing of its content on different digital platforms, as well as time shifting and video-on-demand viewing.
Viacom's content in the U.S. -- which has been under a bit of duress from its uneven MTV programming and its still struggling Nickelodeon brand -- will have a major resurgence, Dauman says, with Viacom brands prospering "enormously."
Dauman says Viacom and Nielsen --- the current provider of TV currency for advertisers -- are working on a solution that will bring multiplatform ratings, perhaps next year.
He, and the likes of CBS’ Les Moonves are doing their job, of course, as industry cheerleaders. People may talk about all the new digital technology providers -- Netflix, YouTube, even the likes of Yahoo -- but the answer comes down to making stuff people want to see. That still comes from the movie/TV studios and a few independent producers.
It's a tough business. Didn't YouTube recently cut back the money it was going to dole out to independent TV/video content makers? In effect, YouTube did what the networks regularly do: It cancelled shows. Netflix can only tiptoe into the TV series area, with "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" in particular.
The trouble is, consumers -- both old and young -- are used to a certain quality of TV entertainment, even from the likes of an MTV or a CW. Programming takes development and time. Not everyone can do it. (And here's another digital video point that has been made more than a few times: Not everyone wants to see wrestling moves gone wrong on rooftops, or cats riding piggyback on horses.)
Traditional media executives believe in holding on a bit longer – until perhaps right before the next upfront selling season where 70-80% of the big national TV advertising money -- some around $20 billion or so -- gets put down. And if it doesn't happen in 2013, perhaps 2014, or, c'mon, by 2015, for sure.
That's what senior TV executives can smile about -- bravely -- because it's coming. Right?