Digital content businesses continue to seek customers who "check in" a couple of times a day to their areas. Should TV networks look to to do the same -- and can that activity be monetized?
All TV networks have websites, Facebook and Twitter areas, and a growing array of mobile apps. Networks, however, don't have a long-term strategy in pursuing consumers to "check-in" multiple times a day, either via traditional or new digital platforms.
Marissa Mayer, the relatively new CEO of Yahoo, believes success for the beleaguered 23-year-old company will come from satisfying what its occasional users requested: "Give me a reason to come back to Yahoo a few times a day." So Yahoo is now providing content that is continually updated.
TV networks don't work the same way. Consumers devote bite-size moments of time to digital businesses like Yahoo, Facebook or Twitter. TV networks, on the other hand, require long-stretches of time -- typically 30 or 60 minutes -- to yield adequate revenue levels.
One can go to the websites or digital areas of Fox News Channel, ABC News, NBC News, or CBS News. But TV networks with vast entertainment platforms are more than that.
Still, one might wonder if network executives can figure out a way to get consumers to come back to their platforms -- traditional, digital, or otherwise -- for shorter periods of duration during the course of a day or night. Could this be the seed of new business?
TV networks have made great gains in pursuing social media opportunities and other digital content. But, by themselves, many social media interactions aren't promising keys for monetization -- nor for boosting traditional TV viewing, according to some studies.
On the other side of things, digital companies continue to have successes akin to the traditional media companies, who have mastered the art of big-time, large-scale entertainment for the masses.
All media companies will continue to adjust their business formulas in order to grab more consumers making more check-ins and longer stays at their entertainment destinations.
I don't believe the question is whether or not networks should consider driving short bursts of engagement. Rather, I think it's a question of whether or not short bursts of engagement are a worthwhile goal for any given aspect of an individual network's programming. The answer will (and should) vary depending on the time of day, the medium (broadcast, VOD, desktop, mobile), the content itself and their target audience. Not surprisingly, those are also the very same things they should be considering when they're looking at their advertising model.
Not only do I agree with the premise behind this extremely insightful post, I also think John Douglas (who commented above) also makes salient points. The point I'd like to highlight was sparked by the following assertion: "Can [network executives] figure out a way to get consumers to come back to their platforms -- traditional, digital, or otherwise -- for shorter periods of duration during the course of a day or night. Could this be the seed of new business?" Not only is it a seed for a new business, I think it's going to be one that blossoms big time. And the key its success will, I believe, be platforms, apps or products that thread together items from the personal news feeds of customers and content from publishers. The former will infuse people with the passion to tune in; the later the communal content around which to engage in extended discussion. And bite-size chunks are a great way to drive these new behavioral patterns.