The "lean-back" medium may not be so laid back. Finding TV content in the digital age now takes effort. The next question is, will traditional TV advertising/promotion be a part of this equation?
In a recent TVGuide.com survey, respondents said finding TV shows “feels like work.” They said things like, “I’m afraid of missing something." That's not good news.
Just wondering how much extra work it was to find Netflix’s new original series "House of Cards.” By all accounts, many of those 23 million or so Netflix customers knew about "House of Cards" because -- in Netflix’s own universe -- it was promoted. In addition, there were a number of outdoor advertising executions. Still, promoting a show on a subscription video on demand service is not like advertising it on your own airwaves, the way a regular TV show can be promoted.
“House of Cards” also got some good critical reviews -- always welcome for stirring interest, much as HBO was able to tout many of its shows as sophisticated and well-written. How many more subscribers did HBO get because of "Sopranos" or "Sex and the City"?
Going forward, will Netflix look to branch out a bit and buy some more paid advertising the next time – perhaps radio and cinema advertising? That's uncertain. This TV model is still evolving.
Yes, "search" and electronic program guides are helpful for promotion and awareness. But right now it’s still big and splashy entertainment marketing that grabs consumers’ attention.
TV executives continue to wonder how new original TV shows will be found by modern digital consumers in future years. Meanwhile, in the near term, consumers will have to find more TV content while they’re in a lead-forward position.