Scarcity should come to all media forms. Will new TV and media content owners get this message? Yes, if they can afford it.
NBC will do an ambitious 12-day, 24/7 reality show this fall -- "The Million Second Quiz." It will be shown live on both traditional network airwaves and digital platforms. Why a million seconds? That's around 12 days.
Big live events continue to attract viewers and advertisers. Just look at the NFL and other high profile reality shows. The big attraction for advertising is that live programming comes with no (or very limited) commercial skipping.
NBC looks to amp this formula by creating an event that is hard for viewers to miss -- especially if they pursue the action while going off-air and using their laptops, tablets and phones.
Now, to be fair, some of this isn't all that new. CBS has moved viewers of its "Big Brother" summer series off-air so that real fanatics can continue to follow the action -- or, in some cases, maybe inaction
But NBC looks to make its event more special by limiting it to 12 days. No reruns (we are guessing). If successful, “The Million Second Quiz” will force people to view and gawk while watching the goings-on of people living in a gigantic hourglass apartment. And, in the future, it could mean more costly and dramatic short-term TV fare to keep viewers hanging around.
Future TV may be not only about this kind of program scarcity, but also immediacy. Does that make programming more valuable? That's the hope. By way of comparison, digital media and video platforms, in large part, don't have immediacy -- or even scarcity, for that matter.
There’s perhaps one exception: social media. Take a look at Starcom MediaVest Group’s recent deal with Twitter for "hundreds of millions of dollars." Some would say the content on Twitter makes it more urgent for consumers to access in real-time. That's kind of like live TV.
Perishable TV and media content will be the key to growing new digital businesses and reviving older traditional TV and media platforms. In other words, if you don't buy now, you may miss that marketing and media boat to ROI paradise.