Looking For Promotion, However Small, To Boost Traditional Viewing

What is the promotional value of Netflix and Amazon Prime for TV networks?

David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications, says his cable network group is looking to license some newer content to Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)companies in order to gain a benefit beyond additional revenue:  the boosting of ratings for new episodes on the cable networks.

That might seem to contradict evidence that some SVOD companies might be taking viewership away from traditional TV platforms.

For example, Viacom’s Nickelodeon seemingly had a problem with its traditional viewing suffering because of viewing on the likes of Netflix. Viacom disputed that assessment. Young kids can have different viewing behaviors, such as repeated viewing of episodes.

Turning back to the potential promotional benefits from Netflix, SVODs are smaller TV platforms. Netflix, for example, goes to less than a third of all U.S. TV homes  -- just under 30 million.  Still, any little bit can help promotionally.



At the same time, Netflix may not present much of threat in taking viewers away from more broadly based networks.  CBS and CW have reported positive results from their affiliation with Netflix. But their show episodes on Netflix come from older seasons of series.

Might Netflix deals come at the expense of TV Everywhere? Zaslav says that TV Everywhere has much promise, but is currently tough to measure -- and he wants to see real incremental revenue.

No matter what promotional spin SVOD platforms may offer, traditional TV companies are getting treal added revenues from the likes of Netflix and Amazon -- more so than with TV Everywhere apparently.

Broadcast networks and their affiliates, as well as cable networks, continue to offer scale for messaging/promotional value, which is something neither TV Everywhere nor SVOD platforms have. But that scale has been fraying around the edges, thus necessitating other TV marketing places, such as Twitter and Facebook.

Still, some believe there can be nothing like a TV show -- to sell a TV show.

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