Big Entertainment Names Can Bring Viewers To Digital Platforms, But Will They Stay?

A new effort, TAPP (“TV app”), from former NBC senior executive Jeff Gaspin and former CNN senior executive Jon Klein, intends to offer programming contentwith names that consumers can instantly recognize.

What names, exactly? The executives aren’t saying -- though there are unconfirmed reports that Sarah Palin may get some exposure on the platform.  One thing helping TAPP is that it can pick from a wide landscape of the entertainment/news world -- everything from lifestyle, sports, politics and arts, to sciences and other backgrounds.

Mind you, people have tried this before. Most recently Katie Couric left the traditional TV airwaves -- syndication and network -- and moved to Yahoo News.

For Netflix, research showed high subscriber interest in films starring Kevin Spacey, as well in films from executive producer/director David Fincher. This resulted in big results for “House of Cards.”



Sony’s Crackle can point to the success of Jerry Seinfeld’s series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

Question is: How do you get such artists to give up traditional TV and movie platforms?

For many it isn’t an either/or situation. Everyone from Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon to low-level reality TV stars are supplementing their traditional TV efforts with digital platforms.

The longer-term problem for any digital platform is to have enough big programming content to draw avid viewers like Netflix.

There are also financial considerations with production. Many original digital video efforts only run three to five minutes. Seinfeld’s “Comedians” episodes are around 20 minutes. (“House of Cards” is in a different class, with each episode around an hour long).

More importantly, unlike with linear TV networks, marketing needs to let viewers know when new content will be available -- once the viewers are already hooked.

In part, key marketing work will already be getting done just by having big-brand entertainment names.  Avid fans have ways -- social media and otherwise -- of seeking out bits of entertainment content fronted by their favorites.

Sounds like a decent plan. After this perhaps it wouldn’t hurt for the content to also be compelling enough to hang around.

1 comment about "Big Entertainment Names Can Bring Viewers To Digital Platforms, But Will They Stay? ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Edmund Singleton from Winstion Communications, March 13, 2014 at 5:16 a.m.

    When I want to be entertained or informed, the more options the better, oh what a wonderful world we live in...

Next story loading loading..