Commentary

Networks Should Help Viewers Dump Their TV Trash

As a service to viewers, the next generation of TV networks and distributors should help viewers delete more of their recorded programming -- especially those short-lived series with limited entertainment or marketing value.

Apple has done something like this by automatically giving iTunes users a way to delete the free U2 album they received.  After countless iTunes users complained about the promotion, Apple added an “opt-out” option to remove the album from libraries.

TV doesn’t work the same way as music. Networks don’t automatically download or record their shows to viewers’ time-shifting technologies. But maybe someday they will start a “push” service of ill-repute.

Viewers’ efforts are minimal. The cost factor for dealing with a chancy new comedy, drama, or reality show is only the time it takes to download -- and the slightly longer time it takes to figure out whether you like the show while watching it.

We all know there is a lot of junk in TVland. You sample a show and then some five or ten minutes in, you find yourself witnessing some grunts, groans, and shaking of heads from those in your viewing room.

Doesn’t TV know how you feel by now? This is the digital neuro-behavorial-TV/media age, no?

Many lame shows might be sitting in your time-shifting list right now -- gathering dust. A cleaning service is needed.  Producers, advertisers, and all others who put much faith in specific shows  should be rightly worried. Sorry.

But new digital media waits for no one; TV networks and distributors need better organization. Some things work well. My VOD list, for example, will “expire” some content after a specific time period.

Right now media is perhaps more diverse, more pervasive than ever before -- and more disposable.  

We need tools not only to get what we want quickly -- but for someone to take out the entertainment trash.

5 comments about "Networks Should Help Viewers Dump Their TV Trash".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Mike Mellon from Retired TV research guru, September 16, 2014 at 1:42 p.m.

    It is going to be a long year.

  2. Jon Sinton from Progressive Agenda, September 16, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.

    It seems to me that Comcast is on their way toward a push service with the X1 platform. Their representatives' stupendous lack of product knowledge notwithstanding (another story for another time), this is a highly functional interface.
    It pushes content onto your screen, but not onto your DVR, because it is not really a DVR at all--it is a modem. There is no hard drive in the X1 set top box. It is merely an intermediary between your viewing devices and their servers. Thus, it accomplishes Wayne's goal by never storing their trash on your device, but simply providing one-click access to it. If their sales and service forces ever catch up with the technology, they'll have a winner.

  3. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, September 16, 2014 at 1:59 p.m.

    Wayne, We should also get the industry to watch the trash thereby boosting the ratings at the same time!
    (Just how easy do you want life to be? After TV "on-off" and DVR "record-delete," I guess the TV industry should assess our satisfaction levels for us and tell us what we really think -- and when to die. Clearly, your making a case for a world with thought and judgment! Perhaps you ought to take a day off soon and cultivate a more realistic and enlightened perspective about life and television. Really. I'm concerned. You really don't have to write something everyday. I, for one, shall appreciate the blessed silence, if "TV Watch: Full Frontal Television" is the alternative to practical wisdom. Sadly, I think this MediaPost feature should be titled "Full Frontal TV Lobotomy." Enough already. Nick

  4. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, September 16, 2014 at 2:03 p.m.

    Correction. I regret a few words were missing from my prior comment. -- Wayne, We should also get the industry to watch the trash thereby boosting the ratings at the same time! (Just how easy do you want life to be? After TV "on-off" and DVR "record-delete," I guess the TV industry should assess our satisfaction levels for us and tell us what we really think -- and when to die. Clearly, you are making a case for a world without thought and judgment! Perhaps you ought to take a day off soon and cultivate a more realistic and enlightened perspective about life and television. Really. I'm concerned. You don't have to write something everyday. I, for one, shall appreciate the blessed silence, if "TV Watch: Full Frontal Television" is the MediaPost alternative to practical wisdom. Sadly, I think this MediaPost feature should be titled "Full Frontal TV Lobotomy." Enough already. Nick

  5. Edmund Singleton from Winstion Communications, September 16, 2014 at 2:26 p.m.

    For the last five weekends I spent loving Amazon Prime watching short lived television shows and binging on shows I loved in the past, it really is not a Netflex world...

Next story loading loading..