Unlike, say, those networks from NBCUniversal or Viacom, Amazon has a stronger connection with consumers: a history of direct purchases.
“We have a massive number of [customers], with their credit cards on file,” Michael Paull, vp of digital video for Amazon, said on Tuesday at a keynote session at the National Association of Broadcasting conference in Las Vegas.
Yes, credit card information, and other consumer historical data. Does Discovery or NBCUniversal have this? Not really. (Mind you, NBCU’s owner Comcast Corp., a traditional cable TV operator, does have some of this financial and consumer purchase data).
And just like other cable networks, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have been getting access -- with their apps -- to one key in-home box every TV programmer and TV marketer still covet: Set-top TV boxes, still an important technology in an age of the smart TV.
Set-top-TV-box data is key to future TV measurement for many. Set-top-box access also has the promise for full scale, nationwide addressable advertising -- still the holy grail for many.
Like Netflix with its usage history, Amazon’s consumer history says it can figure out your likes and dislikes, and recommend specific TV shows for you. Can Fox do that?
We realize that as TV shows have an increasingly harder time getting sampled, recommendation engines via TV program algorithm are poised to be much more important -- not only in suggesting TV content to consumers but in figuring out what to produce in the first place.
But when it comes to paying for entertainment, we had always thought about cable TV, satellite TV, and even phone companies as those “utilities” where we pay a bill -- a buffer of sorts to TV networks.
For many, extra entertainment bills are paid to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu these days. Some are starting to call them networks. Now, tell me the last time you sent a check to NBC?
I know it's a rhetorical question that you pose (no, I've never sent a check to NBC) but the major networks don't let me binge-watch their entire series or avoid commercials as my Netflix "network" lets me. Because the old networks are broadcast, I'm sheltered from adult langauge and themes, without my permission.
As a former (longtime) NATPE member and manager of an NBC affiliate, I fondly remember the license-to-print-money days of the 1980s. But they're long gone and millenials want their shows when they want them and don't mind paying a subscription to avoid interruptions. Upfront is dying and the FCC is repacking the spectrum to make way for the future, one without much nostalgia for broadcast. Things change. Embrace the new order.
How can set-top-box panels be the key to future TV audience measurement if they don't measure audience?