Commentary

Let's Consider Make-Goods For TV Viewers

It’s tough enough getting TV viewers to watch your shows. How about paying them to do it?

Now, more than ever, TV content and other related companies are offering stuff for viewing. Some say this means essentially “paying” for viewers.

In reality, it comes down to frequent flyer miles, promotions and gift certificates.

NBCUniversal is the latest company looking to help out. A planned "Watch Back" service, according to reports, would offer points that could turn into gift certificates to users who view programming.

It will feature programming from NBCU's networks, including broadcast NBC, USA Network, and Bravo, as well as online content from other websites.

Others are making similar moves: Interactive TV company iPowow is working on a blockchain token system that would be distributed to viewers, which can then be redeemed for goods and services.

Better still, I would hope some TV networks will act like other consumer products companies, instituting a 90-day return policy. Perhaps that should also include any time I spent watching a commercial that needs to recompense me in some way.

Think of it as a “make-good” for TV viewers.

All this highlights the continued problem of future TV show marketing efforts when it comes to promotion -- whether on a network’s own-air or separate paid advertising deals on social media, other online media efforts, cable networks, outdoors and radio.

The fractionalization of media is becoming harder for traditional video content producers.

Problems remain outside these tools. TV viewers are already a fluid bunch -- and not that loyal. Premium TV and movie programming on traditional TV and new digital platforms continue to grow. Netflix, for example, will almost double its original programming efforts this year.

Looking at just scripted TV programming; there are nearly 500 shows out there, according to John Landgraf, CEO, FX networks. This growing supply of premium TV shows has him concerned. They can’t all be supported -- in terms of marketing resources and a financially viable number of viewers.

TV networks might say there is little need to offer any sort of “make-goods” for viewers. But what about the alternative -- akin to what TV marketers get when their network media plans don’t hit their guarantees? Cash back?

4 comments about "Let's Consider Make-Goods For TV Viewers".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 14, 2018 at 9:26 a.m.

    Wayne, here's another idea. Viewers often find certain commercials amusing and enjoy watching them. Maybe advertisers should charge a fee to their viewers for providing such entertainment. In fact we are developing an idea which we will soon be taking to the venture capitalists, seeking $500 million as a start up investment. We call it "AdPay" and the idea is to sell amusing commercials via apps at $10 each for a miniseries of 100 commercials ( selected by a panel of 100,000 folks ) to people who love amusing and/or entertaining ads. The advertisers who provide the ads would, of course, share in the resulting revenues.

    We may offer this in two versions, one ad-free---for a higher charge; the other with ads but at a lower rate. Of course we will need about $100 million per year in regular advertising to recruit customers but just think of the results when we hit our first year goal of 10 million subscribers. Now, consumers will be paying to binge watch ads.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 14, 2018 at 9:59 a.m.

    Perhaps a better name for our exciting new venture would be "AdPal" as opposed to "AdPay"? Any thoughts?

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 14, 2018 at 12:04 p.m.

    Will there be quizzes to prove they watched ?

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 14, 2018 at 12:34 p.m.

    That's an interesting idea, Paula. Maybe I ---er, "we", can figure out a way to charge our subscribers less if they can answer at least 50% of the questions about the ads correctly---and get the advertisers to give the winners free samples as a promotional ploy. I'll bring it up at our next meeting with the venture capitalists which , by the way, we are going to hold at a conference center as there are so many interested parties they can't all be accommodated in a regular office or hotel suite. Thanks for the suggestion.

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