Uber's current TV campaign isn't focused on people using the car service. It's about getting people to work for Uber, driving "just a few hours a day." Anyone who has used Uber and can't get a car in heavy rush-hour periods can understand this. More drivers, better service -- and, in theory, lower fares per ride. But what if TV networks did the same thing: advertising to get viewers to make shows? Yes, this is crazy. But bear with me a bit. Would there be better service? Lower costs? Hmmm.....
The growth of cable networks in the late '80s and '90s gave TV prognosticators the chance to dream -- both good and bad -- about all kinds of channels. In the midst of this activity, Michael Fuchs, then chief executive of HBO, said in 1989 in reference to a competing comedy channel from Viacom: "If we announced we were planning a cable fur network, the next day they would announce a cable fur network."
NBCUniversal has been posting record ad revenue results at $1.2 billion during this Olympics, with another $30 million in recent ad deals since the game started. But what about the other key TV marketing component: the on-air promotion of NBCU shows during the event?
Worries about traditional TV networks losing viewers to digital platforms like Netflix can be stronger for networks that cater to young TV viewers. The CW might be a poster child for this concern.
Two-and-a-half years from now, scripted TV series will be in a decline. Nothing will go pop, mind you. There'll just be less. But who and what will be affected?
Too many TV commercials during the Olympics? It only matters if you think there are too many. Despite a plethora of social media complaints about too many Olympic TV commercials on NBC, the big data says otherwise: Kantar Media says, so far, there have been fewer commercials versus the number during the last summer Olympics four years ago.
In this growing on-demand TV world, TV producer Ben Silverman says a TV program's "lead-in" is still a crucial component of promotion. "Lead-in still matters... [for] old-school audience flow," he said to CNBC on Monday.
Success metrics for Netflix's original TV shows don't come the usual ways -- not via U.S.-based ratings, nor about Netflix shows versus other TV shows.
Will the future of big media companies be all about scale and reach, and less about the ups (and mostly downs) of individual networks and TV shows? We can only hope so.
One of the cool things about modern people is, we've figured out how to use machines to process data to identify patterns that give us a competitive advantage. Another cool thing is that we can still identify important data the old-fashioned way, by feeling it in the world around us. Today's TV Watch is about both kinds of data, but mostly the second.