I had the pleasure of listening to Jim Lanzone, CEO of CBS Interactive speak at AMCHAM a couple of weeks ago. It was really interesting getting an insight into the mind of the man that sits atop one of the largest piles of premium content in the world.
The conversation was extremely interesting, and I’m working on a second post about fair access and piracy. Before I get to that, i thought it was worth pulling out three key things the big man talked about, that I found incredibly interesting.
There is more online video available than ever before.
While the stat itself didn’t come as a shock, the next thing out of Jim’s mouth did. The viewing statistics point to an increase in the number of hours that people will spend watching the more traditional free to air and cable tv shows. While I’d expect the IPTVs that are in market now to start and have an effect on this over time, more content seems to be breeding more consumption and that’s really interesting from a communications point of view. Creating contnet that integrates occassions, platforms and devices together sounds like a sweet spot to try and play.
Premium content costs money.
There is a reason sitcoms look better than phonecam shots-in-the-nuts. Both might ellicit a chuckle on the first watch, but quality writing, acting, set design and styling help change a one of concept into a show that has longevity and will attract an audience. The costs involved mean there’ll always be folks looking for ways to make their pieces of silver. If you don’t like pre-rolls, best you get used to in-program pitches and midrolls of interminable length.
Social media is fighting a war against the timeshifters.
In spite of always wanting to have written something in bold like that on a work blog, it was really interesting that technology is not simply pushing us towards the death of advertising driven free to air TV. Group watching of programs like Q&A or, more populist, The Voice, is facilitated by the use of platforms like Twitter. There is an increased feeling of connection and involvement in particiapting in the conversation, plus the ego boost associated with seeing your twitter handle and carefully constructed piece of prose up on the TV. Those who record a program to skip the ads watch at their leisure, just don’t have the same opportunity to take part.
It comes as no surpirse that channels are trying to get in on the action with offerings like Fango here in Australia, attempting to move the activity into a place the own, control and someday can sell the eyeballs on.