Future of TV
This month saw the television and digital publishers’ Upfronts and NewFronts season come to a close and, beyond the usual pitches to advertisers, there were indications of ever growing tension between television and digital video publishers.
The issue: measurement. In particular, the TV industry took aim at the metrics used by digital publishers, claiming that they were equivalent to subprime accounting practices.
As an example of such rogue accounting, Joe Marchese offers a superb example of what happens when you use digital video metrics on a long form series such as AHS: Hotel. He notes how BuzzFeed touted 807,00 views of its Watermelon video. Marchese uses the same metric on AHS: Hotel, which ends up with a staggering 271 billion views.
However, while this might make the TV industry look more transparent and trustworthy, it’s perhaps not best placed to wag fingers, given its own history of massaging figures in the past.
Netflix has cornered the market in content that can be viewed at any time, namely drama and docs. Its foray into content more readily consumed as ‘live’ or perishable hasn’t quite had the same impact yet but could suggest Netflix is encroaching on television’s (once) USP.
One of the challenges that Netflix faces with its ‘Chelsea’ talk show is that of topicality. For live talk shows, topicality is crucial to engaging the audience. With a pre-recorded show such as 'Chelsea,' topicality doesn’t really work. So instead of referencing up to date events and news, host Chelsea references more general topics that have longevity meaning that viewers watching weeks or months later can still find relevance in the show.
If it does find a way of making perishable content like live sports, talk shows or news less, well, perishable, it could see Netflix become an even bigger force in TV.
Vice Media CEO Shane Smith recently sat down with with Hearst Magazine’s digital media president Troy Young as part of Hearst’s Master Class interview series. What followed was a pretty candid and interesting interview, touching on areas like how Vice force themselves to continually evolve, how they view the next 12 months in media, VR and more.
"You have to be on all screens, at all times ... There’s a whole generation that came up with no advertising but yet ads paid for everything, so there’s this whole disruption happening and it’s affecting agencies, media buying agencies, creative agencies, it’s affecting brands, affecting media, it’s affecting everybody."