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Online TV’s Effect

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There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of developments in online television content and technology. Just to recap in the last four months; NBC premieres unaired episodes of The Book of Daniel on the Web, Trio channel moves from cable TV to broadband delivery, Motorola develops cell phone technology to move home DVR content onto RAZR phone, AOL launched In2TV and the first award for nontraditional delivery platforms was given to Live8 on AOL. This is just in the first four months of 2006. And between now and July, ABC, Cartoon Network and SciFi Network will offer ad supported streaming content online.

With the seeming rush to internet delivery, how has traditional TV been affected? Well, not as badly as you might think. If you notice most of the companies involved are network or cable companies themselves. Until recently the internet has been used as a teaser and preview marketing tool for the networks. Even now with whole episodes being broadcast the tie to traditional viewing is still strong.

“It actually drives more traffic to our network shows,” says ABC/Disney’s Cheng. The iTunes venture, where Lost is typically one of the video bestsellers, “has not taken away viewers at all from our shows, but actually increased our viewership.” NBC also noticed a TV ratings uptick after The Office appeared on iTunes.

CBS’ digital media vice president for wireless Cyriac Roeding agrees the new delivery platforms help to satisfy TV viewers in different ways. “Even those people that are really CSI lovers, they don’t make every episode,” Roeding says. “So if they have a chance to catch up with it on a cell phone, for example, or on the Internet, it actually helps us to increase the loyalty of this audience segment.”

Source: News Day

It seems to me the networks are still in control and if the advertisers adjust then I don’t see what the difference is for them. The shift in how and where television is watched has happened. The next question should be, how is it going to be paid for with ads, pay to watch downloads, or subscription? These are the three models now, but I think a new media needs a new approach. What that may be I’m not sure but I don’t think the current model is the best way.

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