Published September 14th, 2012 | 2 Comments
Television has been a major part of people’s lives for years. With the Internet and other instant access to TV shows, the time when everyone gathered in the living room to watch a show is gone. Now, anyone can get access to their favorite shows anytime they want and anywhere they want.Portability With The iPad
Since the spring of 2010, the iPad has been one of the hottest technology devices in the world. The iPad has had a major influence on how people can now watch TV. According to reports published in 2011, the 13-54 demographic is now watching an average of two TV episodes and one movie per week via the streaming service of Netflix. Netflix streaming, along with the iPad, makes TV and movies extremely portable.
Within two years, it is estimated that more than 75 percent of cable programming will be available through mobile devices.Expanding On-Demand Options
Netflix started out as a company that provided DVD rentals through mail service. While successful, the company always looked for new ways to provide content to its customers. In 2007, some of the video content library Netflix had was put into an instant viewing streaming content option. It started out as a very limited selection, but today Netflix offers much more streaming content. This led to Netflix investing in more TV shows than movies to keep customers happy.
Hulu: The Netflix Competitor
Hulu is an online option for streaming video. Most of its content started off as free, but in the summer of 2010, Hulu launched a preview of a premium subscription video service they call Hulu Plus. This service was meant to complement the online service already provided. Hulu Plus expanded what users could get with the original service by offering complete current TV seasons and some past seasons for select shows. The monthly subscription rate cost $7.99, and Hulu reached a million subscribers ahead of schedule.
Like Netflix, Hulu wants to provide its services on all devices possible, including gaming consoles and smartphones. While the competition is heating up, Netflix still has more than 25 times the subscribers of Hulu Plus. Availability and access are becoming the major factors of competition.
HBO And Streaming Content
Getting shows and movies out quickly is a major part of streaming competition. The HBO Go iPad app launched in May of 2011 received millions of downloads in the first six weeks after launch. The caveat? The app required users to prove they were HBO subscribers to access content. Once they are proven to be customers, they could unlock more than 1400 special, movies and shows. However, users also have the convenience of accessing shows directly after their fire-run broadcast, immediately adding it to their library.
The app provides a lot of extra features to its users, including tweet prompts, Facebook ‘like’ buttons and a watch list that let’s users mark content to save for later and automatically adding shows to their queue.
HBO Go Is Also Looking To Expand Into More Devices Such As Game Consoles And Connected TVs.
Other cable networks, such as CNN and ESPN have also allowed pay subscribers to access features such as live streaming TV, as long as they provide proof they are subscribers through their cable company.
Which Comes First?
Most TV episodes are available on these content libraries once they have aired on television. Some networks, such as PBS, are looking into releasing episodes through streaming content first, before it airs. Fox also experimented with this, providing the premiere of New Girl on iTunes a month before it aired. It seemed to work for both networks, generating enough buzz to make people tune in.
Blending Content and Utility
Pay TV providers are also getting into the game. Comcast, DISH and FiOS are just some of the groups that are rolling out streaming mobile apps for TV content. Comcast Xfinity, for example, has an iPad app that lets users browse TV listings, access streaming content and even change the channel from the iPad screen. This makes it much easier for users to set up records wherever they are and get access to on demand content.
In February 2011, Comcast introduced the second phase of the app by including a ‘Play Now’ features that lets users get instant access to more than 3000 hours of television and movie content.
New Technology And Old Business Models
The problem with accessing TV with new technology is that the same business models do not apply when it comes to earning revenue. Networks are looking for ways to continue generating revenue from their shows, but have to consider more paid subscriber programs to maintain a presence on new technology.
TV On Facebook?
Facebook is currently looking into a major platform upgrade that will help Facebook users access Hulu and Netflix shows without having to leave Facebook. They will also be able to share with all of their friends information on what they are watching. This will facilitate real-time discussions on shows and may create the chance of new people to discover a particular program. In terms of advertising, advertisers will be able to better target consumers with this change.
New Opportunities For Advertisers
On demand streaming of shows typically do not have advertising. Live streaming apps, since they mirror the broadcast, still maintain their advertising options. In the middle, consumers have the choice of Hulu and network episode players that have more customized advertising. The middle seems to be where advertisers want to be—they can have traditional advertising during the broadcast and additional reach to those who watch it online.
The online players allow advertisers to create built-in HTML5 ads for more interaction. This moves beyond the typical video commercial by letting the consumer have a total brand experience. Brands have the option to buy both broadcast and online advertising in the single package.
Hulu has also provided advertisers with options such as in-stream video ads, clickable banners and a full branding of the Hulu player during a specific program. Ad Selector is also a popular choice because it puts consumers in the driver’s seat by letting them choose which ad they want to see. Advertisers can easily make a first, good impression on consumers with these ad options.
The Living Room Still An Option
While many consumers may like the convenience of watching shows whenever and wherever, typically they still want to watch shows and movies on the best screen possible. If they are home, that is still the TV in the living room. Advertisers can still get a piece of the pie as long as the recognize what the consumer wants and deliver it in a way that still maintains a revenue stream in some fashion.
About Serge Kozak
Serge Kozak is the founder and CEO of True Hero Studio and Edictive. Edictive is an online project management software for film and TV production space.