Published on: October 12, 2015by Kevin Coupe
There was an interesting and, I think, relevant piece in the New York Times over the weekend about the "new viewing patterns" that "challenge old ways of doing business" in the television industry.
Bear with me on this.
The story makes the point that technology puts the industry in danger, as well as providing it with enormous opportunities.
"The peril and promise are byproducts of television’s truly becoming a digital medium," the Times writes. "Internet services such as Netflix and YouTube deliver video programming to screens large and small, in living rooms and on smartphones - and it is sent 'over the top,' in industry jargon, via the Internet, sidestepping the TV industry’s accustomed control point, the set-top box. In addition, digital recording services, now offered by cable and satellite TV operators, allow programs to be recorded for later viewing.
This means that "the TV market is fracturing and becoming less predictable, undermining the main appeal of traditional TV to advertisers: its ability to deliver mass-market audiences." But ... "as TV embraces digital technology, it opens the door to targeting television ads as never before, much as is done with advertising on the web."
The story makes the point that "until recently, TV-audience information used by advertisers has come mainly from samples of viewers and surveys, conducted by Nielsen and other market-research companies. The monitoring made possible by digital technology can be far more detailed — down to the household level — not only covering what is being watched but, when combined with other data sources, also predicting behavior and buying habits."
In many ways, I think this has some structural similarities to the retail business. And, the analysis offers some lessons.
Think about it. Traditional retailing has been a mass market business, but technology has created an environment in which marketers can and should be much more targeted in their approach.
Think about it this way: Retailing is fracturing and becoming less predictable, undermining the main appeal of traditional retailers to consumers because of a growing inability to target shoppers to the degree that companies like Amazon can.
It is a challenge, and an opportunity. It certainly can't be ignored.
And I guess that I would suggest to people who are dubious about the degree to which retail is changing in fundamental ways to think about how they consume television programming ... and especially how their kids consume it.
It should be an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: