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Tag - Netflix

The Decline and Fall of Free-to-Air TV

Free-to-air (FTA) TV is gone, over, finished, obsolete, outta here. Everyone is on their mobile phones, tablets, PCs etc etc. NO-ONE watches TV anymore, right?
Wrong.
FTA, of course is not finished. It merely has had a bit of a turn and is having a lie down. It will be back bigger than ever, right?
Wrong.
Once the staple evening and weekend fare of every self-respecting baby boomer and Gen X’er, television is no longer our ’electronic hearth’. We have plenty of other glass that we can stare at now. And that glass allows US to be the creative director, programmer and consumer where, when, what and however we choose. It’s exciting, flexible and fun!
All of which leaves poor old FTA looking like a threadbare old coat gathering dust in the corner while the flashier Zegna suit alternatives sashay out the door.
Nothing new here. Technology is being regularly rendered obsolete. Depending on your age, this list provides a reminder of what was once vital and is now irrelevant (did someone say floppy disk?).
Sure, multi-year sports mega-deals with FTA networks still make news but now there’s this little thing called ‘digital rights’ that sporting franchise owners have carved off. Before you know it, those same sports will be running their own multi-media empires and they won’t need external TV stations anymore. Why? Because they can. They own what viewers want which is why broadcast rights are so valuable. That’s why ‘narrowcast’ rights are even more valuable. The more focused you are, the more valuable you become.
This could not be starker than in network television’s own ecosystem. According to Forbes, sports focused ESPN is worth $50 billion+ compared to the generalist ABC network’s $3.2 billion valuation.
And then there’s cable, Netflix and Apple TV and Amazon TV. All of which are vertically integrating by creating and controlling their own content through to its eventual distribution and
marketing. And we haven’t even mentioned YouTube.
In a complex, tangled and confusing electronic content dissemination world, FTA television seems firmly stuck where it was king of the heap: the 70’s. Of course, FTA still attracts enormous audiences but as with all declining technologies, while the trend is gradual it’s not looking good. What FTA TV will look like in 10 years time is anyone’s guess.
Mourn not though. Globally, television executives have at best paid lip service to the hyper-connectedness facilitated by digital communications. Throw up a few websites, syndicate our media releases on a Facebook page and enable SMS voting for our talent shows and we’re sorted. They’re so not sorted.
There are collectively hundreds of millions of viewers out there who have never had any personal interaction with the FTA TV channels they’ve slavishly supported for decades. Some could argue that they never needed to connect with viewers beyond offering them fabulous programs to watch. Which still works. To a degree. Trouble is, we’ve all been spoiled by what we can do and what we can control.
So while it’s unrealistic to think that regular emails and SMS’ to viewers will halt the declining trend, it can’t hurt.
But the clock is ticking, and it’s very loud.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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Context Marketing

Last week I binge watched a new ABC TV series called Glitch. While it’s an Australian series to proud of, most noteworthy is the fact that viewers have been given the choice as to how they view the show.
Traditional viewers can watch the series over 6 weeks where they’ve always watched: on TV. Non-traditional – in the main, younger - viewers can watch the whole series on iView, ABC’s streaming service via their device of choice.
Netflix did the same by uploading all 13 episodes of its sensational House of Cards Season 3.
If you needed more proof was that marketers no longer run the show this it. Consumer ‘hyper-choice’ is the new normal.
Today, social media, digital and content marketing are the tools. Context is the strategic glue that binds.
What does that mean?
It means that we need to anticipate that our products and services will be used in so many more ways, place and times than were ever anticipated even 5 years ago.
Sure, we’ve been hearing that the consumer is now in charge ever since the internet sputtered to life via a dial-up modem.
With advances in our technical connectedness, however the context in which we choose to consume has not just evolved our choices, it has also evolved our expectations.
All of which makes it pretty tough if you sell something pretty standard like tomato sauce. Or Derek Jeter bobble-heads. Or calculators (remember when a phone was a phone and a calculator was a calculator? Good times).
This contextual paradigm shift has confounded some very clever folks across a range of industries including the media, publishing, music and travel.
Other industries, of course have risen and thrived. Gaming, IT security, micro-niche websites are examples.
So what to do to make sure you stay ahead and allow your customers the latitude they clearly expect?
Here are our context marketing tips:

Anticipate
Plan for the fact that your customers expect to be in charge of how / when / why they use your products. No longer doleful followers, we’ve been spoiled by choice. Unless you’re selling something unique, desirable and breathtakingly compelling, you need to satisfy this yearning..or else.
Promote
Let customers know about how wonderfully fluid your offering is. You’d be surprised how few marketers ‘get’ that the world has changed. Uploading a website or posting funny photos on Facebook and Instagram does not a masterful marketer make.
Leverage
How can you link and associate your offering with those that are similar to provide an optimal customer experience. Cross and up-sell in the old parlance, the strategy has never been more important. I’m a huge fan of the smarty who came up with the McDonald’s Happy Meal that bundles together a range of food and toys to make kids happy and their parents spend more. What’s your Happy Meal solution?

The upshot of all this: focus on lateral ways you can market and sell.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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