Week Observed: Migrating from TV to Online isn’t Always a Revolution

Posted 5 years ago by Josh Messinger

Ken Auletta of the New Yorker on his book “Outside the Box: Netflix and the Future of Television.” We can’t always see the forest for the trees. The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta interview on Charlie Rose is worth watching; however, he misses the mark in a few key areas. Here’s a small sampling:

Rose: “So, what is going to happen to the advertising model?”

Auletta: I think it will decline. I think what has happened to the digital world, newspapers…the advertising dollars have fled newspapers and have fled magazines…I think that will happen in the digital world. I think they will go to the YouTubes and other places where they feel they can get people’s attention. Young people are not watching television the way their parents did and they are used to skipping ads or not watching ads as they are used to watching on mobile devices whenever they want and if you are a network programmer you say, “at 10:00 tonight we have this show, well most people, especially young, aren’t saying “I’m going to wait. I’m in power, you’re not in power.”

That might have been hard to track; Ken rambled a bit. I don’t think Moonves (or advertisers) need to be too worried. Advertising isn’t going anywhere; it is only going to increase. While newspaper newsrooms were expensive to run, they pale in comparison to the dollars TV spends on programming. Advertising – subsidized by cable fees and services like Netflix – is the only avenue for paying for all of this content. And boy, do we have an appetite for content! Video consumption is on the rise for all age groups.

If we look at total time spent viewing video content, long form, advertising-supported content drives the lion’s share of the hours spent. We are already seeing the fomenting MCN revolution; the YouTube content model, as it currently exists, can’t support itself. Auletta talks about YouTube as a viable replacement for TV but it has neither the range of long-form, high-quality content nor a financial model to support the creation of this content.

We will be digging into these themes at the Videonomics Orlando Summit March 16-18. Kris Magel of Initiative’s fireside chats with execs like Simulmedia’s Dave Morgan and CBS’s David Poltrack will shed light on the changing face of TV and how advertisers are successfully navigating this new world.

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