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Internet First, Internet Only and Internet-mous TV Shows : TV is out, Internet is in, And You?

Roshan Dwivedi Published on : 30 April 2015


Early in April, an announcement from BBC’s new Chief Technology Officer Matthew Post-gate took the world of TV Shows and linear broadcast by storm. After the bleak five year long , 126 Million Euro Digital Media Initiative, BBC has decided to become internet centric, deciding to promote the newly arrived show Poldark and the continuing Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing as ‘internet first’, thereby completely refusing any exclusivity to traditional TV. Why would they do that?!

More and More and More people are watching TV online than ever – really a great lot. Viewers may not be cutting the cable cord altogether, but growth in the number who want to watch TV over a different set of pipes is surging. If anyone was still wondering why HBO and CBS plan to offer an online-only option, the trend is clear: the internet is where people want to be watching their favorite content. In more and more homes, online TV isn’t a geeky novelty, a sidelight to the traditional version. It’s just what TV looks like now, something the TV has transitioned into.

In our household, as in many households, television consumption has changed massively over the past decade, especially over the past 5 years. Here’s what’s changed:-

  • We DO NOT watch TV Shows at the broadcast time.
  • We have NO great intention to watch a TV show with too many ADs.
  • We ARE watching a lot of movies and specially TV Shows on video on demand and we do that because we CAN’T STAND ADS.
  • We ARE getting our quota of news from the internet in the form of articles and videos and we CAN choose what to watch too.
  • We WATCH TV and movie content on 4 different screens, depending on which is convenient.

If not for live sports, which are consumed by exactly one member in an average household (somebody like me), there is no way we would be paying for cable TV or any other kind of traditional pay TV anymore. And even as a sports fan, I’m starting to find the fragmented multi-channel coverage of the few sports I watch, e.g. Football (Bundesliga) and Baseball (Major League Baseball), I find the broadcast so annoyingly disruptive that I would soon get a digital subscription for each of them than rather pay for the bundle.

In other words, in our household, and in many other households like ours, the same thing has happened to the TV business that has happened to the newspaper business.

The user behavior that supported the traditional all-in-one TV “packages”–networks and cable/satellite distributors–has changed. We still consume some TV content, but we consume it when and where we want it, and we consume it deliberately: In other words, we don’t settle down in front of the TV and watch “what’s on.”

So, what are the key points of this shift in user behavior for the traditional TV business?

  • Networks are completely meaningless We don’t know or care which network owns the rights to a show or where it was broadcast. The only question that’s relevant is whether it’s available on NetflixHuluAmazon, or iTunes. This means that one of the key traditional ‘businesses’ of TV, the network, has been rendered obsolete.
  • The majority of what we pay our cable company is wasted – We get broadband Internet from our cable company, and we use that constantly. But we also get 300-400 channels that we almost never watch; along with a couple that we pay extra for and do watch occasionally.
  • We rarely watch TV ads, and when we do, we’re usually doing something else at the same time, like typing –Also, the ads seem startlingly intrusive, because we’re not used to them.

This user behaviour has been changing for a while, and, so far, it has an overwhelming impact on the TV business. Nielsen ratings showed a consecutive eighth double digit drop in TV viewership in Q4 2014.
Another recent survey from Nielsen, meanwhile, included some startling statistics, including the following:

  • The percent of people worldwide who watch TV at least once a month dropped from 90% to 83% over the past year.
  • The percentage of people who watch video on a computer once a month, 84%,is now higher than the percentage who watch TV.

Online TV shows are making it big!

Five years ago, making a web series to get on traditional television was a fool’s game. The few web series producers to secure development deals with networks , from “We Need Girlfriends,” “Quarterlife,” “Private High School” and “The College Humor Show”, either never made it to air or didn’t last long when they did.

But today many more web series have been optioned for TV and made it onto television. Some have even been successful, making it to a second season, like Comedy Central series “Broad City,” which was renewed recently. More series could be coming soon. In the past year hardworking producers like Issa Rae, Ray William Johnson, Benny and Rafi Fine, Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenefeld and have all signed development deals.

The ‘other’ kind of online TV shows are the ones exclusively available with online video streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Who doesn’t watch House of Cards or Orange Is The New Black? Which online video junkie worth his salt hasn’t streamed Line of Duty on Hulu?

Online TV Shows, Hit TV Shows

Online TV Shows are the biggest hit TV shows today. Be it FOX’s Empires or Netflix’s Daredevil or House of Cards, they are all toppling viewing records with every season and earning the streaming service providers millions every financial quarter.

What, what could possibly be a reason today to produce a TV Show for TV (Irony!)?

There is NONE. And then, you need a real VOD platform if you were to do everything we discussed above. The key to a successful online show isn’t just content or it’s marketing. It’s the infrastructure you are based on and you stream from.

Here is a list of things you need to do to get up, running and counting bills with your online TV Show:-

  1. Select your own branded VOD Platform. Prefer the one with Zero Startup Fee and little or no hardware and personnel requirements.
  2. Know what kind of revenue model suits you. Read this to know more about VOD business models.
  3. Figure out the right kind of template for you. Good looking platforms always get more viewers than the shoddy ones.
  4. Check if the VOD platform has the right kind of DRM and other content security features which play along well with your content.
  5. Select a platform with a good Content Delivery Network, readiness to go live and of course, least bandwidth usage charges. An option to have your own mobile apps, SEO support and marketing assistance is a bonus.

All this…was the idea behind the creation of Muvi, probably one of the best VOD Platforms you can lay your hands on. We came up with Zero CapEx, complete customization of the platform and ease of access bundled with scores of other premium features. Going digital is TV’s fate. Going multiplatform is digital TV’s fate. The advantage, however, is with the content owner.

Your content, Your platform, Your business.

No third party, no hardware, no startup investments.

With Muvi, the growth story never halts, never stops.

Written by: Roshan Dwivedi

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