Dec 23, 2015

Week In Review: Things To Be Thankful For

Originally published at on November 25, 2015

It’s a short week and an American holiday, so in the spirit of that holiday, we thought we’d look back on what we have to be thankful for at the end of November 2015.

 1. The Industry Is Not Imploding

Not that we ever thought it was, mind you, but you know, Silicon Valley. (And they still manage to get it so incredibly wrong.) But the good news is the television industry seems to keep on humming. Ad revenue is actually up. The number of quality shows is so high that someone actually suggested we start making less of them. (Still not quite getting that one. Is the solution then to start creating more bad shows?)

What’s more, as we pointed out last week, the MVPDs seem to have figured out that it’s in their best interests to play nice with the Netflix,  Hulus and HBO Nows of the world. And so they are starting to bring them into the fold, selling them directly to their broadband and pay-TV customers as just one more option. When all TV options come from the same place (the MVPDs and their broadband connections) cord-cutting is no longer an issue.

2. Social TV Is Enjoying A Renaissance

While Social TV 1.0 was all about fans talking to each other, Social TV 2.0 is all about networks buying paid posts on social platforms. Facebook seems to be leading the way on this, primarily because (a) at a time when fewer and fewer people watch TV in real time, it’s not a real time platform, (b) 1.5 billion users. It’s hard to beat that kind of reach. (Twitter, by comparison, has about 300 million. And many would cut that number in half, given the number of users with multiple accounts) and (c) Facebook’s Atlas ad network allows those paid posts to be seen by millions of highly-targeted users on mobile sites. For network execs, whose biggest nightmare is how to drive viewership, social TV is proving to be a godsend.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, the networks are also discovering the value of Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat, both as places where the networks can control the flow of conversation and as great places to reach a Millennial/Gen Z audience. Everyone is playing nicely with each other and everyone seems to be getting something out of it, especially consumers who are getting more access to their favorite shows
3. Creators Are Coming Into Their Own

For years, The Powers That Be have rolled their eyes at YouTube Creators, lumping them all under the blanket of “UGC” and otherwise not paying a whole lot of attention to them. That’s changing now as everyone seems to have discovered their extreme money-making potential.

The MVPDs are busy launching broadband-only skinny bundle packages aimed at Millennials and they’re populating them with “snackable” content from the various MCNs. This alone is doing wonders in terms of making YouTube creators a part of the overall ecosystem.

We’ve also seen the recent launch of YouTube Red, the platform’s first ad-free subscription service, that features premium content from well-known creators like PewDiePie. By giving more structure to the creators’ shows, Red is helping to make them more like traditional TV without sacrificing the things that made them successful in the first place.

4. TV Everywhere Seems To Finally Be Taking Off

 Now that Nielsen is measuring OTT views and networks are realizing the value of letting people watch their shows anytime and anywhere, true TV Everywhere should finally be on the horizon. There are already reports of Verizon rolling out an update to their TVE app that allows viewers to watch every single channel if they’re at home and gives them access to shows they’ve stored on their DVR. We expect the rest of the MVPDs will soon follow suit.

There’s much good news in the TV industry, but still much to figure out. Stick with TV[R]EV as we help you understand all the changes ahead by subscribing to our twice-weekly newsletter.

Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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