Even if TV drama “House of Cards” was not to win any awards at the 65th annual Primetime Emmys to be broadcasted on September 22nd via CBS, it is common knowledge that the television model is about to change dramatically. This brings a number of opportunities to create, implement and expand a new ecosystem for programming distribution, business models, and advertising possibilities.
Be it Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or any other players in the newly established realm of commercial television arena, the audience wants the control and freedom to watch at their own time, or to binge until the last-minute of content that is available. Production cost for shows like Netflix’s “House of Cards,” “Orange is The New Black,” and the successful re-launch of sitcom “Arrested Development” is considerably lower than the dozens of multimillion dollar television broadcast pilots produced for the big networks every fall, most of which are conceived as flukes and subsequently cancelled. When it comes to shows made for digital audiences, the gadget used by the viewer and the length of the show are not as relevant as with traditional content. Television shows written and produced for an online and on-demand environment are not confined to a conventional advertising deal; they have lower distribution costs, and a subscription supported model based on technological platforms that are more open and capable of experimenting with revenue streams and viewer interactivity than the old guard.
Audience engagement is at the front of this “new” world that one supposes is still called “television,” so it is paramount for professional communicators, marketers, journalists, technologists, and audience researchers to stay in-the-know of how this change in media industries affects different aspects of the communication process:
- idea inception considering all screen sizes and platforms
- pitching to distributors in different industries
- researching insights from international niche audiences
- formulating new equations for global and localized advertising, promotion and public relations
- learning new ways to deal with present and future regulation, globalized media markets, brand licensing, and copyrights
While staying up-to-date is very important for career-minded types, critical thinking takes precedent as an engine in the process of innovation. For social media experts involved in new types of content, it takes passion and discipline to keep the ever-changing digital tribes attentive to sponsors’ messages, and loyal to the brands through compelling plots, spin-offs for audience interactivity, and effective listening posts, among other ingenious constants.
In the ongoing web of media, content-creation, and audiences, a question some of us keep in mind is: what would Marshall McLuhan twit about?
…or what media platform would he switch to tomorrow? Stay tuned.
~ Tech Guerrero