Tag: TV

Ten’s Masterchef/The Renovators debacle and why traditional media still doesn’t get it

Marketing, Social Media0 Comments

During the Masterchef final the other week, Ten made the unusual step of scheduling a new DIY show (The Renovators) during the finale.

Bold, maybe. Stupid, heck yeah! Here’s why:

While this cynical attempt to get viewers to sample the new show could be considered a short-term success attracting 1.25 million viewers,  it certainly hasn’t translated into much else while potentially also dealing damage to the Masterchef brand and Ten’s already flagging reputation.

The role of programming whether it’s on television or radio is still very much about funneling viewers from one day part to the next, but what Ten’s and other programming departments haven’t quite grasped is that the audience is not as captive as they once were. Not only are viewers now spoilt for choice with the rise of award-winning niche content on specialist networks (think Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad) but the proliferation of PVRs, smartphones, tablets and the ubiquity of high-speed Internet not to mention the grand daddy of them all – the remote control – means that viewers have the freedom to consume media when and where they want. The idea that you would force your content upon them precisely when all they want is to find out who won is ludicrous!

Despite what some so-called experts say, the television audience isn’t shrinking in favour of other technologies – it’s actually growing. We are consuming more television content than ever before, except we are doing so across multiple media channels and augmenting the experience with social media.

The disrespect shown by Ten towards the Masterchef audience resulted in a huge social media backlash that spilled over into the mainstream arguably causing even more harm to The Renovators who’s ratings only continued plummet in the wake of the debacle. If Ten is serious about rebuilding their share of audience and advertising, they should focus less on using tactics designed to artificially get people to watch their programs and start respecting them and focus on creating genuinely compelling content.

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We’ve Come a Long Way Baby

Uncategorized2 Comments

This tweet from YouTube caught my attention last week.

Increasingly better, faster processors and connectivity are the hallmarks of the Internet age. Combined with the convergence of technology, access to knowledge and information is now truly (or at least nearly) ubiquitous.

What we can do with content and how we consume it is changing every day.

Who would have thought that online video would constitute half of all mobile data traffic, let alone that we would even want to watch it on our third screen?

And now, according to YouTube, not only is the rate at which video is being uploaded growing, but so too is our capacity to download and watch it faster than ever before. We can now watch video almost as soon as it is uploaded.

Our appetite for information has grown, but is there a point where won’t be able to consume any more, any faster? Will the day come when we say enough is enough or will our consumption keep pace with the technology?

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How digital channels have changed the value of news

Digital Strategy4 Comments

The different ways in which we access media has changed the relative importance that we place on different types of news. The news that we find through traditional delivery mechanisms is no longer as relevant as the news that we actively seek out or that finds us on social media.

Traditional media is losing relevance

In the dark ages pre-internet, there was only really one way to consume news – passively. You either read it  (in hard copy), watched it or heard it, and were (generally) at the mercy of your local publisher.

I remember staying up late most nights just to catch a glimpse of the NBA highlights on Sports Tonight which – if you remember Ten’s programming in the late 90s – meant that I had a better chance of finding a chupacabra.

Thankfully, that is no longer the case and we are surrounded by more media and information than we could ever hope to consume. We can now find endless amounts of information about the things that interest us no matter how esoteric our tastes.

We are  no longer passive but active consumers of news.

It matters where it’s from

With so much news content already vying for our attention and our interest, what this means is that where we heard it determines if we are really paying attention to it.

Search, RSS and email, in particular, have flipped news on it’s head. Instead of going to a single or a few sources and hoping to find something of interest, we simply subscribe to the blogs, podcasts, etc. that interest us. That we actively and deliberately subscribe means that we assign it a higher value than something we happen to see in the paper.

This gets taken a little further when social media gets thrown into the mix. The ability to share and recommend means that we are now also exposed to what others in our network think is interesting. Assuming you actually like and respect that person, you are more likely to click on a link that they are sharing than if it were put to you by an anonymous corporation.

In summary, we are gradually paying less and less attention to news that comes to us pre-packaged. While the morning paper or the 6 o’clock news will still be part of our media consumption, it is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the face of more relevant sources such as social media and RSS feeds that directly interest us.

Have new technologies changed the way you find out news? Do you still rely on traditional sources or is the bulk of the news you consume now found online?

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How fun is the Web really?

Digital Strategy12 Comments

To me, it’s plenty fun but at lunch with my friend Steve Culgan (@sculgan), we discussed what effects new technologies like Twitter, smartphones and the iPad have on people’s attention and our ability to just enjoy ourselves.

As Steve put it, the sheer volume of information and content that we are exposed to has the potential to make us more neurotic. Instead of being able to focus on just one thing (say, TV), there are now multiple channels competing for our attention. Rarely do we ever simply watch TV. For example, right now I am watching Algeria vs Slovenia on TV while writing this post on a laptop and checking Twitter on an iPhone.

The Argument

The argument is that we are no longer able to live in the moment. Obsessive checking of Twitter and the feeling that you might be missing out on something only contribute to this growing neurosis. The problem is further exacerbated when you take into account the amount of noise when your followers grow.

Our ability to enjoy ourselves diminishes as we constantly worry that there could be something else we could doing.

My counter, however, is that while the tools have the potential to disrupt our lives (let alone our brain patterns), human beings are incredibly adaptable.

Just take a look at a typical high school kid. They are growing up in a world where these technologies and multitasking are the norm. They’ve figured out how to juggle all these competing media and still have a good time.

The Challenge

The challenge is for my generation and older who haven’t always had this in our lives and aren’t quite as adept at the whole multitasking thing.

We must know our limits and how much we can handle before it’s too much. As a parent, there is an opportunity to cost to being constantly plugged in. Family-time means giving them my full attention (or at least a close approximation of it) – not being constantly distracted checking-in or posting status updates. When it’s just me, I’m free to do as I please whether it be playing PS3, blogging, tweeting or generally wasting time online.

The point is, you must accept that there are some things you’re going to miss out on. The beauty of something like Twitter and social media is that the cream will rise to the top. Following the right people or subscribing to the right feeds gives me the confidence that if it’s important enough, I’m going to hear about it.

How do you go juggling multiple media devices? Does something have to give or can you do it all?

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Listen to your fans, not your critics: another lesson from Heroes

Marketing7 Comments

Watching re-runs of first season episodes of Heroes, I was reminded of how much more engaging these earlier episodes are in comparison to the last two seasons.

As a kid who grew up immersed in comic book mythology, the arrival of Heroes was like a wet dream. Although by no means perfect, season one was an adrenaline rush that gave viewers a huge pay off with every episode and won the show a fiercely devoted fan base. Everyone I knew either loved it or knew someone who did and were itching to watch it for themselves – it had that sort of buzz.

Then it all started to go wrong.


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