As you can deduce, there's plenty ahead to chew over. However, thanks to what came across at Advertising Week a fortnight ago, a pair of one-day events last week and the first two weeks of this new TV season, there's some clarity worth taking to a bank somewhere. See what you conclude.
From Advertising Week:
***Video-on-demand is back on the radar screens of many key advertisers and agencies. We're talking the kind of on-demand multichannel operators cultivate, now available in more than 60 percent of cable/satellite households, with between 20,000 and 30,000 programs available a month in most of them. When CBS research guru David Poltrack declares that his network has 21 primetime series on VOD, up from 13 one year ago, and forecasts this long-characterized prodigal son of TV "will be the real transformation situation and eventually wean people off their DVRs," pay attention. The factors: A dramatic rise in viewership, more reliable and targetable set-top box data and the rollout of dynamic video advertising where topical messages can be inserted in and out of content at will.
***Look out world, here come smart TV opportunities. Showtime and TBS are experimenting--successfully so far--with apps that overlay series like Homeland, Masters of Sex and Conan with trivia, snap polls and, for Conan, ads. The one panel devoted to this topic was packed, the overlays looked impressive, and people left certain one way or another that people with smart TVs in their homes will come around to watching network programming, the Internet and original interactive apps in ways we can sense now...and some we'll learn. What's more, the capacity and capabilities of these TVs, including Web browsing, voice and body language control, and using smart phones/tablets as a remote or joystick will keep expanding.
***Robert Rodriguez wants to take a page from the playbook of some top programmers when his El Rey Network launches this December. The indie filmmaker's grand plan: Turn one channel into a family of networks over time, just as HBO, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, ESPN, Disney, strategic partner Univision and others have accomplished. El Rey the mother-ship will be male/millennial-centric, and spinoff networks will feature original content for women and family audiences. With a track record of movie hits, 26 acres of production facilities near Austin, Texas and a community of Latino talent champing to share in Rodriguez's vision, it's tough to argue against this scenario coming true.
From last week's Hispanic TV Summit and Digital Diversity conferences:
***Time to shake up the profile of Latino network tiers among cable and satellite operators. A number of programmers featured on these tiers are upset with the lack of subscriber growth the tiers are lately generating, as well as the lack of viewer publicity for these tiers and individual networks on them. Meantime, there's growing frustration with the paucity of video-on-demand content directed toward Latinos on a monthly basis. Bottom line: If you're a service getting tiered or out to be, don't depend on just the operator to make your case with viewers. Bring some outreach money and resources to the situation. Plus advocate on-demand as well as tier carriage.
***A year after bringing up the subject of far too many advertisers not involved in Spanish-language networks in this space, there's little progress to showcase. A few fast-food chains, including Red Lobster and Dunkin' Donuts, have entered the picture. A few notables in other categories are on the map. Yet we still have the majority of insurance and other category advertisers on the sidelines, and not one Web site in the mix. Whoever pulls the purse strings of companies like Geico, Progressive, Charles Schwab, E-Trade, Yahoo, E-Harmony and Samsung, get this message: Latinos are big customers of yours, and it's way past time to play big with network spots on Spanish-language services. Play already!
***Crowdfunding could become a lead avenue for new TV content, technology and apps to obtain seed money. That's if the Securities and Exchange Commission enacts its long-awaited set of equity crowdfund rules of the road. One lane of that road went into effect pre-government shutdown; it’s anyone's guess how long it will take post-shutdown for the other lanes to get constructed. The long-term possibility: Crowdfunding convinces venture capitalists, angel investors, incubators and accelerator firms that it's utterly insane not to fund the next generation of TV programming, technology and apps.
I’ll have a few things to say about how this fall TV season is going in my next column. Until that next time, stay well and stay tuned!The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaBizBloggers.com management or associated bloggers. MediaBizBloggers is an open thought leadership platform and readers may share their comments and opinions in response to all commentaries.