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An issue involving about 15 hours of my life every week December 6, 2007

Posted by Amy in TV.
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Last night for my E-Commerce Marketing class at Emerson, we went to hear Lisa Gregorian speak. Lisa is the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Warner Brothers Television Group & an Emerson alum. She gave a really interesting talk about marketing television in the age of new media. She says the one thing that remains true about TV is the value of professionally produced storytelling, even in the new media medium. Not sure I totally agree with that, given the popularity of user-generated content, but I did find WB’s new media initiatives, which include ad-supported digital destination sites & genre-specific, ad-supported channels on platforms like Joost, pretty forward-thinking & wonder if other content providers have it as well thought out as they do.

I am, of course, a huge proponent of broadband TV. Lisa talked extensively about that from the content provider standpoint, which was pretty interesting because I always thought of it as something the network controlled. But then I thought about it and that makes sense since different shows on the same network have different online content features. What I especially thought was cool that Lisa brought up was Gossip Girl on the CW, which I don’t watch, but she said what they do for online video is stream the exact same episode as what runs on the air, but add content by providing an interactive element. For example, the video player will say which designer the actress on the screen is wearing or what music is playing in the background during a particular scene. Pretty smart.

I really admire how some shows/networks have embraced value-adding online content. My favorite example is Heroes, which is one of the few shows I have to watch live every week, but which I will also go back and watch online because you can watch it with cast and crew commentary. Think about that. The best part of buying the DVD version of a TV show, free online the day after the episode airs. Of course I will sit through six ads about the Nissan Rogue to watch that.

(Sidebar: kudos to Nissan for sticking their nose right in the Heroes wheelhouse. They even got the Versa and Rogue integrated as part of the storyline. Someone there deserves a raise.)

PS: For the networks, NBC and ABC are clearly way ahead of the crowd. Not only do they both have broadband programming that a.) works almost all of the time & b.) is ad-supported but not obnoxiously so, but their shows seem to all have really solid extra content. (I love Creed Thoughts.)

PPS: Um, CBS? Fix your stupid video player. I’m serious. It is not cool when the video pauses for no reason in the middle of a climatic scene 47 minutes into an episode & we have no choice but start all over because there’s no fast-forward or skip-ahead function. Do you think I just have all this time to sit around, waiting for the video to run through 47 minutes again just to find out what happened? Do you realize how much TV I watch every week? Get your act together.

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