Monday, May 12, 2008

Time-Shifting Prime Time Means Viewers Have Control.

THE AUDIENCE for prime time television shows is shrinking, according to an article in today's New York Times. More than 6 million viewers have disappeared since last year.

The culprit? The Internet, TiVo, DVR and other video on demand services.

The industry folks call it "time-shifting." And they are freaking out about it.

While they enable viewers to watch more hours of television, they hurt the rate of commercial recognition, as about half of all commercials are skipped in time-shifting modes, according to the Times.

“Honestly, if I could wish away the DVR, I would,” Alan Wurtzel, head of research for NBC, told the Times. “But I can’t. It’s growing.”

Without advertising, there's no money to finance programming (including news). The ultimate result is that the popular shows gain greater audiences and the less popular programs get markedly smaller audiences.

Personally, I'd rather watch Yacht Rock on Channel 101.

If you know how to make money on the Internet, you could be the next Bill Gates. Start thinking.

(the photo of the TiVo cakes come via Flickr).


Anonymous said...

Doesn't the time shift give more TV shows (and thus more people) a chance to make money on TV? Isn't this a good thing? And I thought the Internet makes money for TV stations with commercials already.


Can we talk about Sue Simmons?


Geo said...

The Internet doesn't make enough money to produce a program like Grey's Anatomy. The Internet, for now, is a complementary source of income.

Its difficult to make money online right now because people bypass commercials.

So as television viewership declines and the Internet isn't generating the big bucks, there will be a shortfall.

What the f**k do you want to say about Sue Simmons? Just kidding, of course ... here's the link for those of you who haven't seen it:

- George (your former teacher who is DONE grading)

Anonymous said...

This is where I get confused. So more people are watching TV, but across less outlets. So each program/channel earns less money. And then the internet steals more thunder from each program/channel, pushing away advertisers and leading them to seek more reliant outlets. And this adds stress to the lives of certain unspecified assertive anchorwomen.



danielassaraf said...

I think the internet and Tivo are empowering consumers in some ways. I watch things on the internet all the time-like both conventions, which so far I have missed completely but saw all the big speeches. The children of the networks will still have food and clean clothes despite this trend. My one concern is that advertising will change from actual commercials to integrating brands into the show (like having characters where certain clothes or something), which the networks hot-shots are "forced" to do in order to "survive". At least during a commericial you can go take a piss.