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What does internet streaming mean for TV shows?


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10 replies to this topic

#1
The Stool Sample

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So, not sure this has been covered, much.

But, was thinking about the fact that where I live now, I dont have a TV. But, I have internet and I stream all the shows I watch, frequently... or aquire them through other means.

Just recently they canceled one of the shows I watch (V - its not great, but decent to watch), and apparently its due to the TV ratings. But these dont take into account on the people who tune in online or stream it afterwards.

So, I worry about others shows I love - Chaos, Survivor, Futurama etc... - because more and more people tune in online due to scheduling issues or not wanting commercials, it risks their shows being canceled.

What makes this even worse is that most people watch them through 'illegal' means. So, it's not like they could use the statistics anyways or ask websites to pass them numbers etc...

I just feel that networks are canning the shows that need to stick around, sometimes.

Thoughts about this?

#2
ShadowDog

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Every show you mentioned in this thread is a show I love. I didn't realize we vibed that much as far as TV likes.

I think it has an impact. But that's offset a little by product integration and also purchased downloads like Itunes and Amazon.

Speaking of Product Integration, I read a story this week that they're digitally adding in promotion for new products into old reruns. For instance, a Friends With Benefits poster was put into the background of a 3 year old How I Met Your Mother episode. Pretty slick.

#3
The Human Torch

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I'm really against that last bit. That's like sacrilege. If we let that bull slide, as slick and innovative as it might be, then the next time we watch I Love Lucy she'll be stuffing her face at a Hershey Kisses Chocolate factory.

#4
Iceheart

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I agree with Torch.

I think that instead of just focusing on ratings, they should also focus on internet/social media buzz. How many shows have fansites, fanblogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other internet discussions, "likes" on StumbleUpon, etc. And for shows streaming on network websites or sites like Hulu or Netflix, how many people are thumbs-upping or downing, star-rating, and/or commenting on the video posted. It would be a bitch to analyze, but in the end, if a search turns up that however many people Tweeted, Facebooked, or responded to a message board thread on the topic of the show in the week between new episode premieres, and a random sampling of responses shows that the response was favorable... not only could they get a better idea of the real viewing demographic, but they can know if what they're doing with the story is having a good response. Which can keep the show potentially going longer.

#5
NumberSix

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I think it has an impact. But that's offset a little by product integration and also purchased downloads like Itunes and Amazon.


That works for some shows. NBC's Thursday night comedies get consistently clobbered by the likes of CSI and Grey's Anatomy, but their iTunes sales are pretty healthy (especially for The Office). Middling Nielsen ratings plus quantifiable purchases equals a lengthy lifeline.

I think that instead of just focusing on ratings, they should also focus on internet/social media buzz. How many shows have fansites, fanblogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other internet discussions, "likes" on StumbleUpon, etc. And for shows streaming on network websites or sites like Hulu or Netflix, how many people are thumbs-upping or downing, star-rating, and/or commenting on the video posted. It would be a bitch to analyze, but in the end, if a search turns up that however many people Tweeted, Facebooked, or responded to a message board thread on the topic of the show in the week between new episode premieres, and a random sampling of responses shows that the response was favorable... not only could they get a better idea of the real viewing demographic, but they can know if what they're doing with the story is having a good response. Which can keep the show potentially going longer.


It'd be a sampling of the more vocal viewers, but those -- rather, we are generally a minority of the total viewing public. Giant corporate networks would have to convince giant corporate advertisers that a Facebook post with thousands of replies somehow means the same thing in giant corporate dollars as a Nielsen rating in the millions. As much as I'd love to think that a single Facebook reply is worth a thousand Nielsen viewers, no one's gonna spend millions of advertising dollars on that kind of wishful math.

The only show I'm aware of that was ever renewed on the strength of Internet chatter alone (literally nothing else) was Dollhouse. The surprise second season was a much-appreciated act of mercy. It failed to meet the needs of the giant corporate bottom line.

The Internet was not enough.

#6
ShadowDog

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I get what you guys are saying about Product Integration, but shows like Chuck were renewed almost entirely because of their PI deals. Otherwise they'd have been cancelled. Sure, Chuck dropped in quality so you could be a wise ass about that, but it's a great precedent and I don't think it's too much to ask viewers to put up with.

I'm talking about current shows, though. That I Love Lucy example is horrifying.

#7
Iceheart

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It'd be a sampling of the more vocal viewers, but those -- rather, we are generally a minority of the total viewing public. Giant corporate networks would have to convince giant corporate advertisers that a Facebook post with thousands of replies somehow means the same thing in giant corporate dollars as a Nielsen rating in the millions. As much as I'd love to think that a single Facebook reply is worth a thousand Nielsen viewers, no one's gonna spend millions of advertising dollars on that kind of wishful math.

The only show I'm aware of that was ever renewed on the strength of Internet chatter alone (literally nothing else) was Dollhouse. The surprise second season was a much-appreciated act of mercy. It failed to meet the needs of the giant corporate bottom line.

The Internet was not enough.


I said "also" not just focus on the internet buzz. If the medium is changing, analysis of how the show is doing has to adapt somehow. Analyzing page hits as well as buzz (for the "other means" crowd) along with the Nielsen would paint a more accurate picture than Nielsen ratings alone. Advertisers have to understand the power of the internet by now.

#8
Brando

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Sure, but they also have to understand that "buzz" means nothing when it comes to advertising, especially when there's no proof that these people are seeing any of the advertising

#9
Iceheart

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True. But, how many watch streaming, and how many watch "otherwise"? There's just as many commercials on Hulu, and on the network websites as there are on tv.

As much as I hate the idea of retroactive product placement, product placement in new shows may have to start happening. Frankly, it's happening in spades on the CW already. I think it's corny when it's way too obvious, but at least it keeps with the time period... Lucy eating Dove Bars would be completely anachronistic, but it would make sense for, say, the ladies in Cougartown to be doing it.

Just as long as there's a well-told story, and it's not just an hour-long commercial.

#10
Brando

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There aren't as many commercials, though. Maybe as many breaks, but instead of having 4 or 5 commercials you get 1 or 2. And there are still fewer online viewers so it doesn't make nearly as much money.

#11
Iceheart

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There aren't as many commercials, though. Maybe as many breaks, but instead of having 4 or 5 commercials you get 1 or 2.


Not on CW's website. They have full commercial breaks on their streaming eps. Plus, sidebar ads on the website as you're navigating to the streaming video page.

Again, I'm not saying that Nielsen - or tv in general - is obsolete. I'm just saying that some internet data should probably be taken into account when a show is in seeming jeopardy.