The television networks are starting to make big moves away from broadcast and towards the web. CW network, for example, now puts all of its shows on the Internet, as soon as the day after they air.
Why is this happening?
- A fifth of CW viewers now watch online.
- Prime time CW broadcast/cable views are down 14%
- Netflix and Hulu are paying big bucks for CW content.
- It’s what their audience wants.
“The bigger danger is not allowing the consumer to watch video where they want to.”
- Rick Haskins, head of marketing and digital programs for CW.
CW is out in front of this trend because of their youth-skewed demographic. Consider them a leading indicator to the future of broadcast television. The trend will snowball as more networks react, and advertising dollars continue to move from the airwaves to the web.
But shifting investment from broadcast to the web is a frying-pan-to-fire move for television networks. While traditional network competition is fierce, it’s limited to a few hundred channels. Their competitors will now be every content producer on the planet.
The new rules: the one with the best content on the most devices wins.
We’ll see how the TV networks adapt, and which survive.