And let's talk about premium channels. Sure, I really like the original shows that many of the premium channels carry, but tonight's (it's a Monday night) line up of movies is so weak, it should be embarrassing to their programming staff. With all of the movies that have been made, how is it that there's a Harry Potter movie from 2005; Platoon from 1986; 42 from 2013; Enemy of the State from 1998 (I do like this movie and it's actually still relevant); King Kong, Spartan, Men in Black. You get the picture.
And on-demand is just as frustrating. I admit that I'm in a minority on this, but commercials don't really bother me. However, networks haven't caught up to how we actually watch on demand. We binge watch, watching several episodes back-to-back, so we can create our own TV viewing timeline. So, I binge watched Brooklyn 99 and watching four episodes in a row, I saw the same three commercials at every commercial break for two hours. Two of them were in-house promo ads to get me to watch another show and the third was the ever popular Viagra commercial. So, I got the same three commercials for two hours and I couldn't even fast forward. Do TV execs actually know how people watch TV these days?
Think back to the start of the TV industry and imagine if you needed a different kind of TV set to watch each network. You could only watch certain shows on specific TV sets. How far would that industry have gone?
Now, my bill for all of my Comcast services is about $200/month, so it's not a cheap service any more. And I actually don't mind paying for it, really. But if you're going to charge me to watch content, then I should be able to watch it however I want to.
During our SXSW presentation, William made an excellent point about content and Gen Z:
then they won't be paying!
Notice, he didn't say they wouldn't pay for content. Just that when they paid for it, it had to be a better experience than what they can put together themselves. I get the whole business of TV and I do understand where many of their challenges come from. But it has to get easier than it is today if it's going to thrive as an industry. Content needs to be completely portable based on the consumers desires, not the industries. Look around TV folks, there's lots of industries you can review to see what happens when you don't give the consumers what they want.
The good news is that our small survey that we did for SXSW clearly showed that Gen Z likes content and that their desire to both snack and have full meals of content isn't on the decline. But their patience with how we deliver that content is on the decline and the industry really should be listening.