ErinIs…

Fight.

Posted on: September 2, 2008

Cable is one of the niche media that will have to fight hard or work in conjunction with digital to win advertising spend. There are many obstacles for cable to overcome – most channels lack local programming; there is no local news to anchor a channel to a town like broadcast; they don’t have frequently visited websites; users have to pay for the service; and the cost to create a TV spot is prohibitive to many smaller advertisers.

While cable provides more affordable access then newsprint or broadcast and reaches niche audiences, web does both of those better. Web is currently killing print, but I think cable is next.

To stay alive cable will have to fight for their spot in the media mix but check out thse four that have already started. 

Current TV
Current TV, a product of Al Gore’s born in 2005, is a cable channel that is fully integrated with the web . Its a peer-to-peer news channel that combines viewer created content with a Digg system of voting and submitting stories found elsewhere. Users vote and comment on stories and pods to send them to broadcast alongside Current staff created pieces. Current rewards those who contribute (comments, stories or pods) through increasing your status on the site, it encourages friending/following and seeks to continue your engagement by emailing you when another user comments on a story after you. It’s one of the few places I contribute and comment without hesitating. It also features one of my favorite broadcast personalities, Brett Erlich, in pods like ‘Campaign Updates’ and ‘Viral Video School.’

MTV Tres
To be fair any MTV channel could make this list but the Latino designated MTV is also reaching the Latino audience right on point. They mix English and Spanish effortlessly: MTV Tres specific programming is coupled with MTV reruns; Spanish advertising is about a quarter of all ads; pods geared towards understanding the Latino-American point of view are featured every quarter hour. Most importantly it doesn’t feel like its trying to be Latino. Carlos hosts Mi TRL in both English and Spanish with Spanish artists as well as mainstream musicians appearing on the countdown and in studio. In addition to understanding the target audience, they push web and mobile promotions. MTV knows how to stay fresh with their core 18-29 demo.

HGTV
The home and garden network is probably not the first channel you would think to integrate into web. But when they hired a team specifically to develop content for their website, HGTV set themselves apart from their competitors. The HGTV site is cleanly streamlined and features how-to videos, blogs about design and offers tools to the do-it-yourself audience. They were so focused on their web assets, HGTV ended up with an online feature that turned into a cable show. ‘Rate My Space’ was built for web and became so popular it transitioned to a cable show. The key to HGTV’s online success is that they realized online content should be different, their website should be a resource for its audience. They’ve built a online platform to directly compete with web competitors like How.com while expanding their cable audience.

Revision3
Okay so technically, not a cable channel. Its actually a TV network on the web that delivers content directly to users via downloads and streaming of original shows. I get my weekly download of Diggnation and The Totally Rad Show for free (!) through my i-tunes. Its high quality production, easy to access and relevant content attracts a hard to reach audience of younger affluent males (and women like me). With founders like Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson its no wonder that Revision3 is fully integrated into all aspects of web. Kevin Rose is also a co-host on the most popluar Revision3 show, Diggnation , with Alex Albrecht. They just get it.

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1 Response to "Fight."

[…] Fight.They mix English and Spanish effortlessly: MTV Tres specific programming is coupled with MTV reruns; Spanish advertising is about a quarter of all ads; pods geared towards understanding the Latino-American point of view are featured … […]

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