TV, how it used to be

TV was a totally linear experience. Just a couple of networks, with millions and millions watch the same stuff at the same time. The golden tool of mastering an audience flow between the seasons was the cliff hanger. Sometimes used at it’s own peril. TV historians might remember the almost global uproar, with the resurrected Bobby Ewing .

TV today

The definition (at least: my definition) got a bit broader. “Tele vision” means literally watching something happening afar. The medium taken literally, a DVD would be out of the picture.
But the tele-part is not about technical distribution. It’s about opening a window into far away place and times.

And, being in an all-inclusive mode: I throw in games as well. As with in distribution, we’re talking about a whole eco system here. And the borders between The Movies (with a capital M), TV shows, and games are fairly fuzzy – if we talk about media franchises.

2020 programming

The broadcast ecosystem is an amazing money funnel. Sky Germany pays almost 500 Million EUR per football season for the German Bundesliga. Sky UK shells out a hefty £3.018 billion deal for domestic TV rights for three years. As the Daily Mail shockingly calculated: That’s “£6.5million for every one of their 154 live TV games per season.”

Now look at the monies a global network like YouTube generates for rights holders. Gangnam Style by Psy, watched more than a billion times, generated roughly 8 Million USD for the Korean chubster.

On the other hand: Netflix, the re-inventors of the video store, DVD by mail creators, and OTT VoD mega business, shelled out a hundred million Dollars for House of Cards. With its original series, Netflix went HBO. Or, as Joel Espellien wrote for tdgSo repeat after me – Netflix is a content company. Netflix is a content company. Netflix is a content company.

This is of course just a partial truth: Netflix is as much a content company as any other TV network. Call it a content distribution company, aggregating certain rights, with technology defining the business part. The core difference: traditional TV is about audience flow. Or, in new TV speak: schedules are mandatory curated playlists.


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