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A TV Website is a Product, Duh. October 28, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, Convergence, Essays, Journalism, News, Trends.
Tags: , ,

TV folks still don’t get it! When I’m consulted by broadcasters planning to launch an accompanying Website for a TV series, I am often floored by the silo-thinking that an online presence is merely something nice to have to reinforce the brand and generate awareness.

Little wonder that so many micro-sites purporting to be the online arm of a TV show are, well, so small and mono-dimensional. Sure, the bean counters on the board ask for the business case. It’s about time they drop the blinkers and TV-centric thinking and build the Website as a product.

The Website cannot be conceived as a brochure for reinforcing the TV brand, but rather as unique content sold as its own entity. It’s about leveraging the resources unique to broadcasters to implement a successful online strategy.

With Web content eating into the profit pies of print and TV, online financial success for broadcasters lies in creating true cross-platform integration with the TV side of their business. Traditional media are not getting the share of advertising because they have not got past the ways to monetize their Websites.

ESPN.com and CNN.com got it. And it’s simply that people will pay for content if it is valuable to them. What ESPN and CNN have done is increase cross-platform reach to their audiences by investing in and building their Websites. It’s about taking the information the networks have and knowing how to feature it.

ESPN.com developed cross-platform storytelling by streaming video and creating interactive games for their users. CNN.com emphasized the cable network’s strength in delivering breaking news by expanding on the I-Report feature which allows the portal to receive a large volume of breaking news without actively soliciting.

So instead of using third-party and costly software, broadcasters should create a local network of sites, organize the local Web and take advantage of what’s already available to create unique community. Some of the brightest minds in the industry know where the future lies and are steering their online products in that direction.


1. News Webcast is a Different Animal « Webs@Work - November 4, 2007

[…] A TV Website is a Product, Duh. […]

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