Yesterday’s announcement from CBS and NBC about offering some programming via new on demand channels is not a bad thing, but could have been so much more.
The logic of charging for an episode of prime time programming that is available for free via another distribution channel appears strained at best. Seems the more productive route is to provide innovative sponsorship opportunities in the on demand programming and make it available for free as well.
If the consumer fast forwards through the commercials in the on demand content then so be it. That has been happening since the advent of the VCR, and the DVR just makes it faster, but it is nothing new.
Why not insert the sponsorship info into the distribution channel at the point of accessing the content on demand? Seems reasonable and something the consumer is willing to accept in exchange for getting the content for free.
The first media company (with enough critical mass in the arenas of content and distribution to matter) that figures out that what the content consumer really wants is their content available ala carte, on demand, via any distribution channel they prefer, will reap an organic marketing buzz the likes of which the media industry seldom encounters.
Good chance to bring up the argument once again that U-verse has the best opportuntity to be that company.