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Tip #1401: The Future of Media is Streaming

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The future of media is streaming – but what should broadcasters do?

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This article, written by Alan Wolk, first appeared in NextTV.com. This is a summary.

There are a few ways you can look at NBCUniversal’s decision to shut down its NBC Sports Network channel and distribute NBCSN’s programming to the USA network and Peacock.

On one level, it’s a cost-saving measure and a way to boost USA and Peacock at a time when both could use a little love.

On another, it’s the first of many similar decisions NBCU and other big networks are going to be making as they consolidate their offerings on linear and prepare to migrate the bulk of their business to streaming.

The powers that be at all of the major networks seem to understand that the future belongs to streaming. Their goal is to make the switch-over as painless as possible by gradually reducing their footprint on linear TV while increasing it on streaming. The process of reducing their linear footprint is a lot like one of those peg board games, the ones you find at Cracker Barrel, where the goal is to jump one piece over another and remove the piece you’ve jumped, till you’re left with just a single piece.

At the same time, they’ve got to keep their traditional linear businesses in shape, as that is still (for now) their major source of revenue.

In addition to viewers, networks are going to have to manage advertiser expectations during the switchover, as well. Today’s conventional wisdom is that younger, more affluent audiences are on streaming, while older and less affluent audiences are still on linear.

On the programming end, we’re already seeing how traditional networks are making excellent use of their streaming networks to promote their linear properties, giving them a strategic advantage over tech-only players like Amazon and Apple, especially when it comes to those viewers who are still primarily on linear but thinking of making the switch.

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The entire article is worth readiing, as is the NextTV website itself.


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