This weekend on Saturday in the NYTimes a very interesting article ran on how much audiences enjoyed a full session viewing of a new television series in a theatre. How the audience was engaged and gave the screening a standing ovation at the end of the screening that ran from 9am to 5pm with occasional breaks for obvious reasons.
Yes, TV viewing is in the process of changing…considerably.
Now referred to as “binge” viewing, it’s what used to be screener marathons for us that are members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences who receive the Emmy nominated dvd’s . Viewing these screeners so we can make comments makes sense and is actually very comfortable. In fact, it’s addictive. You rarely want to stop watching a well made (story/production values) TV series when you start the first installment that’s just perhaps 42 minutes long, it’s easy to go to segment two, then three, and so on.
Trust me on many long flights I’ve watched whole programs – i.e. Kevin Costner’s Hatfield & McCoys, I honestly don’t think I would have watched the whole series if I didn’t have the time and the whole series available to me. But that said, I was able to get into the program and voted for it. It ended up winning an Emmy. I’m sure not because of my one vote, but I would have to believe many others in the academy possibly did the same thing.
In some ways it’s just like not putting down a good book…or what used to be like not putting down a good book.
So is it really new? Not really. What it is though is allowing viewers to have available a good story, when they’d like it and as much as they’d like. This has been going on in other industries for ever, just not in the TV industry.
Bottom line: we now have available to us these new TV viewer habits that we can capitalize on with compelling story telling and new revenue opportunities through box office receipts/TV subscriptions/payTV and especially advertising….it’s tremendous!
After all capitalizing on shifting behavior is what makes the merry-go-round, go round.