Stay open

Authors: John Postlewait & Chrissy Geiger. 

Seen anything new lately? Probably. In the bazaar of the new media marketplace, everyone is hawking their wares. To keep up, we routinely attend industry events and seminars, looking for platforms that might suit our client’s needs and work with our response-based methodology.

A few of us recently attended a presentation by a talented Northwestern professor who, frustrated by the lack of opportunity for independent producers to bring their stories to life, created OpenTV, a platform for niche web series development. Both a social experiment and business opportunity, OpenTV aspires to open a whole new world of content to producers, fans, and sponsors who have previously been excluded from mainstream media. A work in progress to be sure, and a several steps away from scalability.

So why do we bother? With a reach currently unmatched, television remains our largest and most effective platform to bring results to our clients. TV is changing, but that’s nothing new. Around 1980, something called cable television was introduced. And believe it or not, few advertisers wanted anything to do with it. Reliant on the major networks, they ignored startups like MTV, ESPN, CNN and Discovery. While they all looked away, we saw an opportunity. We bought in early and low; helping sustain cable networks in those early days while bringing value to our clients. Relationships were cemented, and well, you know the rest of the story.

Of course, the next chapter in the story of cable is yet to be written. The rise of cord cutting platforms like Netflix, Amazon and HBO has altered the landscape. Since they are mostly ad free subscription platforms, there is little opportunity now. For our opinion on how long that will last, feel free to read this blog.

And have we told you about diginets? No one was giving those “channels between channels” a chance either. Now, dollar for dollar, they’re becoming one of our more successful strategies. So as the media landscape evolves, we’ll keep trying new things and seeing if they translate into value for our clients. Perhaps web-based niche platforms like OpenTV will find success. Perhaps not. But if our history is a guide, we’ll be among the first to know.

Click the links to learn more about OpenTV and Creative Mornings.

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