Binge-Watching ALL THE SHOWS

November 30, 2016   /   by  Diane Callihan

How Streaming Is Changing Everything

Go ahead and make fun of me – everyone else has – but up until about a month ago, I was still renting DVDs from Netflix to watch my favorite shows. I was probably helping the few people in the mailroom over there stay employed. Sorry guys.

My incredulous boss and coworkers insisted that I get a streaming package. It took me an evening to figure it out and set it up on the Xbox – I had to reset my damn Netflix password a few thousand times – but I did it. Then I added Amazon Prime as well (because Netflix didn’t have Orphan Black).

So now, I can literally watch anything I want, anytime. I feel like I was living in the dark ages, waiting for the next disc to come in the mail to see the next episode of Game of Thrones or Chuck. Who does that?!

It was almost as bad as when people watched network TV and you had to wait for a certain day and time to watch something in the dark days before DVR. Plus we had to watch commercials.

(I had five channels when I was a kid, BTW, and two of them didn’t come in very well. But let’s not scare the children.)

What makes this even better is that cable TV, streaming media, Netflix, Hulu and all the rest have ushered in what I think of as television’s heyday. I mean, yeah, there were some good shows in the past, but the number of amazing quality shows that have come out in the past few years is unprecedented. Did you SEE Breaking Bad?! Homeland? Sons of Anarchy?

Clearly I have a dark side.

So why is the content better? The content is better because the delivery method is better.

  1. The fact that people can watch any show at any time ups the competition. No longer are shows just competing against other shows in their time slot – they are competing against every other show in their genre.
  2. Everything doesn’t have to be family-friendly or watered down for the masses. Since people seek out and choose the shows they want to watch, there is no need for shows to try to please everyone. You want a zombie apocalypse? You got it. Women in prison? Done. Put the kiddos to bed.
  3. More shit happens. Network TV had to run a certain number of shows within a season and had to stretch out plotlines, build everything to the season finale. Now, plots can be action-packed. Your favorite character may get beheaded in the 3rd or 4th episode. There are no rules!

So what does all this have to do with digital marketing? A lot. It shows that people now expect to get exactly what they want, when they want it. They aren’t looking for vanilla content that’s created to please everyone and ends up pleasing no one. They don’t want to see ads that have nothing to do with them. They want to cut to the chase.

It also means that people will actively seek out high-quality, engaging content. You should not be afraid of taking risks and pushing the envelope, because the real risk is to do things the way you’ve always done them and getting left behind (like some old scratched DVDs).

Take a look at your digital marketing strategy. Are you creating engaging, personalized experiences for your audience? Making them want to come back for more?

If not, it might be time for a change.

Need help getting there? That’s what we do. Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.