TV Isn’t Dead – It Just Moved.

On April 4th, Netflix announced it was resurrecting cult-favorite “Arrested Development”, which was cancelled by Fox 7 years ago.

All of the episodes will be available to watch immediately when the show debuts, repeating a strategy it used with “House of Cards,” a drama the company began offering in February.  “House of Cards” became the streaming service’s most-viewed series at the time in all markets, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said on Feb. 12. But Netflix has not disclosed exactly how many people watched and does not plan to, figuring that it has no advertisers to satisfy.

Why I’m Curious

Two reasons:

1. Some people are under the impression that “TV is dead”, when in actuality, people are actually watching more TV than ever before. They’re just more widely dispersed across multiple channels and/or streaming content from multiple devices.  What has died – the idea of appointment viewing.   For brands and their agencies, this is a really exciting time – in many cases, we have the opportunity to surround traditional TV advertising with more context and a richer story, which will have more impact than any :30 stand-alone TV ad.

2. The idea that in some channels, programming is no longer dependent on advertising dollars and traditional distribution models.  Writers and producers can focus on delivering quality content that doesn’t have to have generic mass appeal to satisfy the ratings that advertisers demand. There is no longer the need to draw people in with weekly episodes, instead, viewers have the option to watch as much – or as little – as they want to at any given time.  This model which does not depend on advertisers, will require some creative thinking on how to reach this group. Is it social tie-ins? Long form content production? Something to think about.


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