TV is dead.
We chat a lot about how traditional advertising on TV is becoming less effective because we don’t watch commercials anymore. (We watch more TV online than we actually do on TV.)
And why you’d be crazy not to get customers online.
But TV isn’t dying, it’s changing.
Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, has shown us that as long as you create something people want, you’ll find customers.
After listening to his viewers he spent $100M on a Netflix exclusive original TV series, creating one of the most watched shows online.
Yes, it’s House of Cards
Why should you care?
1. House Of Cards is a great example of the power of content marketing.
2. They may be changing the way you find customers.
The power of content marketing
Netflix understood the value of building a community by creating content that people love and allowing them to consume it on their own schedule.
Instead of releasing episodes weekly, they made history by releasing them all at once on February 1, 2013, so people could consume the show “marathon style.”
We want a situation where these shows have time to find their audience…we’re not under time constraints that we have to get all of America to watch this show Monday night at 8 o’clock. There’s no differential value in people watching it this year, let alone Monday night. – Ted Sarandos, Head Of Content at Netflix
Ted’s comment made me think of the lifetime value of your blog post, showing us how important it is to create content that your customers can find a year or two after you publish it.
And even though you may want more customers this year, the reality that you can do something today that will bring you business next year, without doing more work, is compelling.
This is the heart of content marketing – create great content that people want to consume on their own schedule, so you can build relationships with them over time.
Is $100M enough to change Hollywood?
While it’s hard to tell how successful the show is (they don’t have to release viewership figures since they’re not on TV), it’s the most watched program on Netflix in every country that has access to the streaming-video service.
In fact, it’s the most watched show in the world!
Given their success and the difficultly some networks are having, I predict we’ll see a lot more of these types of shows in the future, both in terms of how they’re shared (i.e. all at once) and distributed (i.e. as a web exclusive).
If this happens, it will change the way traditional TV advertising works.
We’ll move away from commercials and overt product placement and fully dive into content marketing and native advertising, where products and services are integrated seamlessly into the media consumption process, so they aren’t part of the experience, they are the experience.
What does this mean for small businesses?
The game will become harder to win as traditional ad budgets move online AND their formats become more compelling and engaging (we’re already seeing enterprise shift more than 50% of their marketing spend to digital).
But there’s always room for small businesses and individuals to rise to the top – you never heard of Psy from Gangnam Style this time last year, now he’s a global icon.
The best thing you can do as a small business owner is to start online today, before the huge wave hits, so you have time to build a fortress of content that will attract customers for years to come.
Netflix is pushing the boundaries of what TV engagement looks like, which is exciting, but House Of Cards also shows us what not to do.
Forbes weighed in on this with 3 things you can do as a business owner to “prevent your house from falling.” It’s worth a glance if you’re a fan of the show.
So, what do you think?
Will House of Cards change the way we do business, or is it just “another Internet fad?”