CBS Is The Latest To Recognize That Downloading TV Shows Leads To More TV Watching

from the slowly,-but-surely dept

We were among those who were quite surprised when Viacom and its subsidiary Comedy Central forced a bunch of clips from its popular TV shows off of YouTube, noting that those clips had done plenty to attract new fans to the shows, while also keeping existing fans interested in coming back for more. While they eventually came to some sort of agreement (that probably involved some money changing hands), it appears that more TV execs are finally realizing that people watching their shows online leads to more viewers of the shows on TV. Simon Favreau-Lessard writes in to let us know that a new study from CBS found that downloading leads to more TV watching, and they plan to make use of that knowledge in how they use and promote their content online. Again, while the networks obviously have the right to demand this content get taken down, it’s good to see them starting to realize that exercising that right often is a bad long-term business decision.

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Comments on “CBS Is The Latest To Recognize That Downloading TV Shows Leads To More TV Watching”

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Chris says:

Especially true for established series...

This is especially true for established series IMHO. Often there is no chance for a viewer to get back and watch the original episodes that lead to the later series, but in doing so online the tv show gains a whole new generation of viewers. Those people are obviously going to be watching the latest releases on tv as they are coming out (after they have caught up that is).

Paul (user link) says:

TV license in the UK means I don't have TV

with the TV license in the UK now being over US$200 equivalent, and such crap on TV there’s not much to watch, I find that I can download enough TV from torrent sites to satisfy my occasional need to vegetate and turn off my mind; I can buy quite a few DVDs with that money.

Given that there’s a monpoly satellite TV provider in the UK who charge US$70 per month for a complete package, especially if you want the PVR system, you’ve got to be a serious TV addict to want to waste US$90+ on television.

Go find something more interesting to do and enjoy life than watch TV

Bob Jones says:

@Paul: Sky are not a monoply – cable and freeview are constantly challenging them to lower prices/offer more – they may be the only Sattelite provider, but they are not the only company to go to for television content – you make Rupert Murdoch sound worse than he is, if Sky is the only provider – its not because they’ve stopped competition, its because nobody has tried.

Anonymous Coward says:

Boneheads at the networks still don't get it...

The real solution to this is to give the content away for free but with ad support. This is the way broadcast tv has worked for ages, and I don’t see them one step away from the grave yet. The best part is that you’ll see ads that are targeted at your needs, so instead of tampons you’ll be looking at the latest gaming peripheral or digital camera.

Sam Alex says:

About time someone saw the obvious

Now’days most shows on television write each episode based on prior episodes, so though not a true soap opera, having seen the prior episodes establishes the show and characters better. SciFi Network has proven this time upon time with Battlestar Galactica, which was one of the most downloaded shows when the series started. Even having all the episodes available ahead of time thanks to them showing in the UK before in the US, Scifi still said BSG was the most watched series in their history.

If I miss the first part of a series, I’m not watching the last until i catch-up. If that means downloading through bittorrent, buying through itunes, renting/buying/borrowing DVD, however, I’ll do it. Whatever’s easier, and for me generally I give bittorrent a shot first — and then itunes second. Make it easy on us, because in a world with a zillion channels and shows, and a dozen ways to get that content, the easiest road is the path most taken.

William C Bonner (profile) says:

The networks agreement should have been for statis

Any agreement that was arrived at between a network like comedy central and youtube should have been that youtube sent them detailed statistics about the video clips themselves. I’m sure it would be interesting to know how many video starts there were, and what time those were, and also how many were watched to completion, vs if there was a regular point that people stopped watching.

These are the bits that a BROADCASTER generally has no way of getting information on, but should love to be able to get the feedback on. (though then the problem goes that they might write specifically for the lowest common point, degrading the whole experience)

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