Did Showtime Benefit By Giving Away Free Content?

from the apparently dept

Here is yet another example of how "free" can co-exist with paid content, even when the content is basically identical.

Recently, Showtime made the season premiers of their hit shows DEXTER and CALIFORNICATION on YouTube for anyone to watch for free.  So, did this gut their numbers when the shows aired on their subscription-only, kind of expensive if you ask me, premium cable network?

Both Dexter and Californication scored some huge opening numbers last Sunday with Dexter setting a new opening record for the cable network.

More than 1.5 million sets of eyeballs tuned to the season four opener for Dexter and 821,000 stayed to watch the opener for Californication. That's 3 million single eyeballs for Dexter and more than 1.6 million for Californication.

Guess not.

Crossposted from MyMediaMusings

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Filed Under: californication, content, dexter, free, showtime, tv

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  1. identicon
    Ben Matthews, 5 Oct 2009 @ 8:15am

    The drama about this post

    Though completely overblown, the "troll" has a point, even though it was put across in a very crude manner. I think the lean toward saying that Showtime "benefitted" from putting the clips on youtube is not valid for the same numbers that our "troll" posted, and even more so because we do not know what the show would have done if they weren't on youtube.

    The fact we can all agree on is that providing some content for free will most likely earn new viewers. This will obviously mean potentially LESS viewers of the same content; if you show the premiere for free, most likely their will be viewers who will not go out of their way to watch it again despite being loyal to the show. The benefit comes from hopefully an increase of overall viewer ship in episodes further down the road, and new showtime subscriptions. Therefore, measuring the success of the free clips via viewership of the free content on a paid medium is not really valid. I would be more interested to see the net change in show viewership in later episodes and showtime subscriptions. I think thats where we will see the proof that it works, and that it does provide a benefit. If those numbers don't show the expected increase, we have to be open to the idea that maybe it's not working.

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