The coroner’s report

I’ve talked about this a few times in classes with freshmen and sophomores the last two semesters. To my surprise, no one is surprised.

‘Traditional TV viewing for teens and tweens is dead. Not dying. Dead.’

“In the US alone, networks like MTV and Nickelodeon have lost that core audience that have traditionally kept them afloat,” he continued. “Everyone knows that content consumption has moved to YouTube, online and mobile.”

Robbins’s was the most bullish pitch yet in a conference that’s seen plenty of bullish pitches from MCNs, with all of them talking up the trend of young viewers abandoning linear television.

There’s a paradox, though. At the same time as telling broadcasters that their audience is melting away, the MCNs are trying to repackage their web shows to sell to those networks. Why? Because TV budgets are still – for now, at least – beefier than advertising revenues on YouTube.

The latter’s economics work well for vloggers and “Let’s Play” gamers, but when companies like AwesomenessTV want to make TV-quality shows, selling them to broadcasters for “traditional” viewing is part of the business model. Even if traditional TV viewing for their anticipated viewers is dead.

And, yes, we’re all thinking about the eternal chase of the millennials. But this would also be a great time to double back for a moment. If everyone is moving for that share of the market, who is investing, programming and advertising to the millennials’ elders?

I only ask because they are viable in the marketplace.


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