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Primetime Television

Primetime Television Goes Over the Top

September 30th, 2016   ||    by Melanie Brown

More and more, television networks are exploring and adding new ways of serving their content to viewers to their arsenal. Digital, mobile, and other over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms have steadily been gaining in popularity over the past few years, and primetime television is jumping in.

Live events on both cable and broadcast networks have been available for live streaming for several years. Among these are the biggest, most popular live annual television events. This year, the Super Bowl, Academy Awards, and NCAA March Madness tournament were all streamed live online and via mobile applications. The logical next step is to bring more content to live streaming, and thus open the opportunities to other primetime television programming.

Flexible Watching

In July of this year, Fox announced the launching of its own live streaming service to view original programming on demand and over the top, as well as live in primetime. This gives viewers the flexibility to watch content on any device they prefer, and also opens up a multitude of channels for advertisers. Fox’s model rolled out this summer, and as of the current fall season, primetime television shows in addition to exclusive, streaming-only content are available for viewing via the platform, as Digital Trends explains.

Next Steps

Most recently, video news network Cheddar launched as a “post-cable” television network, available for both on-demand and live viewing. What’s different about Cheddar is that its platform is the sole container for its content.

Cheddar’s content focuses on the intersection of business, technology, and culture, covering everything from kettlebells and the election to Amazon stock and the latest tech start-ups to watch. The channel broadcasts live from the New York Stock Exchange floor twice a day, but its content is also available for on-demand viewing. It’s designed to target cord-cutters and members of the younger millennial generation who don’t have cable anymore, or who never had it to begin with.

Race to the Top

Cheddar’s platform only launched in April and is already picking up steam, gathering investments of $10 Million from big investors like Comcast, Ribbit Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. It’s clear that Cheddar’s model is a big step in the advancement of content consumption, but it’s also shifting the landscape for advertisers. By launching something they call Native 3.0, Cheddar is truly innovating for the future of television viewers. Native 3.0 integrates advertiser and sponsored content into the content of the channel, without interrupting or taking ad-specific breaks in the broadcast. This revolutionizes the way advertisers currently think about video content, and, in some ways, circles back to the sponsorship deals of early television.

Going Local

This is a major turning point for local television as well. National networks know they can translate their content to these streaming-only platforms because much of it is already being consumed that way. For local channels, the challenge is a bit bigger. Local stations have to think about generating content that will resonate with differently minded audiences than they’re used to, in addition to putting their programming on a streaming service.

For advertisers, this could be an incredible tool. With the wealth of data available about content viewers through streaming services, advertisers will be able to target their audiences better, and will also be able to reach a new, younger demographic previously unavailable through local TV.

Cheddar’s advancements are poised to catch on quickly, as the younger generation searches for new media brands to trust over those on current linear television. The TV industry will have to adapt to this new way of broadcasting, and target its content to all viewing preferences.

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