Monday evening was one of the highlights of the year for a media guy like me as I watched the 66th Annual Emmy Awards. It was a celebration of what the industry does right: produce entertaining, engaging, highly-watchable content, whether it is consumed on TV, phone, tablet, game console, streaming service, over-the-top boxes or connected TV.
While all the pundits are anticipating the death of television, the Emmy broadcast had a 10.9 household rating and an 18 share—very respectable numbers (up 14% from last year)—and the second highest overnight numbers in eight years.
What I always love about the Emmys, and all award shows for that matter (Oscars, Tonys, VMAs) is the ability to connect with what is relevant in pop culture in just three hours. I get to see what shows I should be watching, the trends in TV genres, the upcoming stars of tomorrow and, most importantly, where we should be placing our clients’ advertising dollars.
There are three things I took away from the show that will help in our planning and buying process.
- Same shows and actors keep winning year after year. No question Modern Family and Breaking Bad are great shows with top ratings. The viewing public gravitates to good content, and with TV consumption time at a premium, viewers are less likely to invest in new programming, instead spending time watching the shows with which they are familiar. These shows are the few instances where I would consider paying a premium for placement.
- Broadcast TV continues to play second fiddle to cable. This is not a new trend—not since The Sopranos exploded onto the air in the early 2000s—but I believe we have reached the tipping point in terms of cable versus broadcast. To viewers, TV is TV and content is content. No longer is there loyalty to networks. With the reach of cable nearly equal to that of broadcast TV, the quality of programming superior, its CPMs on average less than broadcast and greater demographic alignment with content, the majority of video dollars need to flow to cable.
- Netflix is now a legit program producer. Imagine where Blockbuster would have been today if they’d gotten into the TV producing business with the clout they once had. That’s where Netflix is today. They understand the concept, learned from their digital roots, of making their service “sticky” and giving people reasons to return more frequently and spend more time with them. They provide more reasons the monthly investment is worth the money. Orange is the New Black is a great example of how viewers will find you if you are producing great content. Now advertisers need to find room for Netflix and other streaming services on their plans.
Just five months and three weeks left until the Academy Awards!