Even though I know there are problems with such a model and entrenched interests fighting against such a change, I’m more than a little shocked that there isn’t a broad TV industry push to not just increase the number of days during with program viewing is included in official ratings but also make sure that all platforms are lumped into a single number.
That’s the gist of this story, which calls out a number of examples where doing either or both of those things drastically changes the viewer demographics of a number of TV shows. It would require a monumental effort to create standards across platforms, but it could be done. The biggest potential problem would be in how ad sales are then divided up since a network’s ad team would likely not be selling spots on, for instance, Hulu. And many paid VOD options are ad free. But in terms of networks being able to point at a show and say “This is a success,” they absolutely need to be striving toward the creation of a unified distribution number.
This op-ed about the future of online video, specifically in how YouTube will be impacted by changing audience expectations as people get used to different models for both discovery and consumption and is a good complimentary read, particularly this one prediction which is my favorite of the bunch:
Big media has seen the rapid shift toward Web and mobile consumption, and sites like Discovery.com, Disney, MTV and CNN continue to produce more online content. Now the real challenge becomes the fight for more audience, monetization and market share. These content creators and their advertisers won’t be satisfied with the results they get within their own silos, and will start looking for a way to expand their reach while still maintaining control over their videos.