I want this to be the first show ever that gets more viewers on the Web than what it got on terrestrial television. -Ashton Kutcher
Earlier this year, Ashton Kutcher’s show “The Beautiful Life” was cancelled by the network CW. As a result, Kutcher proclaimed the above statement and headed for the hills of You Tube to create a special channel for the show. The result was pretty intriguing. Although the viewership didn’t quite top the initial broadcast episode, the show ultimately attracted a cult following that should have turned some heads.
Similarly, the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writing crew has (intended strategically or not) devised a show that is easily sliced and diced into catchy, viral segments. Instead of putting all bets on the entire show getting a watch, breaking up into funny clips (the biggest success story as of late being “History of Rap” duet with Justin Timberlake) encourages social sharing and ups the chance that the brand will benefit from increased visibility in non-network channels.
Online TV is becoming increasingly fragmented in the way that it’s digested. Whether it’s Hulu, DVR, Netflix, Amazon or bought through iTunes, it needs a plan for which channels it’s distributed, which parts and (here’s the strategy part) – why.
In my latest post for HUGE’s Notes on Digital, I explore how TV network execs can learn a thing or two from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Ashton Kutcher. There’s a good lesson that it seems some executives are tuning into. After I posted, someone brought my attention to comments by NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker who stressed that digital TV demands a different approach. According to Zucker, ”Broadcast networks will have schedules for next few years, but in an on-demand world, content matters more than schedules.”