Otter: What TV execs need to hear (but probably won’t listen to)


Yep, I’m one of those “Zero TV’ers”. An unknown black hole that confuses the Nielsen ratings and scares the nice studio executives. We scare them because they don’t know what we want or how to get to us. We scare them because they don’t have control. We terrify them because our appearance is proving that YES, the times they are a‘changing.

So. A few ideas to fatten the wallets of executives and soothe the troubled Nielsen crew.

  1. It’s not that we don’t want to watch shows; but that our schedules are crazy and we can’t be locked into your schedule. (And sometimes if we really liked an episode, we might want to watch it more than once)
  2. You want to survive- You’re going to have to STREAM your shows. ALL of them. (Why is CBS still not streaming the great show Person of Interest?)
  3. Work with some company (try Adobe- anybody!) to develop streaming videos that actually stream. Not hiccup, flip out, freeze, lose sync and all the other problems that EVERY channel has (CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc, etc.) I quit watching the only reality show I like- Project Runway- because 3 episodes in a row locked up and refused to go during the last 10 minutes (or less) of the show. Arrgh!
  4. Make an exclusive agreement for the past seasons of your shows with Netflix or Amazon, or whoever. If you’re stupid enough to think that people want to pay each station for its shows- you really need to meet the 21st century. Pay attention Warner Bros, MGM, and Universal.
  5. Create clubs! Make people sign in (don’t charge em!) to watch their shows. Do a Netflix and gather Intel! Find out how many 20-somethings watch what show and sell that to advertisers. (NOT their names, emails or information) Charge more for ads that are now targeted to specific groups. “What, you want your ads to target women 30 to 40? Well Show X gets 1 million views a week and 65% of its viewers are women ages”…You get the picture.
  6. Nielsen, Nielsen, Nielsen. For heavens’ sake count the number of downloads of a show! Why aren’t you doing that already? That should be added to the ratings, or given its own. Honestly – don’t wait another minute!peterfinch
  7. Make sure advertisers don’t make ads with huge sound files, or different size ads. There is nothing more aggravating (well except when a show freezes during the last 10 minutes) than when you’re streaming and the commercial hits and suddenly your nice full screen blinks into a tiny screen. You have to wait for that to end, and then re-click to return to full screen. What a bore. Oh, and by the way. Most of the time when a show loses sync or freezes it’s during or after a commercial. Does not make this consumer happy with the product that just messed my show.

These seven little ideas will help you move into the 21st century. It’s not that us “Zero TV’ers” don’t want to play with you, it’s just you’re playing the wrong game.

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