A much commented upon study has come out that shows quite a big jump in online viewership of episodic network television shows:
“With over 12 billion videos watched online in the U.S. during the month of May, its hard to argue against the ubiquity of the PC as the king of media. To further this claim, market research company, Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI), has released a study that claims that almost 20 percent of primetime “episodic” television shows are watched online.” (via)
So, the argument that people only watch short clips online no longer rings true. However, it would be tough to argue that there have been any legitimate orginal online “hits.” (ok, some will argue LonelyGirl15 but even at it’s height it has never been widely viewed)
The question is why. The most obvious reason is that there haven’t been any great online originals yet. Sure, there have been some mildly entertaining bits out there (Wainy Days? The Guild? We Need Girlfriends?) but nothing that has been strong enough and consistant enough to build a solid audience.
The second reason is that nobody knows what’s online. There is no advertising or marketing. Relying on the “viral” nature of the internet might work for a one-off but it will never build the kind of audience that could some day be self-sufficient.
With the networks and bigger-name creatives placing more time and money into online originals things might change but for the time being the best way to be a hit online is to be a hit on TV.
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