Save your favorite TV shows by watching them online…?
Dave Mack has been pushing this lately, and I can’t blame him: Want To Save Your Favorite TV Show? Stop watching it on television.
The number of viewers that is reported in the press—the 24.4 million people who watch American Idol, say—is extrapolated from the readings from those Nielsen boxes. The “save our show” campaigns are ill-advised because they fail to take into account this all-important gap between the sample size and the size of the sampled audience.The alternative is to drive people where they can actually be counted—and these days that’s online. The Internet offers metrics everywhere you turn. The networks can analyze the number of streams, number of ad impressions, number of page views, number of visits, number of visitors, number of comments, etc. It’s a democratic space where the eyes and participation of fans can actually be seen by the network bosses making the decisions. Unlike with analog TV, online fans can actually speak directly to power. So whether it’s through iTunes, Hulu, or one of the networks’ proprietary streams, the smart way to campaign for a show’s renewal is to stream it after the fact.
You hear that, Sarah Connor fans? Get clicking!
Of course, no one will ask what happens if you click on the viewer, and then go to work while it plays to an empty room. Because that would be wrong.