Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
The only thing I definitely wouldn’t like to do today is to be in the position of the director of a television station.
Why? Well, because of the terrible nemesis that is threatening to devour them all. The TVs I mean. Just like many other businesses, such as bookstores, grocery shops, and even entire shopping malls, were swallowed by the rainforest of Amazon. Today, television directors are terrified by only one sound. Knock, Knock! Who’s there? Netflix. Netflix, uhhhhh!!! Netflix has arrived in 130 countries, including Somalia and Serbia – the miracle of global civilization. What will become of the cable, terrestrial and other televisions which tremble before ratings, bow down to marketing, and shy away from Nielsen? I have no idea. And, as I said, I wouldn’t be in their shoes. The TV store is coming for them. Museum, archives, library. Nothing will ever be the same again – the viewers, the ratings, the marketers, the budgets, the programs. If I – God forbid – was some kind of a TV manager right now, I would pack my bags immediately and run away head over heels. Right over to Amazon.
Panic swept the US as well, because Netflix announced that their original programs, like Narcos, will soon have more viewers than the Game of Thrones, and that the so-called terrestrial television (but also cable) had long been left to bite the dust behind the galloping Netflix. Representatives of NBC, Fox, and other non-streamers are protesting that Netflix does not reveal the ratings of its individual series and programs. But Netflix is not in the ratings business. They don’t care about ratings. They don’t care about the demographics either. You know the famous saying that, as far as advertisers are concerned, 18-49 is the age group, and everything outside that are dead souls. They say that they don’t care one bit about this either, nor are they burdened by what target group is watching them. They make quality programs even for small target groups, because they don’t care how many people are watching them at any given time. They only care about the number of subscribers. That’s why they have the perfect freedom to offer a variety of programs, which attracts the most diverse segments of the audience. That’s why they have the ability to hire the most talented content creators, which increases their circle of talent and the quality of the program, which is why the number of subscribers increases by day, the global subscription network is expanding, which in turn increases the revenue, which is why the amount of money for programs increases, which is why there is ever increasing supply of more quality and diverse programs, which increases the number of subscribers, which increases the amount of money for programs, etc, etc, etc, etc…
And while all this is happening, managers of the so called terrestrial and cable televisions are still living in the Jurassic era, frantically chasing ratings in order to attract advertisers, who are getting further and further away because the viewers, especially the “live” ones ages 18 to 49, no longer want to be annoyed by advertising, no longer want to have their series cut into episodes, no longer want to be told by anyone that on Thursday they have to sit put in their home if they want to learn who is the murderer. They don’t want to take that anymore, and they don’t have to because they have the options to watch all that later. But later there are no ads, because they are neatly skipped, which means that it doesn’t count with these blokes who hold the money, which these directors of Jurassic television stations would like to draw in. Tough situation. It’s hard for a terrestrial to fight against aliens who attack you from the airless, non-advertising space where they can freely fly their creativity, unburdened by ratings.
Of course, “all this has nothing to do with us,” you’ll hear from these well-grounded TV directors of ours. “That’s far from us”. Who in our country even has the ability to stream? Who has fast internet? And even if they do, does Netflix have subtitles? And who even cares for foreign programs, when you have our traditionally good, reprised series that feel so close and recognizable that they don’t even have to be broadcast. We have shown them so often that we can just say “Bolji Život” (“A Better Life”), episode 52, and the viewers can stream it in their heads on their own. What does this have to do with us? Who even cares for Narcos here? And who cares for binge watching? You know who? Well these 18-49 – the people who are running away from us head over heels, and who don’t even know what is available on your terrestrial programs. And what then remains to the miserable and sad grounded TV managers? Well, those who always stay at home. School kids and their grandmothers who mostly crossed the border of “live” (18-49) viewers. And so our terrestrial televisions are becoming “grandma” televisions faster and faster.
Now, when Netflix is knocking on our door as well, the time has come for the grounded TV managers to realize that their only hope is to create much more challenging and quality programs that will attract a slightly better quality audience – while there is still money, because the money comes from advertisers. And the advertiser will soon be gone, because there will be no viewers other than the mentioned elderly ladies. It’s a big mistake to believe that television stations, and even newspapers, are in the business of selling information and programs. They are actually in the business of selling numbers and years of viewers. Because that’s the only thing advertisers care about. They hardly care about the quality of the program. They just look at the numbers, the magical 18-49, and the purchasing power of viewers.
Unlike the terrestrial televisions, Netflix is solely in the business of selling quality program, and is not burdened by the demographics of its viewers, because they don’t sell them. It’s an unequal fight.
So what is left for the terrestrial televisions to do now that Netflix is ante portas here as well? Well, it remains for them to roll up their sleeves, to start thinking strategically, to urgently engage the most talented and the most daring people to do programing for them, to make offers that no advertiser can refuse, to run shows that Netflix and the like can’t offer, such as direct broadcasting, TV shows, live productions, having the best mini-series, marathon series, historical series, thriller series, live sitcoms, TV events, special shows, specially designed campaigns stemming from the context and content. They must be creative, proactive, progressive, inventive, diverse, varied, unexpected, to do everything to keep standing as long as possible, and to keep the elusive age group in front of their screens as long as possible, until they disappear completely in the net of Netflix and the mazes of the Amazon. Until it’s too late. Until it literally starts to burn under their feet.