TV Networks Networking Online
NBC isn’t the only one making moves online. ABC, CBS and MTV are also in the news today for their online strategies.
CBS, as reported by the LA Times, has turned its attention to creating communities for its shows on the site. Designed to allow fans of its shows to congregate and discuss the shows.
Adding a social aspect to its site seems like a good idea. It will help to increase visitors’ time on site, as well as show consumer loyalty for shows. However, I have seen community message boards like these become mostly a platform for people who hate the show in question, and expect the network to see and respond to their complaints. As long as it’s abundantly clear that the message boards are for discussing the shows with one another, it should work out at least moderately well for CBS.
In addition to the social networking aspect, CBS has opened up its content. As the Times put it,
CBS offers software to let fans of shows such as “Jericho” get production updates, photos, exclusive video and insider commentary, then post them on blogs and social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
That’s sure to go over well with today’s free-content Internet culture.
MTV, according to Reuters, will launch yet another social network as well. Last week, they were supposed to launch Flux, a portable meta social network of sorts (which still says it’s “Coming Soon”). This week, they announced Think.MTV.com, a social network on a subdomain of their main site.
The new social network will be devoted to social activism. Reuters says it “is designed to be a resource for social and political issues, aiming to inform as well as let users connect with other like-minded people on issues from the environment to sexual health and discrimination.” Like most social networks, it will feature messaging capabilities, profile pages, and share photos and videos—which, Reuters notes, “may be aired on MTV’s online or cable network.”
While I’m sure that connecting like minds will go over well, this is yet another example of a social network that could easily devolve into bashing well-meaning individuals who happen not to agree with you on global warming and race relations.
Finally, ABC will partner with AOL to offer some of its shows as streaming content on the AOL portal. While already available on ABC.com, it looks as though ABC is hoping to capture that precious demographic, as MediaPost states, “AOL users who haven’t thought to visit ABC.com on their own for programs.”
The least bold of this fall’s network Internet strategies, I think ABC will have to step up their Internet efforts to compete for eyes on the other small screen.