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Week In Review: Fox Launches A Consolidated App; Ferris Bueller Comes To Facebook


1. Fox Launches A Consolidated App

Fox rolled out their new Fox Now super app this week. “Super App” because the new app will combine programming from Fox, FX and National Geographic, creating a mini-online Fox virtual world.

Why It Matters

Given the state of previous Fox apps, FX in particular, this automatically struck us as a very positive development, but that wasn’t the only reason: By combining multiple networks, Fox is helping to cement brand identity around their shows—a recent study showed that the only network younger viewers could match with specific shows was Netflix.

In a world where people watch shows, not networks, the networks need to start pushing brand identity again. Given that Fox, FX and NatGeo have three very distinct brand identities, how Fox makes this happen in a single app will be interesting to watch, but even if the new app manages to get 10% of the audience to realize that “FX” is a play on “F-O-X” and not just “special effects”, we’d call that a win.

The other reason it matters, is it gives viewers more reason to dump the set top box, even if they already have a cable subscription. Verizon FIOS, our home provider, charges $12/box, and if one of your boxes is mostly being used to watch Fox shows, that’s reason enough to switch to a Roku with Fox Now. The other reason is quantum viewing—the ability to stop watching a show on one device and pick it up, right where you left off, on another, which is part of the Fox Now experience.

That, as we noted on Monday, is exactly the type of functionality the MVPDs should be offering, and the fact that they’re not is hurting pay-TV.

So more power to Fox for baking it into the new platform.

What You Need To Do About It

If you’re an MVPD, get on the stick and launch quantum viewing options. Give people a sense they really are getting their $100+ worth of value from their pay-TV subscription.

If you’re a network, check out what Fox is doing, and learn from it and then start doing something to boost your own brand identity.

If you’re an advertiser, support the Fox Now app. We’re betting there are all sorts of cool, effective ad units from TrueX available for it, too. Do your part to support advanced TV.


2. Ferris Bueller Comes To Facebook

Facebook Live is going to be testing out the power of their platform to attract a mass audience by broadcasting teen cult favorite Ferris Buelller’s Day Off this Sunday at 4PM Pacific.  They’re describing it as a “movie viewing party.”

Why It Matters

Do people want to watch movies on Facebook? Do kids want to be on there chatting when (a) grandma can see what they write and respond with “you’re such a cutie-patootie!! Wait! Can your friends all see that?” and so o, and (b) they could be on Snapchat?

Watching a movie on Facebook Live also means being on the platform and not actually using it for many hours. Do people want to do that? Does Facebook want them to? We’re also not sure that testing a movie much of its audience can practically recite by heart is a good way to test audiences’ propensity to watch movies on Facebook. It might just result in a 2 billion user yawn.

What You Need To Do About it

Monitor how the test goes and how many people actually tuned in for more than a glance with the sound off (e.g use TV metrics, not self-reported internet metrics.) Pay attention to how much interaction there was around the movie—were people using Facebook to chat during the movie or were they just using it like TV and talking live (IRL) or via text or Snapchat? That will be key to determining how much Facebook (or any other social platform) brings to the live viewing equation.