The Golden Globe nominations came out today and the most notable thing this year (for the TV industry) was that none of the broadcast networks received a single nomination.
The vast majority of nominations in all categories went to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. (FX, which is slated to become an important part of Hulu, was the big winner of the cable networks.)
But here’s the rub: for a sizable number of Americans, streaming services are still The Great Unknown.
TV, for them, is ad-supported network TV and they’re still very much in the mindset of “okay, it’s Tuesday, then X is on NBC and Y is on CBS and I’m sitting down at 8PM to watch my shows.”
This is not how I watch TV, nor, I suspect, is it how most of the people reading this column watch TV.
Which is an issue in that it’s a reflection on how the US is rapidly becoming a nation with two separate cultures and two views of the world, whether it’s about politics or whether it’s about TV.
This massive bifurcation creates a problem for brands that want to reach younger audiences and/or more upscale/educated audiences of the sort that are likely to do most/all of their viewing on ad-free streaming.
And while there will be ad-supported versions of HBO Max and Peacock, along with the existing ad-supported versions of Hulu and CBS All Access, the reality is that a sizable percentage of streaming viewers will pay the extra few dollars in order to avoid ads as much as humanly possible, leaving them largely unreachable to advertisers.
(Hence the need for better data and addressable advertising, so that brands can reach those valuable consumers the rare times they are actually watching ads. But that’s a whole other article. Or maybe even a special report. Look for TV[R]EVs next week–it’s all done, all 53 pages of it, and the sponsors are enjoying their early access versions right now.)
Back to the Golden Globes, there’s another issue that sticks out: with so many new shows and so many places to watch them, I’m thinking most people are looking at the list of nominees and exclaiming “I’ve never even heard of that show!” about a lot of them.
There’s just so much out there and, especially on Netflix, it gets released in a single 12 hour content dump, creating a sense of “blink and you’ll miss it” around so many new shows.
So yes, the nominations are likely to provide well-deserved attention and new eyeballs for shows that have flown under the critical radar, but it’s also likely going to create a sense of frustration in a lot of people, the sense that there’s too much out there and they’ll never catch up.
That’s why there seems to be a great deal of opportunity in both discovery apps that help people find shows they may want to watch and in an old school discovery method—linear feeds.
The return of linear is something we’ve been talking about for a while now—the theory being that when people have too many options they’re struck with what’s known as “analysis paralysis” and can’t make a decision about what to watch.. Linear feeds make that decision unnecessary by making the choice for the viewer.
It’s similar to why Spotify’s Daily Mixes are so popular—people were overwhelmed by the amount of music choices they had and so were glad to have something like a personalized ad-free radio station.
We’ll be seeing more of that on TV soon and it’s one of the reasons why FASTS like Pluto have proven so popular—they provide linear channels as well as the option to watch pretty much anything on demand.
Remember too that we’re at the beginning of the Great Content Glut right now and that HBO Max and Peacock have yet to launch and Apple TV Plus has yet to fully launch. So there are many, many more programs coming and yet the number of hours in any given day remains constant.
Making next year’s Golden Globes an even tougher show to keep up with.