People Still Don’t Understand the TV Business

This post refers to

Christian Zibreg:

It’s always been my opinion that Hollywood die-hards are all about short-term gains. Theirs is a cut-throat business so it goes without saying that Hollywood is spooked by what had happened to the music industry. Put simply, the studios reluctantly experiment with new distribution models unless big bucks change hands.

Every week it’s the same story from someone different, “the TV execs don’t get it”, “this business model can’t work forever”, etc., etc.

People seem very reluctant to acknowledge that the TV industry is drastically different than music and movies. Music sales are more of a ‘one and done’ business. Once the album is sold, they music labels had their money and it was over. TV networks have to sell advertising to make money. And the advertisers refuse to spend the say for online ads as they do for traditional ones. So networks are stuck in a tough spot.

Don’t misunderstand me, their ultimate goal (like virtually every business in history) is to make as much money as possible. But as HBO has shown us, they aren’t stupid enough to canabalize their main form of revenue to take a risk on something that is far from a sure thing.