Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Dear Viacom, Suddenlink....Sincerely, The Audience

UPDATE, correction edition: Since this is a correction not only to this post but a prior post about audience analyses/demographics,  I'm putting this update at the top of this page. I didn't say anything incorrect about audience analysts before, but I did leave one out.  I mentioned Kim Andrew Elliot (shortwave audience analyst for the Voice of America at one time) and Nielson (the time-honored TV audience analyst company) but there's a recent announcement by the Broadcasting Board of Governors employing Gallup for the purpose of analyzing the audience in Pakistan.  Here's a screen shot:

The link HERE

 The Broadcasting Board of Governors governs all media distributed/broadcast abroad, including but not limited to the Voice of America, so mentioning Kim as being in the driver's seat on that would be inaccurate.

And there's the matter of Hatchette tangling with Amazon in which both Hatchette and Amazon are the gatekeepers between content producers (the authors, rather than performers) and their audience, the readers.

Cable carriers dispute Viacom's steep rate hikes for content

Dear Viacom, Suddenlink, and other cable/satellite content providers:

All of you overestimate your audience loyalty. Viacom, your bundled content isn't worth what you intend to charge for the bundle when people watch only Comedy Central and TVLand.  Your bundle sucks.  Cable providers, you overestimate your audience's interest in paying current basic cable rates when you think you're good to go to put QVC and Fox on every stinkin' Viacom channel you've yanked.  You're not worth the money you're paid either.

Both of you have a higher opinion of what you're worth than we do, and when you lose audience eyeballs, Viacom, expect your advertisers to start dropping you, too. Your primary revenue is from advertisers, not cable franchises.

Suddenlink, you had a specific franchise contract with the City of Enid, which you would do well to review because a move like the one you made may have created the necessity for contract re-negotiation.Consider also the contract your customers signed with you to provide cable service--what you're giving them is not what they expected that they contracted for, and even though your contract might cover your ass in terms of liability and breach-of-contract claims, it's not making your customers happy to do business with you.  Considering smart-phone access to the Internet, you're not indispensable as an ISP either.


The Audience.

+Suddenlink Communications
Fierce Cable page, which posts other good related links on this matter

Bloomberg article
Multichannel News report

CBS report, and please see the bottom of this post regarding the portion of this report slams directly on the impact that performance has on an audience's willingness to pay for performed content, oh ye who still believe that fans are "fickle".  You're not doing your job.

Trouble with Viacom earlier this year (March)
Cable One's website about Viacom hikes
KFDA report
KETK report

Stars & Stripes article about Asian problems with Viacom

Below is the anti-Suddenlink ad that Viacom had been running right up until Suddenlink pulled the plug.  Note the end of the Viacom ad which shows the name of the advertiser that Viacom over-wrote to display their anti-Suddenlink message.  Note to Viacom stock holders: Viacom clearly doesn't value its advertiser revenue as much as it values service provider revenue, and service provider revenue is exactly what Viacom just lost and not just with only Suddenlink.

From Suddenlink's Facebook page, before it gets censored.

So, +Suddenlink Communications -- how about a locally produced Dr. Fear Channel that doesn't get censored by the City of Enid, hmmm?  How about a Punched Out Judy Channel? You do realize that you're violating the initial terms of your City-issued franchise contract, don't you?

Meanwhile, further down Suddenlink's Facebook page....

The Wizard in the Wizard of Oz may have been a fraud that was overvalued by the residents of Oz, but there is one important thing that he said to the Tin Man when the Wizard gave him a token of affection: it's not as important how much you love, but how well you are loved by others.  That's what your actual market value is, Viacom and Suddenlink. Nobody loves either one of you right now.  It's also true of the current rulers in the City of Enid whose terms dictate to Suddenlink how it does its business and to whom Suddenlink customers don't matter.

I find it interesting that Viacom, on its website, seeks to rally what it believes is its loyal fan base.  There it is again: fan loyalty presumed.  I'm sure that Suddenlink presumes that it has loyal customers, but so did DishTV when it previously had problems with a Viacom renewal.  It is from such a presumption that these entities presume that they have a higher value than they actually have. Both entertainers and politicians forge forward on presumptions as to who in that mass of people is actually invariably loyal, pretty much the way the NFL has presumed until its sponsors started cutting their support, because of THEIR fan base, aka loyal customers.  We may very well be seeing conflict of overinflated fictions.

If content fails to draw an audience, that means that the content isn't worth any effort or pay from the audience, and when cable companies and live performance providers see the word "audience", they're seeing the word "market" and, further, "market share".  Demographer Nielson has known this for decades, and so, apparently, does this CBS reporter, in his article I provided a link to earlier in this post:

"Many baseball pundits expect the Phillies to have a dismal season."  The performers always impact the viewer turnout and that's just an unavoidable fact of life.  What the providers can charge for advertising slots depends on the audience the performers draw, and that's an unavoidable fact of life. When a performance fails to draw, nobody provider OR major advertiser wants it--and it all boils down to whether or not a big audience wants it  In playing chicken with provider rates, Viacom cuts its audience and thereby cuts its future advertising revenue.  This, too, is an unavoidable fact of life, but those who refuse to do the math are invariably blind to it.

If Viacom has so much trouble raising advertising revenue that it has to start gouging service providers, this means that advertisers don't think Viacom is worth much, either. What underscores this statement is the fact that the value of Viacom stock dropped. I'm seeing in Viacom the same pattern observed in Motorola just before it divested its entire Government Sector and Semiconductor Sector in Phoenix AZ (see previous post re: Motorola--the robotics update to the Jeep-Studebaker post).

From another anti-Suddenlink Facebook group
Eyecatching comments posted on a Suddenlink webpage:

Late October UPDATE: book audience edition via Mysterious Lab veteran and author,
Facebook Post by Dennis McDonald.

The upshot is that one can't please everybody but note was made that the critic did read the entire book (well, gee, it's not a good idea to critique something you haven't read, hm?)

.....cut to further down the page where Count Gregore (John Ferguson) weighs in....

All this underscores the matter of the "target demographic" in re demographic analysis of any given audience.  If the target demographic is an audience in a specific genre, that's one thing--but if the idea is to attract as large an audience that will contribute hard cash to support the arts, that's quite something different.  A book is purchased on the basis of genre as well as by its cover. A live performance is attractive primarily by genre and an interest in involving as much of the community of the venue as possible.

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