Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Kids Aren't All Right

Many years ago I was sitting on a panel with a senior exec from Wind, the pioneering Italian IPTV service. We were discussing what kind of content worked on internet TV and on IPTV and he told me something very prescient about their experience of IPTV.

It's all about kids.

Timeshifting drama is great; timeshifting sports loses the immediacy of live events. Timeshifting kids' content is invaluable. Content needs to work to kids' timetables and not the other way around (although waiting for Andy Pandy and Sali Mali never did me any harm).

Think of all those kids in back seats travelling down freeways and motorways watching strapped on DVDs.

Think of your kids, or nephews and nieces who will watch the same programme over and over again.

Then take Netflix and remove Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues and many other  popular kids' programmes. A film fan would sigh and shrug their shoulders if their fave movie fell off the VoD sevice.  They might even tweet about it. Yawn. A kid will bawl, and keep on bawling until the walls feel like they are falling in.

As long as Netflix play content roulette with their subscribers, they won't be a serious contender. They need a different vernacular for their sevice based on brokering rights in behalf of their viewers. And they need to stop generalising. Their power base may be the box set browsers, but they need to cater for more than this in the same way that traditional TV does.

At the moment they're acting like a backstreet VHS hiring newsagent from the eighties. Not good.