By now the news has spread about Conan’s final settlement with NBC. It is tough to be Conan, walking away with onlyand no Tonight Show (and apparently no rights to Triumph the Dog!). Now the question becomes, what does he do next? Rumors say Fox has been putting out some feelers, but what if he went in a different direction?
The NY Times BITS Blog argues he should just take his routine directly to the internet. After all, his main supporters are an internet-savvy bunch, and he won’t have to worry about network ratings or executives changing his time slot. It’s an interesting idea, and it might work, but I think it plays down the power of digital video recorders in television these days.
On the eve of CES, Nielsen shared with us some statistics on consumers and technology; the DVR bits are especially important here. According to Nielsen, DVR use rose 12%, and those of us with DVRs time-shifted 22% of the television we watched. Meanwhile, 99% of consumers are still using an actual tv, as opposed to watching online.
Note that all this is from Nielsen’s market research, and may not be 100% accurate. We can all list a few people who swear they’re off tv entirely and just watching Hulu, but that seems overwhelmingly to be the exception and not the rule. So should Conan be the one to break ranks and run with the internet?
I have no idea if this would be successful, but I did find one thing awfully funny. So the New York Times is all about changing old media, moving to a brand new way of running and monetizing content…but only if it is someone ELSE’S content. For them, the New York Times should still be a subscription based news service, and if it’s online, well, you can pay for that too! All well and good to be encouraging new forms of business, as long as YOUR business model remains essentially unchanged.
Think about your own computer and TV use. Do you carve out an hour a day to watch content on your computer, or do you catch TV shows while sitting in front of your computer answering emails, checking facebook, etc? Is a one-hour comedic talk show going to change how you watch TV, or would you just watch it a few times online and then decide you don’t have time for this?
And just for old time’s sake, here’s the best of “Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog” (warning: may be NSFW)