Why the Web won’t Kill Television

Print media were the first victims of the World Wide Web – something which makes sense, given its text-heavy nature. Now that video is increasingly important to the Web, will television be next to implode? I don’t think so. Sophia Banay today talks to the co-creator of new NBC series Quarterlife, which started on the web:

Quarterlife didn’t do particularly well on the Web, with some episodes receiving less than 100,000 views. So why do you and NBC think it will succeed on network television?

Actually, I think it has done very well on the Web. If you compare it to other online scripted series, it’s probably the third most successful one ever. I think that it just proves to be very difficult to promulgate scripted content on the Internet. That’s the reality we’re all facing.

Once again, remember that consumer-facing media is all about delivering consumers to advertisers. And television, for all that ratings are falling, can do that in numbers that the web simply can’t. A monster hit on YouTube would be a ratings failure on TV, and advertisers wanting to reach a mass market are still essentially forced to buy television spots. I’m a great believer in the present and future of the web, but even I would shun it if I were advertising any kind of fast-moving consumer good.

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