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Future of TV Fusion Catastrophe

TV Year in Review: Daniel Eilemberg, Senior Vice President & Chief Digital Officer of FUSION

By Daniel Eilemberg, Senior Vice President & Chief Digital Officer

December 30, 2015 | 3 min read

The below post is part of our 2015 TV Year in Review guest post series and is written by Daniel Eilemberg, Senior Vice President & Chief Digital Officer of FUSION.

TV Will Take More Cues from Digital Players in 2016

There has been a lot of hand wringing over TV audiences moving away from expensive cable packages and changing their viewing habits to a more on-demand or binge mentality. This year also provided the classic moments we associate with live TV: drawing big numbers as the finale of Mad Men did (4.6mm) and less predictably, the first Presidential debate (25mm). Whether live or shifted, it’s the audience—iPhone in hand—that’s driving our industry to think differently, adapt faster, and listen and respond to feedback.

Instead of debating what will remain relevant—appointment viewing, binge-watched narratives, reality shows, or instant cult classics—the truth is that it all can work, we just have to be a little less absolutist in how and when we engage with our audience. We have to follow our audience to the platforms they are spending time on and see what resonates with them rather than expecting them to come to us for what we think is important or entertaining.

The reality is the openness of the Internet and agnostic nature of social platforms is behind so much of what we decide to watch, what we decide to keep watching, and what we talk about with our friends after we watch it.

There are countless examples of “shows” that bubbled up online in some fashion and made the leap from small screen to TV. Ages ago, Family Guy returned because of an outcry on social media. This year we saw the lovable Rob Delaney—a comedian who won us over by giving away his best one-liners on Twitter, and very little screen experience—paired with seasoned writer and actress Sharon Hogan for the romantic comedy “Catastrophe.”

We need to keep our eyes wide open for the unexpected and unconventional – and not be afraid to take a risk. There are some topics that are less conventional, but when you look at digital engagement clearly resonate with the audiences coveted by advertisers. We saw that first had with marijuana legalization. The “Cannabusiness Report” grew from a regular digital feature on fusion.net, to a reoccurring segment within our morning news before launching as a buzzed about standalone series.

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