The 2 S's -- Satisfy and Serve

It was only October of last year when Rewind started running full episodes of NBC programming. It has already delivered 42 million full shows.

Now a new Mediaweek article reveals that many of the people going to the site are using Rewind as their personal TiVo. And there are some very impressive numbers according to NBC research:
  • 78% of users who streamed full-length episodes watched shows from the series they usually watch but missed on broadcast television
  • 81% of those surveyed said they recalled specific pre-roll ads -- this makes NBC very happy, indeed
  • 26% said they viewed shows they had already watched on TV for a second time
  • 34% said they used the site to preview shows they had never seen before
This is a model to watch. It is a traditional medium using interactive to satisfy and serve its audience -- The 2 S's -- Satisfy and Serve. I mention this because often traditional media companies such as radio, newspapers and record labels are caught up on protecting their interests first and delivering on the 2 S's second -- if at all.

Since readers of this space know that content is not only king it is practically the only thing that matters, making your content available to your audience in ways they can use it and please them at the same time is the mission. Not help you combat new technology or a new generation!

For example, if record labels applied the 2 S's to their broken model they would have to:
  • Stop suing individuals through RIAA (18,000 and counting to this day)
  • Encourage file sharing (that's right, that's what the marketplace wants and many believe sales will actually increase)
  • Sell higher fidelity versions of songs and albums their audiences want and take off DRM
  • Co-operate with the inevitable and encourage people to use even more music understanding that new models will crop up and old models will be bolstered
You can do the same thing for radio if the consolidators decided to Satisfy and Serve their audiences. Let's look:
  • Cut commercial loads
  • Make a 20 minute daily morning show available for MP3 downloading at Starbucks, McDonalds, et al in their marketplaces
  • Add video to audio when they program beyond radio signals
  • Add text and texting capabilities
  • Convene a seminar, workshop and ongoing intervention on how to make radio advertising more effective. Listeners know (and production directors, too) that spot radio is not effective.
  • Test all radio ads online before they make it to the airwaves
Shall we try newspapers?
  • Create an online "only" publication
  • Create new categories that would satisfy young readers. Craig's List does. When I owned Inside Radio I derived huge revenues from faxed want ads. Inside Radio is still the market leader in that category today under GM Gene McKay. Categories that mean something to your audience - that's what online publications should focus on.
  • Embrace GPS, mobile delivery and texting
  • Everyone has a cell phone with them during their waking hours -- what a market the digital news engine of the future could be.
  • Don't call the newspapers -- call them anything but.
I'm getting myself excited. I've got to stop. At USC we develop such programs for clients through Thornton School's Music Media Solutions Lab and our association with the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation. (Interested parties can learn more at 213-740-2761). Our labs have already done projects for record labels and media companies. The underwriting expenses are very reasonable.

NBC Rewind is another small step in the right direction. The promise of new age interactive media is so compelling, in my mind it more than compensates for the loss of revenue from some traditional models.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs says "think differently" and I add "think" -- of the possibilities.