Offline and Broadcast Promotion

In contrast, probably the highest cost of acquisition for a publisher to grow an audience is to use existing broadcast radio, TV, and print media to raise awareness of the content. As with any product promotion the cost of using these mediums is not for the feint hearted. Trust for invasive high-street advertising is extremely limited, and perhaps works better used to reinforce rather than introduce the subject. Once the target of the promotion has engaged with - for example - a favorite magazine, the context of the magazine can engender more trust to print adverts for example.

Large broadcasters have their own networks and relatively captive audiences, so much of a channel's promotion is often for its own content. Accessing their audiences is a low-volume/high-demand service that ultimately powers the advertising agencies.

The broadcasters themselves have to promote across media to ensure that nonsubscribers become aware of the programming - and subscriber acquisition is a key measure of the success of TV and radio networks. Through the channel's own marketing and promotion many individual content promoters “hitch a lift” - think of all the shows promoted on billboards as Christmas approaches for examples of this coexistence.

In the limited volume markets of spectrum restricted radio broadcast networks, promotion has, over the past 50 or 60 years, industrialized and structured itself well into a few closely guarded networks of promotion/production and distribution, and their coexistence had, for a long time, protected and regulated the sector.

Since 1994 the emerging Internet has disrupted the exclusivity of many of those networks, threatening their monopolies and cartel nature. However, with so many small emerging models appearing at the same time online, the overwhelming competition in “grabbing eyeballs,” which they all had, was generally from each other. YouTube changed the conversation because YouTube combined technology convergence with audience aggregation (it became a “go to” destination for both side of the value chain), but it also bought into sharp view the relative futility of hoping that “being on YouTube” meant fame and fortune.

So simply whatever the promotion model, and even if it was supported by a great technology proposition, the reality is that more needs to be done to reach the audience. A big part of that is to help users find the content themselves.

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