Happy New Year. Now get cracking: We outline challenges for 2013 and offer up some predictions
TV's Deepening Relationship With Second-Screen Entertainment
Put aside for a moment the tweets and check-ins that are typically considered the currency of social TV, despite uncertain value in driving actual ratings . TV networks in 2013 are going to make further efforts to seamlessly connect their traditional programming with the second screen in a way that reinforces both venues. That might mean more entries in the model of Bravo's "Top Chef" companion "Last Chance Kitchen " -- an online and on-demand series that pits eliminated contestants against each other for the chance to re-enter the main show. Expect to see, too, more traditional TV shows integrating live on-screen results from polls and games conducted via apps or the web. Successful attempts will provide entertainment with substance and stakes, however, not just a suggested hashtag.
Network Countermoves as Audiences Splinter
TV has kept its hold on its usual ad dollars even as viewership fragments, time-shifting grows and digital video players such as YouTube try to build an upfront of their own. But TV's traditional share of marketers' outlays will not be impervious in 2013. With the clock ticking toward the TV upfront and more ad dollars poised to move to other media, one of the big four broadcast networks may finally come up with a total measurement plan giving advertisers a verified audience for shows across TVs, mobile devices and computers. Networks will meanwhile keep agitating for the C7 ratings standard, counting people who watch within seven days, but advertisers and media buyers will continue to wonder why they should move off the current standard of C3. It will be interesting to see if anyone can make C7 worth marketers' while.
Print Publishers' Search for Other Lines of Businesses
When Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said in December that its latest CEO was leaving after only five months in the post, it tried to spin the news as a positive development that would "further drive the company's strategy of expanding its merchandising business." It was the latest telling moment in the evolution of a business predicated on "Omnimedia" but now 17% owned by JC Penney. Other publishers are making similar calculations as print persists but its costs rise and growth seems to beckon elsewhere. That's one reason why Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang, a digital veteran finishing her first year in the publishing business, is creating a centralized video-production unit dedicated to creating more clips at a higher quality. It wouldn't be surprising to see layoffs at Time Inc. early in 2013 -- but growing headcount at the video hub in the longer run.