Streaming is a New Genre/Experience

I read an article in the New York Times yesterday about how streaming video (the new format that we’re just figuring out from companies like Netflix and Amazon) is changing the art of making shows.  The article asks about what the nature of this new genre is – yes, it’s an entirely new genre.

HotSauce Today

As much as the experience is dictating new aesthetic trends in filmed comedy and drama, it also means that many consumers (probably all of the ones we deal with digitally speaking) are accustomed to this intermediate zone that isn’t fast-paced browsing of social sites or hot triends, and isn’t down-time in front of the TV or a proper movie.

There is an opportunity to mirror this experience for brands. “The Suck,” as the pull of binge-watching is termed, is something that we can leverage for clients.  Designing experiences that allow a narrative to wash over the viewer can have advantages that are simply unachievable in situations that demand more user input.

Likewise, advertising in and around these shows becomes a different proposition.  Viewers looking for a show to binge on or those just coming off a binge may have different behaviors than those just searching the web (more study needed here)

Some opportunities that come to mind are:

  • Brands that have complicated but unglamorous products (USPS)
  • Brands that have extraordinarily complex, perhaps misunderstood products (Lockheed Martin)
  • Brands that have a decentralized set of sub brands that need to be brought together by a story (Choice Hotels)
  • Any re-branding effort with a major content push (think what could have been done with a documentary of Colonel Sanders’ life for the new KFC brand)

As always, these ideas may not be directly achievable with current budgets – hopefully declining production costs will improve this.  However, understanding this new genre and behavior will help to bridge the gap between content consumers commit to and plain-old-ads.