TV Disruption


TV executives are redefining their business models as they navigate the television industry’s shift to a multimedia sphere.

“It’s not the future. Digitalization is today. Physical capital barriers have crumbled as ‘open content’ on the Web undermines the traditional scheme of delivering news,” ABS-CBN chief digital officer Donald Lim said on the sidelines of the Philippine Marketing Association event in June.

I disagree. This is not just a medium problem. If it is then they can make their contents available online and their problem would go away. I’d argue that some of their contents are already online yet they are still in the same predicament. The problem is traditional content. It is really baffling that up to now, local TV networks are still using the same old, tired formula: pop star-ridden variety shows and soaps. The creativity has stagnated.

Television is not an endangered medium—I believe it is undergoing the same transformation that smartphone had, but I digress—people are still crazy with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. These are TV-first content and they are great content. Shows like Last Week Tonight are very successful because they are breaking the barriers of traditional content. They experiment. They create thoughtful, entertaining content.

I think local TV networks are out of ideas. They are desperately feeding the fickle-minded masses and they know it is not sustainable. If redefining business model and workforce downsizing are the only things up their sleeve then they need to brace themselves. Shit is about to hit the fan.