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Scripps Tweaking Its VOD Strategy

Mar 29, 2004  •  Post A Comment

In an effort to increase the value of the on-demand platform, Scripps Networks intends to refine the direction of its video-on-demand strategy by increasing the amount of its original content. The shift will be shepherded by new on-demand hire Kent Takano, who fills the newly created post of director of programming for VOD and broadband after serving as a programming director at Scripps’ HGTV.
His job will be to fine-tune an original programming focus for the four Scripps networks’ on-demand fare, said Channing Dawson, senior VP of emerging media at Scripps Networks. Options for originals include slicing and dicing existing content to create on-demand compilations and creating on-demand programming stunts.
The key is to entice viewers not to click the remote. In an on-demand world, that window of opportunity is much smaller than in a linear environment. A programmer needs to communicate rapidly the benefits of watching its shows on demand.
“You can’t have lingering opens. Graphic treatments need to be fast and furious,” Mr. Dawson said. “People have opted in, so they have chosen the show. What are you going to give them now and fast? A lot of it has to be quick and clear and visually stimulating. It’s not a lean-back experience.”
The speed with which programmers must capture a viewer’s eye will change the way networks program for on-demand, Mr. Takano said. Expect Scripps to offer more of the compilation programming it has carried since last year, such as “Eight Window Treatments” or “Ten Fantasy Kitchens.”
The content company has produced close to 60 compilations so far and expects to count 100 under its belt by the end of the year.
Other VOD tweaks will include more information at the top of a show. For some on-demand pieces, Scripps will feature an expert giving an initial overview of the topic before the meat of the show starts. “So [viewers] can stay for the 22 minutes, but they don’t have to because they have already gotten a huge nugget of information,” Mr. Takano said.
Viewer-Friendly Ads
As the content provider expands its VOD fare, it is developing with advertisers short- and long-form advertising that viewers will want to watch.
Scripps will produce the on-demand content simultaneously for its broadband platform as well.
Scripps offers 40 hours of on-demand content per month-10 hours per network-with 25 percent of the content refreshed weekly. Scripps On Demand is offered in 75 markets.