Internet promotion of upcoming entertainment – the best way to keep your audience engaged?

Last week, I was rather critical in regards to the use of internet-based marketing as it is used as a constant method of contact. However, as a promotion source, the internet is a remarkably excellent medium to keep viewers/purchasers of film and television content engaged:

The resolution to a season cliffhanger or upcoming new episode can be promoted through internet teasers and behind-the-scenes clips; media that would not otherwise be as cost-effective to air through a show’s syndication channels (assuming the show is not network-based), and would not reach as targeted a viewer base as the same content sent through email newsletters (to those who have subscribed to show updates), and social media.

Not only does this method ensure that followers will be drawn into the upcoming story, given that they are already privy to snippets – essentially the same phenomenon that keeps some of us tuned into a bad movie to the end – we must know the ending. Either that, or – according to Scientific American – “…narrative is inherently interesting.” Either way, a good portion of these individuals will religiously set time aside to watch the show on the day of release (whether online or via cable).

Though traditionalists could argue that a conventional press release will cover a greater portion of the market, they fail to account that end consumers generally learn of the content of these press releases through online-based entertainment news sources – accessed via a search engine – and that the inclusion of video content is entirely dependent on whether the journalist framing the release will include embedded or linked content (example: ScreenRant’s coverage of Skyfall) referenced in the release.

But creation of hype aside, viewers may purchase the show upon release for internet/computer based viewing through the same sources, bypassing conventional mediums entirely. With computer-based home media centers piping video content straight to television screens through their HDMI outputs, it would seem to be counter-productive to purchase content via any method not connected to the internet (with exception to other interactive – though closed – systems, such as Netflix).

Granted, the encoding of digital content does bring up the question of piracy (and if not piracy, YouTube-based fan parodies which have stretched the limits of the Fair Use rule) – but can we say that any previous system has been superior in preventing piracy? Hardly, and encrypting will not help – whatever man can code, another can decode.

-Kurt Kaminer

For more on how the internet affects purchases:

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