There is pressure on my industry – television. We have more competition than ever. We are not alone. Businesses that seemed totally secure and extremely profitable just a few years ago, like newspapers and movie theaters, find competing with Internet based services a death march.
One problem many mature industries face is how they’ve increased their profits before this strong competition arrived. With little subscriber growth, newspapers cut their news hole. Theaters are stretching the number of commercials and promotions they run before the feature.
TV’s done both.
I was looking at hulu.com tonight. It’s a strangely wanting collection of old and new TV shows plus Grade C or lower movies. Though it will compete with over-air stations, tonight It offers the opportunity to make real world comparisons – then versus now.
First, I called up a copy of The Bob Newhart Show: Season 2, Episode 22, “By the way… You’re fired.” It’s nearly 35 year old. The running time for this half hour show is 25:19.
Next, it was The Simpsons: Season 19, Episode 12, “Love, Sprinfieldian Style.” This 2008 show runs 21:49
That’s 3:30 less show or seven minutes per hour!
For TV, it would be easier to compete with the older run times and episode counts. Whether that would be enough or not is open to question.