2. NBCU’s Round About Streaming Strategy
Traditional television networks are continuing struggle to find a place in the over-the-top (OTT) market. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGO are taking eyeballs away from traditional linear TV arena, and advertisers have been noticing. NBCUniversal (NBCU) made its attempt to enter the streaming world back in 2016 with the launch of their $3.99-per-month service, Seeso – we don’t blame you if you’ve never heard of it – shutting down after only two years. Now, NBCU has regrouped to introduce a new service with a totally different approach. The platform is called WatchBack and is planned to launch by the end of this year. This free service will not include any exclusive or original content but, instead, give viewers access to a limited numbers of episodes from NBCU’s channels including USA, Syfy, NBC, etc. Rather than diving into the already crowded OTT market, NBCU is using their app to lure viewers back into traditional television by teasing them with broadcast content. On top of this strategy, NBCU is also considering incentives and rewards for watching their programming. It is certainly a different strategy from other OTT and their original Seeso service – using streaming not as the end goal but as the bait, with the true agenda of bringing viewers back to traditional TV. We’ll have to see if this plan actually attracts viewers back to NBCU’s linear TV viewing format.