In this day, anything that we read online we have to take with a grain of salt. It’s unrealistic to believe everything that you read. This forces people to do some thinking of their own. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can lead to people getting misinformation. The media and organizations that are selling products, don’t help this at all. They put out their best effort to get you to buy their products, but it’s not always what it seems. Sometimes, it can be downright deceiving. According to a new report, Comcast’s NBCUniversal is considering launching a streaming service that would pay viewers to watch episodes of NBCU TV. Let that sink in for a minute. You’re going to pay me to watch TV? That definitely sounds like a win.
For example – if you want to watch This is Us, the service known as Watch Back would essentially pay you to do this. Well, it’s not exactly money, but it’s in the form of points and then you can redeem those points for gift cards. As I have mentioned, we have to take this with a grain of salt. Will NBC Universal actually launch Watch Back? And if it does, it offers a unique business model that we have yet to seen from others like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon or CBS All Access. This model also suggests that NBCU isn’t giving up on its traditional TV business any time soon. But instead, it’s attempting to come up with a new way to get people to watch their content in a world that is dominated by the likes of Amazon and Netflix.
Can this work? Is it a good idea? I mean, the short answer to both of those is yes. While it’s not your traditional streaming model, I think it has some definite possibilities. I think the challenge that any streaming service has to deal with right now is original content. You can have the best business model in place, but if you don’t have your own original content then it’s not worth it. I should clarify – your own, incredible, original content. If you don’t have shows that people are going to want to watch, you’re not going to have any way to pull them in. But NBCU has been down this road before. In fact, previously they launched an online subscription service devoted to comedy. Known as Seeso, NBCU invested $75 million into it, and it never really got off the ground. So will this be any different?
That’s hard to say, but they have to figure something out because there are so many other networks who are barrelling head first into the streaming business, they’ll be left behind if they don’t. CBS has been beefing up its all Access service with content from talented folks like Jordan Peele. According to an earnings report last week, the service is growing faster than expected and the company projects that CBS All Access plus Showtime Anytime together are on track to reach 16 million subscribers by 2022. What that means is NBCU has to come up with something, and they have to do it fast. I don’t dislike this model or service, but I will be interested to see how this plays out for them.