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The Ever Changing Face of Advertising, Inc. announced a deal with filmmaker Woody Allen to write and direct his first television series for Amazon Prime’s Instant Video streaming service.  The deal is a further commitment to distribute video content by Amazon since it started just over a year ago.

But is it a commitment to get more viewers or sign up more members for Amazon Prime?  Costco makes most of it’s profit from the membership fee and Amazon also charges a fee for Prime which brings more business to Amazon.

Since Amazon entered the TV industry, there is a new reason to create content, not just for more viewers but to provide more benefits to get more members.  Since they’re creating content to get more members, they can easily compete for top talent against networks who can only look at the number of viewers. Movies are no longer the only source of top quality writers and actors.

Viewers have never before had so many sources of video content to watch and new sources will continue as long as technology advances. The benefit to viewers is an unbelievable array of dazzling choices with the effect of segmenting viewers into small groups who watch what they like. This poses a disadvantage to established networks as advertiser supported channels lose more and more viewers.  Advertisers will want to pay less as the number of viewers decreases.

Advertisers will need to constantly monitor and modify campaign strategy.  Live TV shows on network TV will become more important to attract viewers away from better creative content.  But now, anyone can produce and distribute a live show and there are plenty.

Live shows have traditionally been better for lawyers looking for direct response (asking consumers to call the lawyer) rather than branding but live financial shows on MSNBC are great for branding corporate law firms.  It’s surprising I don’t see corporate law firms advertising on live financial shows alongside their corporate clients but corporate lawyers probably still foolishly think advertising is beneath them.

What does the future hold for law firms?  Large law firms seeking direct response need to be everywhere including the internet and traditional marketing but can focus efforts on local.  Large law firms seeking branding such as corporate law firms can utilize a smaller advertising pool such as MSNBC and a couple of other networks.

Small law firms will increasingly be squeezed out of TV and will need to focus efforts on internet and go back to traditional marketing.  The good news is that traditional marketing will become more effective again as TV becomes less effective.  The bad news is that traditional marketing requires time which most lawyers don’t have and lawyers don’t like marketing.

Other articles of interest: Is TV Advertising Going The Way of The Yellow Pages?

1 Comment »

  1. What I have found over the years is that marketing is far more effective than advertising. With advertising you are throwing a message out to the public and hoping someone sees it who is in need of legal services. Marketing to a need (the Internet makes this so easy) and showing that you have a match for that need has proven, for me, to be far more successful.

    Comment by Kyle Calabrese — 2/15/2015 @ 2:19 pm

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