Broadcasters Get Creative During Crisis; Amazon Primed To Succeed

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Movie Night (On The Couch)

TV networks hope nostalgia will win over home-bound viewers. NBCU launched a franchise last week called “Stay-In Theater,” simulcasting family movies across its family of networks. NBCU will cut national commercial time for the broadcast from 35 minutes to one minute and 15 seconds, the company said. The entire franchise, which runs through the end of April, is sponsored by Target, a relevant way for the retailer to reach consumers who are avoiding its stores. “Thanks to presenting sponsor Target, viewers across America can tune-in to family-friendly films, with very limited commercial interruption,” said NBCU’s EVP of marketing and creative advertising. CBS is also running a five-week Sunday night movie series, tapping the archive of its corporate sibling company Paramount Pictures.

Here For The Party

Amazon is also dusting off a TV classic, with a streaming-era twist. Twitch, the live game-streaming platform, will allow streamers on the platform to host “watch parties,” where they give running commentary on movies and films available on Prime Video. It’s “Mystery Science Theater 3,000” for the digital-native crowd. And anyone participating must have a Prime membership. Twitch previously allowed its most popular channels to host watch parties, but cited the coronavirus outbreak as a reason to expand the program, Variety reports. Audiences (and advertisers) are eager for live group gatherings, even if they aren’t real gatherings. “We know how valuable shared experiences like Watch Parties are to our community,” Amazon said in a statement.

Primed For Success

Ecommerce and online grocery are surging due to the coronavirus, but no other company is as well-positioned as Amazon to succeed during the pandemic. Aside from its core online shopping and fulfillment offerings, Amazon’s whole arsenal is being called upon right now. Livestreaming and online video services boost Amazon Web Services: Amazon’s audiobook and Prime TV programs are entertaining shut-ins, and Amazon Echo speakers and the Alexa voice AI are being called on more than ever. Unlike practically every other business on Earth right now, Amazon’s big problem is that it can’t hire new people fast enough. “Every crisis creates a void,” George Washington University business school professor James Bailey told CNN. “And whatever force fills that void, inherits power.”

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