CBS is leveraging its massive broadcast network to help new digital series "The Good Fight" get off to a strong start.
While other SVODs like Netflix rely a lot on word-of-mouth for new shows to gain traction, CBS can set up a TV promotion schedule to promote new shows like the upcoming "The Good Wife" spinoff, which will air exclusively on CBS All Access.
According to MediaPost, CBS has been running regular promos for the series, which debuts Feb. 19. The broadcaster has shown eight promo spots in prime time and 22 overall since Jan. 12. The report cites iSpot.tv data saying the spots had 20.8 million impressions during that time.
In addition to the aggressive promo schedule, CBS is also giving the premiere of the series a special broadcast on CBS the same night it debuts on CBS All Access.
As the report points out, other SVODs like Hulu—which is part owned by CBS’s chief rivals Disney/ABC, Fox and NBCUniversal—have also been able to market fairly extensively on broadcast television ahead of original series premieres.
But major SVODs like Netflix, which sparingly turn to television to promote new series, may find that increased competition and an ever-expanding slate of original shows and films may drive the company toward more traditional marketing, according to one analyst.
“Netflix has done a very good job driving subs via nontraditional forms of marketing—much better than traditional networks,” wrote Jefferies analyst John Janedis in a research note. “As both penetration and competition increase, NFLX may find a need to augment its current marketing with more traditional platforms.”
For 2017, Janedis predicts Netflix’s marketing expenses will remain elevated at around $1.26 billion, a 25% increase year-over-year.
While CBS is of course interested in ensuring a good debut for "The Good Fight," the programmer may have even more up its sleeve for "Star Trek: Discovery," the early flagship original series for All Access.
CBS CEO Les Moonves last year during an investor conference said that having CBS Television Networks gives CBS an advantage in promoting shows like "Star Trek" as well as services like All Access and Showtime’s direct-to-consumer product.
“As we head into the spring and have 'Star Trek' and 'Twin Peaks' coming out on those competing platforms, how great will it be looking forward to be able to market them together at a slight discount if you buy them both, but that's part of our intent,” Moonves said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.