Have you seen sports ratings lately?
Just this week:
The NBA on TNT had its highest ratings in 20 SIX YEARS . Versus had its highest rated regular season NHL game EVER. The first game of the World Series was the highest rated in 5 years. The NFL was setting records on cable and achieving viewing levels not seen in 20 YEARS !. College Football ratings are killing it as well.
But wait there is more. TV viewing is up considerably in each of the last several years. We can even look at the box office for movies and the fact that the industry is seeing a theatrical revival.
The question is simple. Whats going on ?
The answer is simple as well.
The internet has trained us.
It has trained us to assign two distinct values to content that is available to us, regardless of media. The 1st variable is participation value. The 2nd variable is shelf life. The two variables go hand in hand.
Every type of content has some quotient of participation value. At the bottom of the spectrum are games/shows/movies/events that you watch or attend by yourself, and you have no interest in telling anyone about. Those shows have zero participation value. They could be Perry Mason reruns (happened to catch one while I was working out on the road) or shows you watch when you have nothing better to do.
At the top of the scale are games/shows/movies/events that potential viewers have predicted to have high participation value. These are events that we look forward to not only watching or attending, but that we plan in advance how we are going to extend our participation. We may plan on tweeting about it or posting a facebook update because we know our friends are there and we are bragging to each other, while at the same time showing off to friends who cant be there. Think going to the opening of Cowboys stadium, or going to a concert or opening night of a movie, or watching the big game.