I have been posting a lot about TV today. This is pretty exciting news though. TVWeek reported today that adding The Office to iTunes has led to higher ratings. Now The Office has seen a lot of extra promotion on NBC with its move to Thursday nights, but the iTunes influence appears to be a factor as well. The Office has several episodes in iTunes Most Popular Videos list and apparently makes up 1/3 of all the NBC programs downloaded. ABC is also saying they have seen higher ratings for Lost since the iTunes introduction, after seeing a small drop when they first started.
This really highlights the power of the Internet as a media marketer. Television networks are learning what indie music labels have known for some time: making your content available online will increase demand. And while it helps a big show like Lost, it means even more to a small show like The Office that a lot of people haven’t seen. Being able to download and watch shows at your own convenience is nice. It worked for me: I began downloading The Office this fall and now I am a regular viewer. Even more exciting for broadcasters is that the shows not only get publicity, but they are also making money off the downloads. Too bad Fox has yet to get on board, Arrested Development could have used this time of publicity.