Rocco Pendola misses the mark or, why does traditional media fail to grasp the true reach of social media

In his July 14th article If Major Networks Acted Like Netflix, We Would Call Them Frauds, Rocco Pendola rails at how Netflix has withheld viewership numbers as an indication that their claims that the successful return of the sitcom Arrested Development is questionable.

Sadly Pendola obviously does not understand the nature of viewership in the Social Media world including the fact that on-demand views occurring over time represent the sustainable and mean reach of a show (The Tony Bennett Factor: How traditional TV stars can salvage their careers on YouTube. . . maybe!).  Nor does he even take into consideration, the ability of the medium to accurately measure viewer retention re how much of the show did the viewer actually watch (Is Anybody Watching? With YouTube Analytics it’s not a question about the number of views but viewer retention).

Rocco Pendola Bio

In short Pendola, who is using old standards to measure success on the new medium, is equating true reach and influence with a “number of hits” formula within a narrowly confined period of time.  While I am not discounting the contributing importance of viewer numbers for a particular show broadcast over traditional mediums such as television, Pendola needs to gain a better understanding of the subject matter before he can offer such a definitive opinion   ̶   including accusations of fraud.

For example, on my radio show I have had segments that have been downloaded 28,000 times within a 24 hour period following a live broadcast.  If we were to follow Pendola’s formula for measuring success then our measurement would stop there.  However, I have aired shows which, over a period of 12 months or longer, continue to garner listeners.  Do we discount these listeners merely because they did not tune in on a specific date and time, choosing instead to tune in at their convenience?

Regardless of the medium sandbox in which you currently play, the fact is that social media platforms are not only here to stay, they are also going to continue to grow in both their reach and influence.  While traditional mediums will continue to play an important part in this evolution, the standards by which success is measured with either one will for the foreseeable future, be very different.


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