6 Ways Blanket Titling Of Paid Programming Doesn’t Pay For Direct Marketers

blanket titles paid programming
You’re probably familiar with the sea of paid programs you’ll find during certain dayparts.

They sit there nameless and faceless except for the cryptic “Paid Programming” designation—almost daring TV viewers to roll the dice and see what that program is trying to get them to buy, use, or take an interest in.

So why is it that all those paid programs on your television guide—from bamboo steamers to pocket fishermen—all have the same blanket title of “Paid Programming”? That doesn’t really pay, does it? After all, an investment has been made to air the program—shouldn’t it be protected with specific titling?

Here are our two cents worth on the subject—and it just might be worth millions.

If it’s PAID Programming, shouldn’t the people PAYING get credit?
Not to be indelicate, but this is PAID programming we’re talking about. Shouldn’t a program that’s paying to be on that channel get a specific, unique title? After all, they’re paying for the time. Why not pay to let everyone know EXACTLY what you’re selling while they’re looking at a guide?

Equates a Ginsu knife with an ab-busting machine.       
Paid programs, just like regular programs, are different. 

Yet, the blanket titling of paid programming pretty much equates the ThighMaster with Disco’s Biggest Hits Of The 70’s. So all paid programming is homogenized into one category that also serves as a program title? No, the content is different and, therefore, so should be the title.

“My Aunt Sally wants skin that looks 10 years younger. Uncle Bill is looking for better tools to help him finish the shed that’s in 63 pieces in the backyard—and my daughter is begging for a Pillow Pet!”

How would any of them know their dream skin cream, gadget, or fluffy friend was a click away on their EPG with its title as “Paid Program?” ANSWER: They wouldn’t. Which kinda defeats the whole purpose of paying to air the program.

Paid programs can be popular—including ones about TV programs!
Sometimes, a paid program actually resembles an on-air broadcast because it’s offering up a collection of television’s greatest comedies, or all-star roasts, or late night rock concerts. Clips of this great programming are shown throughout. And without specific program titling, this type of paid programming could seem to be a “best of” program—not associated with purchase at all. If a paid program is popular—or becomes a pop culture sensation like the “Snuggie”—why not let the viewer know about it?

Tracking a specific paid program with a blanket title is impossible.
Let’s say someone wants to find out how many calls for a certain product are received while their paid program is actually on the air. That’s so the paid program folks can figure out how their program drives orders while its actually airing. Now, imagine how tough that’s going to be when instead of “Super Cookmaster” you have “Paid Programming” as your program title. Sound like fun? It’s not.

Interested purchasers can’t find a past or upcoming paid program—or refer it to a friend.
Believe it or not, people talk. 

Especially when they see a product or service that amazes them. In fact, they’re likely to tell a friend. Many friends, perhaps. And although this word of mouth is great, wouldn’t it be even greater if they could refer a friend to the actual paid program they saw which extolled the virtues of their “wonderproduct”? Oops. With blanket paid programming titles, get ready to have a friend sit up all night or weekend, sifting through a sea of “Paid Programming.”

Or worse still, get ready to have that friend simply Google the name of their “wonderproduct” and purchase online. Instead of calling in for the promoted product, which cuts a direct response agency out of the picture even though their paid program stimulated a sale. That means missing out on revenue and these days every penny counts, right?

Paid programming viewers end up surfing—and not necessarily finding what’s right for them.
When confronted with the vague, nondescript, unspecific title of “Paid Programming,” most people just keep surfing until they find quantifiable information they can actually use to make a viewing decision. The blanket title is like showing MOVIE or SPORTS or NEWS instead of the actual title. General information is fine, but specifics are what can actually inform a viewer to make a qualified choice about specific content they’d like to see.

So, most likely the viewer will continue to surf until their EPG tells them something SPECIFIC to watch—and they’ll go directly to THAT channel. They do not pass go and you do NOT collect $200.

Blanket titling of paid programming doesn’t make cents for anybody. Which is so unnecessary, because at FYI we know what’s on all the time—and we’ll tell people by using title-specific paid programming information. It’s a great way to make that paid programming investment really pay off to the fullest.

So click below, now. Operators are standing by.


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