By Wand Agency
Showtime is the third most viewed entertainment channel of all-time on YouTube and the premium network relies heavily on the viral video site as a marketing platform.
With 16.5 million subscribers to the pay TV channel, Showtime has found that digital venues like iTunes and YouTube can drive additional demand for a show, the network’s Rob Hayes, senior VP and general manager for digital media, told Beet.TV during an interview at the company’s headquarters last month.
“When you put your content on iTunes there is a real demand for it because people have heard about these shows but they may not be subscribers,” he said. “It’s really the first time digitally they can access our shows.”
The premium network’s digital strategy is worth noting. Here’s why: the network’s growing popularity and critical acclaim with shows like “Dexter” and “The Tudors” has risen in the last few years concurrently with Showtime’s forward-thinking online distribution strategy.
The CBS-owned unit was one of the first TV networks to partner with YouTube three years ago to offer clips, promos, original viral videos. Then Showtime became one of the first networks to offer full episodes on the site late last year. Also, the network has often premiered the first episode of a new season on YouTube and other sites before running on-air.
The network usually sees a spike in orders for the network after this type of digital promotion. Earlier this year the network premiered the first episode of “The United States of Tara” online.
Showtime also creates viral videos for its programs for YouTube. The network said it is averaging more than 500,000 video views per day on YouTube this year, many for its “Lezberado” channel dedicated to “The L Word.”
The L Word Lives On -- Online Only
L Word, which ended in March, after a 6 year run, lives on, online with the "Interrogation Tapes." The series is published Showtime's site which uses a Brightcove player. We have pasted one of the online only episodes below. It also is on Showtime's YouTube page.
Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer