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Traditional Pay TV Model Will Go Away Soon, Predicts DramaFever

"The existing model of paying $200 a month for 200 channels you don’t watch isn't going to exist for too much longer," predicted Yale Wang, head of marketing for DramaFever, a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service that serves up programming from Korea and other countries.

Wang made his prediction today at the New York Media Festival, during a panel on television marketing leadership. When asked if TV was dead, Wang said that it would never go away, but that people now watch their favorites on delay. He doesn't see TV suffering the same fate as radio since people are still paying for content. The medium has seen disruptions, certainly, but much more needs to happen before over-the-top (OTT) can take serious market share from television.

The best relationship a content company can have with its audience is a credit card relationship, Wang said. Get the audience on an email list, he advised, and get them to follow the company on Facebook. Use multiple platforms to strengthen that bond.

"Don't over-rely on any one of them, because they can go away at any time," Wang advised.

Looking to YouTube, Wang said that independent online video creators have already proven their worth. However, companies are now realizing that when they market with online stars from sites like YouTube or Twitch, they're just renting an audience, he said. Some networks are trying to create their own online-oriented production studios, but with "shockingly little success." He singled out YouTube star Michelle Phan as someone doing a great job of leveraging online viewership to create a business.

Making one last prediction, Wang said that Go90 and Watchable, two OTT networks created by larger companies (Verizon and Comcast) to target millennials, will have a challenging time reaching young viewers. While Wang could image one or two companies doing so successfully, he noted that the product needs to feel authentic to that demographic. 

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