Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Silly Cell C with its 'black' video-on-demand attempt is making the same mistake as VIDI and Altech Node on its way falling into the same black hole.

O dear. Silly Cell C launching its attempt at a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service called "black" (talk about a hilariously misnomered name) is falling into exactly the same black hole and making the same mistake as the gone-like-the-dodo VIDI, Altech's Node and others.

Cell C, where big-talker Jose Dos Santos is the big kahuna at the cellular telecom company, now wants to do content.

Yet strangely, in venturing very wild westy and with cowboy diplomacy into this new area, Cell C either deliberately, or because it doesn't know better or care to know better, totally decided to cut out the South African press actually covering television.

Good luck with your black, Cell C.

And maybe give MultiChoice, M-Net or a few PR companies in South Africa who rep TV channels and have done publicity for channels a call. Maybe some new light and insight will dawn for what you black lack.

After frothing up tech coverage of black, Cell C did literally nothing to communicate to the media covering television - especially in a consumer market, that firstly, black exists and is launching, and secondly what actually black is and what the specific content there will be on this "black".

In television "black" - as any consumer would know from looking at a dead screen - means the absence of anything; the lack of content.

Why on earth Cell C would choose "black" as the name for a SVOD service beggars believe. Why not something like "Cell See" or something denoting colour?

TVwithThinus didn't know "black" is coming since Cell C couldn't bother to communicate - neither did any of the over 20 journalists and writers covering television who were asked.

And they still don't know and haven't heard anything from Cell C.

None of them are on on Cell C's radar, since Cell C either doesn't know about them, their publications or platforms, or probably just doesn't care and doesn't see any value in incorporating them in any type of earned media exposure strategy.

People watching television and subscribing to pay-TV and video-on-demand services in the real world, will either have to discover and hear about this "black" thing either through direct marketing and advertising from Cell C, or through the press.

Oddly Cell C couldn't so far be bothered to reach out and actually communicate through the consumer media about its black.

South Africa's TV critics are clueless about this "black" and likewise can't care less and Cell C doesn't seem to have any clue that it's possibly in its own "black" interest to actually communicate to these journalists.

This nonchalant, can't-care attitude doesn't affect the media and Those Covering Television. It will affect Cell C and its black.

There's 260+ linear TV channels and their shows as well as free-to-air, community and public broadcaster channels and shows that an exhausted press is constantly trying to cover with not enough time in a day to get to it all.

Then there's the other SVOD players also all fighting for media attention. Take a guess where Cell C's black is? Yep, there in a black, not-seen abyss.

The lack of proper media and press public relations will end up affecting Cell C and its black probably sooner than later. We've seen it before and will very likely see it again.

In a mavericky out-of-control and overheated SVOD biz, everyone and their brother is jumping to launch VOD services, totally unprepared and unwilling to invest in the work to properly communicate about it, not bothering to research who to communicate with, not caring to research what it should be communicating, and thinking consumers are going to buy a box because of a promise about content.

Consumers spend money and buy content because they want access to very specific shows and sport and entertainment.

VIDI, Altech Node and other failures marketed and sold a "brand name", forgetting - if it ever knew - that people don't and won't buy because of a thing, they will buy because of a show.

What exactly is on Cell C's "black"? We don't know. What exactly can you get on this "black? We don't know. Why is this "black" worth your money? We don't know.

Apparently Cell C also now has a R1600 set top box. Good luck with that.

If people don't know exactly that they can watch A and B and C, they won't be lured to Cell C. They're not going to buy a box of R1600 and they're not going to subscribe or try something called "black" not knowing what is actually on it.

As a telecoms player Cell C is moving out of its lane into the TV lane but so far couldn't bother to even try and do basic diligence on who and what the media are covering television, how it works in this lane and what the bare level minimum requirements are of what a SVOD needs to do and be when it comes to external communication.

Maybe Cell C and its black will learn but this isn't really an on-the-job kinda learning thing. You're already supposed to know.

Good luck with this black. Try not to fade into it.