TV networks are
paying and will
pay. There is no question that they are getting value from Shobot.
Since 2007, ad rates are based on C3, which considers DVR viewing within 3 days of live. Soon it will probably be C7.
While C3 means something to our business model, not too much. That's because Shobot does not aim to drive ratings directly. Shobot drives sampling. A single top show might cost $40MM plus $5MM to promote. Yet nearly half of all shows fail (are not renewed). Before a show can rake in all that VOD money, it must succeed, meaning garner a linear living room fan base. To pull that off, a lot of people must sample the show. TV networks lack any way to measurably drive sampling. Shobot provides that.
Ten (maybe even five) years ago TV networks hated the DVR because they perceived it as a pure threat. Last week a Fox SVP told me, "We have a love/hate relationship with the DVR." Turn on Fox News any evening and you will hear the anchors urging viewers to "Set your DVR." In 2013, NBC urged fans to DVR The Blacklist in their promotions, and it the most DVRed show ever, to which NBC partially attributed it's success.
We have talked to scores of TV network execs, and the objection you're raising rarely comes up. In today's fragmented landscape TV networks must attract and retain loyal viewers. DVRs help viewers of a dramatic series to avoid getting hopelessly behind. They help sports viewers keep from missing the first few plays so they don't have choose between watching the game and stopping for milk on the way home. And through Shobot, it helps TV networks drive sampling and adoption. We have found that today's network execs appreciate that these benefits accrue to them.
Then there are commercial free networks, both premium and standard.
Sure MVPDs have their own remote scheduling sites. But which call to action would you place on an ad? "Click to DVR it" or "Visit your cable or satellite provider's remote scheduling site now, log in, search for this show and then DVR it." Also, you can only set your DVR from those sites (or even the box itself) after the show appears in your program guide, in some cases no more than 5 days out. With Shobot, you can schedule a recording at any time. TV networks now have a way to promote their shows, including testing and refining ad creative and UX, weeks or even months before the premier date. Without Shobot, tune-in promotions rely on human memory, a weak thing, so they are usually clustered only a day or two before the premier.
Like any startup, we have objections and obstacles to overcome. Disdain for the DVR by TV tune-in promoters is not chief among them.