In the digital, cloud-stored era, the new bottomless treasure-trove of shows from the entire history of TV is changing the whole nature of what constitutes a “new” series – and, with it, how marketers should insert themselves in to the rhythm of a season.

At the Beet Retreat in Miami, Disney/ABC sales and marketing SVP Marco Forte discussed the findings of a recently-compiled consumer survey detailing shifting audience behaviour.

“Twenty-six percent of the respondents said they don’t care about if a show’s been on or it’s just premiered,” he said. “They care about the fact that they like it, it’s good content, and it’s new to them.

“There’s been a lot written about millennials who are discovering Friends. (It) doesn’t matter that it was a show that I enjoyed in college. It’s now new to them.”

This concept isn’t new. Ex Wired editor Chris Anderson wrote about The Long Tail, in which archive content remains perpetually available for consumption thanks to ever-present storage and easy access, back in 2006.

But, after the theory, we are now beginning to see how The Long Tail plays out in an over-the-top, database-driven TV world.

And Disney’s Forte says it is shaking up conventional TV industry structures.

“Fifty-seven percent of new programs are discovered in the fall, 53% in the summer,” he said. “There’s no more waiting ’til the fall.

“It shows marketers they can’t take any time off, can’t wait and rerun the old creative in the summer. You have to constantly stay on top of your consumer, because they’re not slowing down.”

But Forte sounded a warning, too. He called attention to so-called “unreachables”, viewers that are watching in new OTT environments but whose consumption goes unseen.

“We know that there’s consumers that are basically not being measured,” he said, echoing a continually-repeating theme – the quest for better cross-platform video measurement. “I think a lot of that … comes down to measurement and our needs for better measurement.

“We are not serving our clients in the best way when we’re not measuring the exact audiences and exactly who’s watching our content when, where, and how. There’s an entire kind of universe of folks that are unreachable.”

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat Miami, 2017 presented by Videology along with Alphonso and 605. For more videos from the event, please visit this page.