General Strategies

Au Revoir TV Guide in Canada – It Was a Pleasure

Next month, for the first time in more than 50 years, Canada’s TV Guide won’t be available on the newsstands. In an increasingly common move, the publication is shifting its listings online, ditching the print version.

As consumers spend more of their time online, Transcontinental Inc., which publishes the Canadian TV Guide, apparently believes consumers would rather get their TV listings in digital form, Reuters reports. The print edition’s circulation tumbled to 243,000 from 430,000 over the past four years. Canada’s TV Guide will shift online and offer free listings supported by advertising.

Some of you might be thinking, probably the first in many print publications that will go down because of the Internet. In this particular case, I actually think the reason had little to do with the Internet and more to do with digital cable, satellite or cable tv listing services, more so than the Internet. Even though TV listings are available online, many people I talk to have never used them online and don’t even know where to find them if they wanted to. However, most of them say I hit my TV guide on my remote and either by cable company, satellite or phone companies system comes on-screen for me.

In terms of a strategy for small businesses, this is something you can use to your advantage, as we may be entering the golden age for small to medium sized businesses who can start to squeeze print publishers for more bang for the buck. Print publishers are worried that revenues are declining and moving online and now may be the opportunity to take advantage of weakness. For mid-sized organisations with a 100K-500K per year in advertising budget you can really leverage this amount. Let’s face it, unlike 30-years ago, no media company can claim they have exclusive access to your audience – there is just to much of a media mix that exists today to make this claim.

Therefore, any small business should create 2 marketing plans. One based on their existing program and one without their primary advertising supplier. When you meet with your primary rep, show they both plans and explain to them that you want additional coverage – just make sure you know exactly what that is when you have your meeting. You may be surprised in how much you can leverage from this strategy.

As for the TV Guide – I am glad its going online – at least I know the web address now, http://www.tvguide.ca/