Video on Demand- Travel Programmers have it both ways?
One audience, the majority of the viewers, the 25-65 demographic does not travel, but they are intrigued by travel.. For them the more exotic the travel location the more interesting it is too watch. If the host is witty, the writing amusing, that's all that matters. They're armchair travelers, looking for ENTERTAINMENT
The other audience, 22-25 year olds and 65 plus, are planning their trip. For the younger traveler it might mean adventure travel or just the usual European tour. For the older audience who travels in group tours it could be anywhere, as group travel creates a feeling that if anything happens to you someone will be there to help you out. How much will this hotel cost me? What restaurant should I go to? Basically list type shows - The Worlds Best, etc, are what they are looking for. They want a travel program that is more like a guidebook (in fact a video of a travel destination, if done well, is a nice compliment to a guidebook. It's a wonder that more guidebooks companies do not produce their own travel programs) This audience , the kind that actually travels, wants to be entertained but they want and need travel INFORMATION.
ENTER VIDEO ON DEMAND
There is no need for travel networks to solely produce lists shows and alienate the core travel audience, the armchair traveler. These types of programmers can now go up on the server. If you are going to Brazil you don't have to wait a half a year for a program to appear on the Travel Channel, you can just download it and see it at anytime, and if it is downloaded to your computer, you can even see it while you are traveling.
My travel program The Best of Buenos Aries
is selling very well at Totalvid.com and I'm finding that half the viewers are watching it in Buenos Aires. Since it is in English my guess is that tourists are watching it while they are on vacation in Buenos Aires, to check out the various sites before deciding what to see.
List shows are the inventory for Video on Demand. The Travel Channel's programming needs has shifted, to travel entertainment, a subject I will take up in the next post.