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another modest proposal: the new network dynamic

a modest proposal - why Conan should go digital NOW

3598295189_16906408f8_o I love Joe Marchese.  OK, let me revise, I love the way that Joe thinks.  In a recent MediaPost article, Joe carefully and thoughtfully articulated why Conan can't go digital.  To sum it up, there is no revenue model built for online video that delivers the scale and murky, possibly inflated numbers of broadcast television.

But I think this is the perfect time for Conan to take to the web in a serious way.  Conan can have his cake and eat it too, by building and ultimately selling a strong digital brand in addition to his broadcast presence. 

Conan now has the largest spotlight and the most active audience of his career. Conan has Team CoCo yelling from the rooftops and a stronger than ever buzz-factor.  If he were to embrace this audience, fuel their passion and build seriously in digital, he can craft a digital presence that brands will buy into.  This is bigger than a Twitter following, it's an online persona and a movement. 

Key Deliverables for Conan's Digital Transformation

  • Get your writers writing for digital and social.  Hire more if need be.  You've got your $40,000,000, put it to use.
  • Host a weekly 15-25 minute unedited, unscripted digital live-stream during the workday.  Be as incorrect as you want to be, just make it real.
    • Make this show available as an inexpensive, subscription download via iTunes.
  • Get into social media for real.  Be conversational, be light-hearted, be relate-able, provocative.
  • Embrace your community ala Stephen Colbert.  Give them a homepage to chat, a forum to vent, a blog to worship, and then send them out to edit the NBC Wikipedia page or vote to rename a bridge in Germany.  
  • Use both your digital presence and your on-air program (assuming you get one on Fox) to cross-promote the hell out of Conan the brand. 
  • Partner with brands in digital in a different way.  Don't just sell a tweet or a banner.  Think about doing something radically new.  Interview the product lead.  Do a joint interview with your web audience.  Bring the brand into your program in a way that fits the program.
  • Sell, sell, sell.

Hey Conan, if you need any help just shoot me an email.

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