Who isn't getting into the digital download game?
This Friday, Lifetime will start offering premiere episodes of the three shows in the network’s new reality block on iTunes and Yahoo!.
Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead, America’s Psychic Challenge and Blood Ties all will go up on the two download sites starting this Friday. The block premieres Oct. 12, and the episodes will remain on iTunes until Oct. 19, and on Yahoo! until Oct. 25. Yahoo! also will offer other digital features to help promote the shows.
My question is this: does making shows available online boost premiere ratings at all? If we look at this year’s premiere week, the answer would have to be no. Almost every show got a pre-premiere week run somewhere on the Internet and still, nothing has broken out so far. Moreover, the shows that popped a big number in their premieres fell off drastically in week two. Yes, we have to wait for the DVR numbers, but a look at the live results certainly gives an indication of audience interest in the networks’ new offerings.
The reason the networks keep doing this is because the answer to the reverse question is also no: does it hurt to put episodes online? Everyone says no, and then they point to other reasons people aren’t tuning into primetime the way they used to. I would say this season is seeing low viewer turnout so far because 1) this wasn’t a great batch of new shows; 2) daylight savings has been put off until Nov. 4; 3) the weather across the country has remained uniformly good this fall, keeping people outside.
I know those all sound like excuses, but if you think about it, when do you stay inside and watch TV? Right, when it’s dark and cold outside.
Back to Lifetime. Being one of the most philanthropic networks around, Lifetime also is offering original content on iTunes throughout the month. Those offerings include “My Bra,” an original song by the artist Mya with a silly title but perhaps a serious theme. The song is featured in the Lifetime Original Movie “Matters of Life & Dating,” about a woman returning to the dating world after a mastectomy. The movie, starring Holly Robinson Peete and Ricki Lake, premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. ET, but the network is giving us a sneek peek on iTunes starting Oct. 15. The full move will be available on Oct. 23, one day after it premieres.
The best part? All the proceeds of Lifetime’s October downloads will go to charities supporting breast cancer awareness. So get downloading!