When he’s not limited to 140 characters, Modern Family co-creator and executive producer Steve Levitan has a lot to say. His points on Hulu, and to a lesser degree ABC.com are must-read. He’s not a fan of Hulu from a few levels, including how the content providers get paid. “I don’t believe Hulu’s upside outweighs the potentially disastrous long-term effects,” said Levitan.
I’d written earlier based on one of his twitter posts that he was ignorant about the ratings but I think things get lost in the 1400 character world, plus he’s a fast study. His comments about ABC.com were interesting. He can’t get anyone to ABC to give him the numbers. He seems to conclude from that, that the numbers aren’t counted and so that a show with disproportionately high online viewing doesn’t get credit for that even from a renewal/cancellation perspective.
Clearly the networks do measure this, and I’d be shocked if networks were not well aware of any shows with disproportionately high viewing. On the other hand, getting any sort of useful #s from the networks on online viewing has been as hard for me as it has for Mr. Levitan.
I separate the issue of the network not sharing the information with show producers from how the network counts it. Forthcoming Nielsen measurement (that is still months away) might solve the sharing problem. The issues of data sharing of online data and how content creators are paid still seem very separate to me from issues with Nielsen measurement. I can’t begrudge someone for wanting to get paid fairly for their contributions, but surprisingly (at least to me) he doesn’t think his issues are issues for the unions to resolve.
Definitely worth reading the interview done by James Hibberd if these topics interest you.