BUSINESS | Rather than seeking a mass audience for original programming, subscription models have quickly realized the value of producing and realizing content at a cadence and quality-level to spur acquisition and retention.
When David Lynch’s original cult classic, “Twin Peaks,” premiered on ABC in 1990, 35 million viewers tuned in from their bean bag chairs to follow the investigation of homecoming queen Laura Palmer’s mysterious murder. In contrast, the much-anticipated return of Lynch’s creation on Showtime last month only garnered 506,000 viewers, according to Nielsen numbers published in The New York Times. While this would be marked a major flop in previous decades, the continued evolution of media and entertainment from advertising toward a subscription model has ushered in a whole different set of key performance indicators. “In the world that we live in now, offering original programming that attracts new subscribers is our primary business objective,” said David Nevins, Showtime’s chief executive, in a recent statement. “By that standard, the ‘Twin Peaks’ premiere is the biggest single-night driver we’ve ever had.”