Whether your primary means of transmitting is satellite, Internet, or a combination, downtime – the amount of time your network or programming is off the air – can hurt. Big Time.
Frankly, ANY period of downtime – whether your network is fully inaccessible or simply running much more inefficiently than usual – can lead to negative experiences that harm your business’ bottom line.
NEGATIVE AUDIENCE EXPERIENCE
As a broadcaster, you jump through many hoops to cultivate an audience. Whether it be intermittent ins and outs, minutes, or even hours, the longer you are down the more it hurts your station or network.
“Trust” can be a tricky metric to measure, yet “trust” can impact how likely an audience member is to watch or listen for extended periods of time. They trust that the entertainment or information will be readily available – no matter what time of day, or what weather conditions exist. As such, it is essential that you maintain your audience’s trust by minimizing instances of unexpected downtime.
If you are looking to build user trust for your station or network, remember the consequences of extended or constant broadcast downtime.
It’s like flipping a switch. Radio and television is a regular part of everyday consumer life. It’s expected to always be “on”; people depend upon it, count on it. Therefore, downtime of any type or cause can leave a bad aftertaste.
A LOSS OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Prolonged downtime (even as short as a minute or two) can cause audience members to jump ship and find a more reliable outlet for entertainment, news and information. That’s just one side of the coin. The other side is all about revenue. The cost of lost broadcasting time may cost station owners hundreds – if not thousands of dollars per minute.
As any business owner knows, prospective buyers or sponsors want to see that your station or network has its act together before handing over their valuable resources (money). When these potential customers examine your business, they are looking for a reliable return on investment.
In other words, investors need to trust that you will be a worthwhile business partner. A station or network that routinely experiences extended periods of downtime will not establish that trust.
These missed opportunities destroy your wallet AND your reputation. Your company may be passed over by future buyers or sponsors without so much as a how do you do, causing you to miss out on extremely valuable revenue – all because prospective buyers believe you are not a reliable business partner.
CHANGE THE PARADIGM
While responding to unexpected downtime can be critical for any business, minimizing the risk of such downtime periods is of equal (if not higher) importance. Downtime can’t be completely eliminated, but there are several proactive things you and your staff can do to marginalize its effects.
Let’s explore how your station or network can combat downtime in our next blog entry, Five Essential Strategies That Can Minimize the Negative Effects of Network Downtime.