Ask a broadcast meteorologist about hot “multi-screen” trends and they’ll probably shrug and tell you that they have been doing it for years. That’s because weather has always been in the vanguard that helps prove the viability of new screens. If consumer electronics vendors create a new viewing device, you can be sure that we’ve been delivering forecasts and alerts from the time it hits the market. TV, PCs, and PDAs (remember those?) or more recently tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs—they all got their content streams started with weather.
Of course, that shrug doesn’t only reflect our hipster, meteorologist coolness toward new technology. We also have come to learn that “more screens” usually means “more work.” While supporting new platforms is inevitable for your TV station-cum-multi-screen media company, it is unlikely that you are being given more resources with which to serve them.
So why should you be excited about today’s multi-screen conversation? Because it is full of opportunity.
As succeeding waves of multi-screen excitement break, media company executives find themselves scratching their heads and wondering “where is the money?”
Tell them it is in the weather.
Your forecasts and alerts are a perfect medium for monetization. Branded weather products can smooth the transition by providing high-value, ready content for these new distribution channels. And unlike seasonal sports, TV clips and cute pet videos, the weather has day-in, day-out, unflagging persistence and relevance for your audience. Consumers are looking to other screens for information that impacts their daily lives. And when weather turns dangerous, the TV may not be the first place they look. Alerting across multiple platforms is the way weather consumers expect to find out about severe weather. The trust consumers put into one screen directly impacts reliance on your others and therefore your company’s ability to grown in the future.
As for the perceived increased workload in a multi-screen world? Make your weather systems do more for you. It is vital to eliminate duplicate, discrete processes in the forecast creation and publication process. Extra steps are opportunities for error. There is more than efficiency at stake—viewers will see any inconsistency in your output and penalize you for it. A properly implemented weather solution is a central hub that enables you to build your forecast once and then automatically format and distribute it to any screen, whether it’s a web site, mobile device, or broadcast graphic.
Making multi-screen into more than a costly experiment is a serious challenge for media companies. So, go ahead and shrug your shoulders, but, make it a knowing shrug and show them that weather means multi-screen business.