Major League Baseball Knows The Internet Is Over
Opening Day is finally here. And I am set up to see every single game, thanks to my recent subscription to MLB.TV. Over the past few years, Major League Baseball (MLB) has evolved their premium content distribution strategy to be broadcasted among MLB Network, MLB.com, iTunes and MLB.TV. Collectively, these platforms offer baseball fans the opportunity to be part of every MLB game, whenever and wherever they want. People can catch games at home on cable TV, watch them at MLB.com or live-stream video through the At Bat ‘11 or Apple TV applications. For $160, I can watch the entire baseball season through my iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or MacBook Pro. Let’s throw the iPod in too for listening to MLB Network’s podcasts.
My experiences with MLB triggered my memory back to an article written by The Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman titled The Internet Is Over. He describes people’s hyper-connectedness and media consumption behaviors as follows. “People herald the final disappearance of the boundary between ‘life online’ and ‘real life’, between the physical and the virtual. It thus requires only a small amount of journalistic hyperbole to suggest that the days of ‘the internet’ as an identifiably separate thing may be behind us.
Major League Baseball knows the Internet is over. As I interact with the MLB brand, I don’t think about whether I’m online or offline. And I expect the experience to be consistent across platforms. There’s nothing identifiably separate about it. I expect HD-quality video access to every single MLB game on my preferred device. The fact that I can make this happen with a few swipes across the iPad is truly amazing. It makes me fall in love with technology all over again. Well done, MLB.
Marketers need to pay attention to this. Staying focused on creating and thoughtfully distributing content is key to success now that the Internet is over. It also encourages marketers to think harder about the purpose of each of the different platforms (e.g., .com, social, mobile, TV) in more of an ecosystem-like fashion. It helps us connect the dots in today’s crazy fragmented world of communications. When brands successfully connect the dots, people don’t pay attention to whether they’re online or offline. They focus their attention on building a relationship with your brand and finding as many ways as possible to bring your content into their life. MLB is a great example of a brand doing it well and seem to have fully embraced the philosophy that the Internet is over.