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The Paralysis  of Choice

Written by Michael Maximillian Moss
Co-founder & CEO at Nova A.I.

London, UK, (18 June 2021)

In Today's panel at Promax Europe, we've looked at the current landscape at the point of viewing.

Empowering consumers with a lot of choice sounds like a great idea but leaving them without any “infrastructure” to make a decision about the relevant content, makes it difficult to reach the right audiences?

Do you remember TV Guides? Just as ancient sailors used the stars to navigate oceans, primitive audiences utilised sheaves of printed paper to plan their evening's entertainment. As elusive as lunar cycles or rare fauna, desirable programmes could only be found on certain days, at certain times. Careful planning went into seeking them out.

These days, sofa cruises leave the port without any maps at all, thrusting into the vital maelstrom of content like foolhardy buccaneers. But with great reward comes high risk: consumers who once were expert hunters are now falling prey to an overwhelming wealth of options which paralyses their ability to choose. The pleasure of selecting from a small, defined pool has been replaced by the anxiety of an endless list of possibilities.

No longer confronted with a static sequence of programmes, the process of choosing what to watch has become part of the watching. Platforms which realise that their selection interface is as much part of the viewing experience as the programmes themselves have the edge over platforms which are still living in the age of the TV Guide. Because what could be more natural than choosing what to watch? Letting it choose you.

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