The SciFi channel has obviously been playing its cards right when it comes to its new Battlestar Galactica series. They are not only offering a high quality, well-written science fiction show, they are offering a high quality, well-written dramatic series wrapped up in sci-fi trappings. They’ve not just trusted word of mouth and ordinary advertising to sell their show; they’vedone quite a few savvy things to market the show as well, even going so far, as some speculate, as to leak copies of the show to the US market in order to build buzz for BSG. It’s obviously worked, as BSG is, by far, the highest-rated show SciFi has ever aired. So compelling were the ratings, in fact, that NBC (the owners of SciFi) ended up airing BSG in prime time on their NBC flagship stations.
However, someone over at SciFi has apparently come to the realization that the US is increasingly a DVD-driven market, be it movies or television. An ever-growing portion of the US audience will actually wait until a series’ release on DVD to watch an entire season at once. As any DVD afficianado knows, most DVDs include behind-the-scenes, making-of documentaries and directors’ commentaries as extras in order to entice those who have already viewed the content to rent and/or buy the DVDs themselves. SciFi has taken this format an extra step: they are offering Ron Moore’s (the series’ director) audio commentaryin podcast form at the time of each episode’s release. This means that, should viewers choose to do so, they can receive the benefit of the creator’s insight at their discretion far in advance of any DVD purchase. While the podcasts in and of themselves are undoubtably a money-loser for NBC Universal/SciFi, they serve to further cement a rabid fanbase and perhaps draw other viewers in purely for novelty’s sake.
What a brilliant concept. I sure hope someone over at ABC is paying attention, as a Lost podcast commentary would, quite simply, rock.
(Incidentally, SciFi also offers the creators’ blogs, both in text and video form. Sweet.)