It is no surprise to see that digital distribution of all media products has become the de facto standard for distribution of media content, particularly for shorter videos such as PSA messages. It is less expensive; it provides better quality; and most important of all, it is how the media wants to receive programming content.

First let’s define the terms. Digital distribution (also called digital content delivery, online distribution, or electronic distribution), is the delivery of media content online, thus bypassing physical distribution methods, such as video tapes, CDs and DVDs. In additional to saving money on tapes and disks, digital distribution eliminates the need to print collateral materials such as storyboards, newsletters, bounce-back cards, etc. Finally, it provides the opportunity to preview messages online, and offers media high quality files for download.

The “Push” Distribution Model

Today, the standard way for stations to get PSAs in the digital world is to go to a site created by the digital distribution company and download them from the “cloud.” Using a dashboard that has been created for PSAs, the media can preview the spots and download both the PSAs, as well as digital collateral materials such as storyboards, and traffic instructions. This schematic shows the overall process flow for digital distribution. In this model we push TV PSAs out to the media, primarily by the Extreme Reach platform, which is the world’s largest database of media assets. Once uploaded, the media can search for the creative they want by various methods and then download broadcast quality programming. In addition to the actual PSAs, the media can also download other content such as storyboards and Traffic Instructions which provide the AD ID Code for each PSA to the person at the station handling the download.

The “Pull” Distribution Model

To provide more control over digital distribution, Goodwill Communications has its own digital distribution download site called PSA Digital.™

On the site, the media can preview PSAs, access background information on the campaign, view current and past PSA campaigns and download Nielsen encoded files.

Role of Promotion

Since digitally distributed PSAs no longer go directly to the TV PSA decision maker, promotion is more important than ever, to ensure that the media know whereto download PSAs. Here are some of the tactics we use to promote our client campaigns:

  • Using blast emails such as the one shown here to let stations know where they can download PSAs
  • Posting our client PSAs to our branded You Tube site called: PSA USA

  • Posting client PSAs to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Spot Center download site to give the messages external credibility
  • Sending storyboards, hard copy promotion mailers and TV Traffic Instructions to media decision-makers
  • Finally, and most importantly, we have our outreach specialist personally contact national networks to pitch our client PSAs to them

Unlike the old PSA distribution paradigm which was based on fairly routine ways of doing things, the digital world requires that we work harder to keep up with ever changing technology.

Just as Sir Aldous Huxley wrote in his groundbreaking novel in 1931 called Brave New Worlds, we must either embrace these new ways of doing things, or we will no longer be relevant, as change swirls about us.