June 1st, 2019

If you are a media source, how are you funded? Advertisers.

If Tesla doesn’t feel obliged to provide those media companies money, then why should they show loyalty to Tesla? Other car companies give advertising money. These companies can leverage the threat of removing these ad dollars. And if the ad dollars go away, with the rise of superior internet advertising, can legacy television afford to lose multi-million dollar contracts?

Those contracts fund network jobs. Jobs that are necessary to collectively pool content to engage audiences.

Everybody tied to the networks are losing. Tesla is proving that when your product is good enough, it sells itself. This is a big problem because they may have just set the bar too high. And as the saying goes, “if you can’t beat em’ kick em’ in the nuts.” Tesla has a car that on top of no need to advertise, they are a much lower cost to maintain, much lower cost to fuel, and that is just the beginning of their advantages.

Conflict arises when two parties want different things. Tesla wants to make amazing cars with no room for improvement to ensure survival. Other car manufacturers want to post record quarters and make more money, but Tesla threatens that by offering cars so compelling, it is disruptive to the other companies. Tesla grows and doesn’t spend millions. Others spend the same or increase spending on advertising to attempt to grow and it is not working. Tesla is selling a lot of cars. Now if you were a car company increasing your ad spend and selling less cars, would you be happy with that increased ad spend?

I think I would be tempted to pull my entire ad budget. It isn’t working and Tesla is proving it is not necessary to grow and their reason – to put that money into making better more affordable cars – makes a hell of a lot of sense.

The truth is, television ads are becoming worth less and less. Line of site has transitioned to cell phone and tablet in a big way. The ads are far more targeted online. The threats are Facebook and Google to the tele ad platform.

Car companies know the ad dollars are better spent online these days, so TV networks need ways to convince these big ad spenders to stick around.

Networks can’t get the same amount or more ad dollars with shrunken audiences and inferior means at getting the message out. Auto and Tele go way back. Back before Tivo allowed people to cut out or fast forward through commercials.

It’s all gone Pete Tong. TV networks and auto manufacturers have gone from crazy growth modes, to roller coaster rides through recessions, but now the disruption is hitting both sides really hard.

But what do they still have? A strong relationship with each other founded on billions in ad spends over the last century. They are on the same team. They can still turn this around, they just need more time and a solid plan. So what is the plan for TV networks to take on the major disruptors?

Well, it isn’t a new plan. It has been in the works for years and it has been carried out right before our eyes. They say even bad publicity is good publicity. So to keep Tesla from growing, they should make every effort to not talk about Tesla at all. But eventually something happens and it makes news. Maybe an Autopilot accident, or a Tesla fire. And what do you know? The ratings spike. The company you don’t want to mention is what everybody wants to hear about. So how do roll with this?

Well, if you have to say stuff, at least you can try to keep it as negative as possible. Better yet, manufacture speculation that makes Tesla look like they make dangerous products, that nobody wants. Make the CEO look like a menace. Make the quality of the product look bottom of the barrel. If you can keep a negative narrative like that going, it will surely destroy the company right?

Unfortunately, this negative attention has only made Tesla better. They quickly fixed panel gap issues. They not only made cars as safe as possible structurally but they constantly improve them with over the air updates.

It’s a pretty natural consequence that main stream media and legacy auto eventually team up when threatened to keep the money flowing as best they can. So they will do what they can to preserve that.

The next time you hear, “will Tesla go to a $0 stock?”, think about the survival of the threatened companies that are depending on this narrative to hopefully become a reality to ensure survival through this disruptive time.

Who are you betting on?

Posted In:

Disruption
Speculation
Tesla

June 1st, 2019

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am TSLA long. I do not fear uncertainties and doubt. Numbers matter. Their i'n't e''ry word I gunna get edit'n'.