It dawned on me, ITV has failed to capitalise on the Susan Boyle Britain's Got Talent phenomenon.
Why? Well because the TV station is too caught up in trying to make money. Overnight the starlet of the first show has managed to propel herself into not only the British public's consciousness, but somehow the American's as well, and in the process become undoubtedly the YouTube star of 2009.
Keen to see how Britons have talent, her 2 minutes of fame on what is, let's face it, "car crash TV" has for some reason been watched over 75 million times. Now I am not for one minute saying that she didn't sound good, I am one of those 75 million watchers and can tell you she sings as good as the best of them.
Of course the secret here is that she isn't a stunner, and so shocked the judges, including Simon Cowell, into thinking that she wouldn't be any good. Book, cover, judge, etc...
So a week later we find that the she is the biggest YouTube sensation since OK Go and that crazy treadmill dancing that has now been relegated to appearing in poor ad homages. Great I hear you say, well great for Susan, she is now a known face within the YouTube community and will no doubt pick up YouTube clip of the year award later on, but what of ITV?
Well, while you would think that ITV would be counting the ways it could spend the cash that it has earned from the popularity of this little clip, after all Susan would have no doubt signed an agreement before appearing on the show giving all rights, etc, over to the TV station, it seems it's been too slow to capitalise on the wonders of the Internet.
Whatever you say, any web only company would kill to have a viral campaign like this pushing all that traffic to their site.
Unfortunately, the actual result is that of those 75 million views on YouTube, only a measly 1.5 million a day have supposedly gone on to visit ITV's website. That's less than a quarter of all viewers.
To make things worse, according to The Times newspaper they seem too busy bitching about advertising opportunities on YouTube. So much so that all this time no adverts have been shown to visitors, losing them, The Times estimates, a tabloid healthy haul of almost £1.5 million.
That's right, it seems ITV, who outside of the UK have zero brand awareness (even Apple was going to call Apple TV iTV because it had no idea) are too hung-up with making money the old fashioned way. It seems they would rather fight YouTube over ad rates, than make any real cash in the window they have - i.e., before the Susan Boyle phenomenon fizzles out.
By the time that they do work out what is going on it will be too late, the moment will have passed, the boat will have left.
Strategic thinking and all that I hear you cry, but it's not about that, it's about the shift to formats that traditional media are having, not only to understand but push back against. 10 years ago, ITV hadn't even heard of YouTube let alone the Internet and now they are having to try and control something that has caught them out.
Now zoom out to the bigger picture and you can see why "old media" is struggling in a digital world. It seems they just struggle to understand.
The Internet - it will never catch on you know.