McDonald’s wants you to stop and sit a spell. They also would like you to watch television, and buy products online as you munch on your fries and slurp your McCafe Frappe Mocha.
Unlike Starbuck’s digital network that broadcasts via customer’s iPad or laptop, McDonald’s “M Channel” will be available via flat screen televisions placed throughout the restaurants.
The fast food leader is installing flat screen televisions in 700 restaurants, test-marketing their “M Channel” television network to broadcast their own programming—a mix of news, sports and entertainment. It also has programming that will direct viewers online for shopping or other opportunities.
The concept of an in-house network broadcasting across a crowded room of people feels a bit past-its-expiration date. Starbucks seems to have the more modern solution.
The flat-screen TV model appears to assume that consumers will want to linger and watch programming sharing the screen with a room full of strangers. The online shopping component assumes that consumers have computers, so why not use the Starbucks model and broadcast online?
According to an AP article, Lee Edmondson spent more than eight years developing the concept for McDonald's. Perhaps that's it, eight years ago the concept may have felt new, but eight years later, technology and the competition has swept by McDonalds.