Imagine sitting down to watch your favorite DVR'd show and enjoying continuous programming without having to fast-forward through the piles of commercials throughout the program. It's every television enthusiast's dream!
Well folks, the time (and the technology) have come. But what does that mean to traditional television advertisers and the networks that count on those media dollars?
The big talk in television advertising is about how the Dish Network now offers a DVR that enables consumer to watch shows without any commercials whatsoever. No fast forwarding necessary - the spots are already gone. Google it and you will find articles from WSJ, NYT and all the industry pubs.
It is interesting to see how the big networks are reacting. They have the ability to reject Dish and thereby Dish subscribers could be without programming on say, NBC for example. Fox has already responded by cutting Dish advertising from their network altogether. Black-listed like a wedding crasher. Ouch. I wonder if DirecTV will try to leverage this by making nice with the broadcast networks or if they will introduce a commercial deleting DVR as well. Right now, they are smart to sit back and watch.
Presently, this technology won't change anything with how we buy TV as a media shop. But if consumers scoop up this technology and it expands to DirecTV and cable, it absolutely changes everything. Especially for local television advertisers. At least the big national brands spending millions of dollars on the networks can afford to negotiate product placements, in-show endorsements and even have their products written into storylines.
I think this technology was inevitable. Corporate entities (i.e., networks and satellite companies) shouldn't control how consumers want to engage with media. But advertising dollars fund the production of those very shows consumers want to watch; without commercials. What to do?
Will free TV go by the wayside? Will all programming be watched solely on demand? Will advertisers become producers and start creating the programming so that they can be embedded however they want?
Will a new technology retarget television viewers when they turn off the screen? Imagine watching a sporting event and then on the way to the grocery store having a hologram ad for Pepsi shoot out of the sky onto your windshield recapping the game and offering you a discounted Mountain Dew. It could happen!
As fast as media and advertising is evolving and changing based on new technology, old school paradigms still rule the roost. Hence the networks crying foul at Dish. C'mon people. It's consumers that have changed and interact with media completely differently than even five years ago. The broadcasters have to change too. If there is value to the consumer (i.e., good programming), there must be a way to monetize it besides the old fashioned thirty second spots filling commercial breaks.
Instead of putting energy into fighting cool technology, spend some positive ways thinking about how to be innovative and meaningful.
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