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In an On-Demand World can Advertisers and Audiences Co-Exist?

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since my last post. It’s been a busy summer in the media biz (which is good!) and I’ve neglected this blog. The good news is that I am working on a little article about advertising’s role in on-demand media. Here’s a quick preview…

Unlike fidgety television audiences, Hulu.com‘s online viewers will gladly sit through 30-seconds of pre-roll advertising in exchange for the convenience of free, on-demand content. In a recent blog post, permission marketing expert Seth Godin agreed that today’s viewers will gladly pay attention to advertising “only if it’s anticipated, personal and relevant”. Too bad our current broadcast television technology fails to offer advertisers and audiences the relevance and personalization needed for the two groups to happily co-exist.

What do you think about the role of advertising in or around on-demand video content? Is it a necessary evil or do targeted ads complement your viewing experience? Post your comments!

 

Who Wants to Pay for Something that’s Free?

May 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Critical move by M2 Universal (one of Canada’s largest media planning companies) to explore the fee for carriage issue facing the Cdn television industry.

“According to M2’s April 2009 online survey of 1,000 Canadians, 42% said they would cancel their conventional channels rather than pay any more for them”  (http://www.mediaincanada.com/articles/mic/20090505/feeforcarriage.html)

 Of course consumers would have this reaction when asked to pay for something they’ve been getting for free for so long. What I feel is missing here is the reaction that respondents would have when asked if they would SHARE in the costs for Cdn programming (i.e. local news) with the DISTRIBUTORS of television in Canada.

Cable and satellite service providers like Bell, Rogers and Videotron are those distributors – they (like many industries) take a product, package it and serve it up to consumers for profit. But in the case of Canadian television, cable and satellite distributors have been given a free pass that has protected them from having to pay for the Canadian programming like CTV and Global that they distribute to paying customers. They also can choose to carry or not carry local stations at their discretion (i.e. Montrealers on Bell do not have access to Global Quebec)

Let’s look at this from a different industry’s POV – the sale iPods (in Canada, not that it matters). Apple produces iPods and sells them to retailers like Best Buy. So what happens if Apple goes through a rough patch, profits dip and production costs eat up more of the company’s sales revenue? Apple would then have to raise the price that it sells iPods to distributors like Best Buy. And we all know what Best Buy would do – raise shelf prices in a way that would aim to achieve maximum profit by balancing price and promotion. That’s marketing 101.

Now ask iPod owners if they would be willing to pay $25 more than the same iPod they bought a month ago. The answer would be “NO”. This is exactly the problem that the Canadian broadcasters, cable / satellite service providers and TV viewers in Canada are in. And to make the situation even more tense, cable service providers have sworn to pass on any fees for carriage directly on to the end-consumer… this from the distributing industry that just LAST MONTH reported double digit revenue growth.

What do you think? Do Canadian broadcasters like CTV and Global should have the right to charge service providers like Bell and Videotron for Canadian television? And what should these distributors do in terms of subscription prices?

Reaching Viral Mass

April 28, 2009 1 comment

Every couple of months, a video comes a long that captures the attention of audiences around the world. Dove did it with Evolution…

Then came the cynics…

Reaching critical “viral” mass is not necessarily a slam dunk for a brand manager. Would-be attention grabbers beware.

In reply to Seth Godin’s post: Making commercials for the Web – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/04/making-commercials-for-the-web.html