Slowly but surely, through careful experimentation and continuing technology development, the major media companies are starting to see the framework for their future business models emerge.
At the Cable Show in Chicago this week much of the interest shifted from content to technology. Tablets were being shown everywhere and programmers were blasting their intention to offer their content on every platform in creation. A picture emerged of an ecosystem in which a tv network could serve video ads differently on every platform, using interactivity, related text and images and even the ability to tether ads from one platform to another (for those of us who multitask and have our IPad or Phone out while watching TV.
The most interesting demonstrations came from technology companies that were part of a new universe of businesses that were building the new video advertising infrastructure. For the first time there were demonstrations of multi-tiered systems that were able to not only serve video advertising across several platforms, but could also allow for coordinated multi-media messaging, which begins to look like the future of advertising.
Like the television programmers themselves, who are trying to learn multi-platform storytelling, advertisers are trying to perfect their own storytelling. They are trying to figure out how they can use multiple platforms to tell their business story more efficiently and powerfully. Some nifty new technology is getting them close.
While watching a program on a cable box, we saw what looked like a traditional car ad come up during the commercial break. Only this time a button popped up on the bottom of the screen telling us that if we wanted to see much more information and more video about that car, we could click on the button and either see it on the screen, while pausing the show, or bring it up on a screen of our IPad or phone which we might have with us while we are watching TV.
The car company got to show a traditional commercial, some banner-like text and also give the reader a chance to dive much deeper into the experience immediately by seeing much more information on their IPad or Android Tablet, even with the show still running on the big screen.
The system as demonstrated will both give the advertiser the opportunity to target specific ads to specific tv viewers, AND enhance the ad with text and additional video or other images. It would allow an advertiser to offer significantly more detail and information to viewers who got interested in what they just saw. It’s clearly both a targeted and enriched experience that will be worth much more to an advertiser than a one-way broadcast ad.
For the first time television programmers can see a world where they can monetize their viewers and all the platforms those viewers use. This will come just in time, as at least one major network found itself in an interesting situation about a month ago. A couple of NBC shows apparently were view MORE by people accessing the show on digital platforms than on the air when they were first aired. Consumer power to watch whenever they want is growing every day.
The system I saw demonstrated also allowed the advertiser to view a dashboard watching the resulting response to their advertising on multiple platforms, including Ipads, Android phones and tablets, and even the old reliable 60″ plasma.
Brace yourself for the new world of tv advertising.