Readers, here’s something interesting for you. It’s only recent that Australian Center for Broadband Innovation developed a technology. The technology streamlines tweets above the telecast image of a particular TV show. Work started off with the finding that tweets on a certain Q&A program had been uploaded from 75000 accounts since 2009.
The news is interesting, but not as much as the speculation, followed by. We know that social viewing apps are in talk these days. But we also noticed some limitations in these applications; one of them is that these applications expect users to watch TV more, whereas users want something, which would make conventional way of watching TV less of a need.
No commercial please…
Users nowadays want to watch personalized TV content. What are their options? Well, personal and digital video recorders are there as well as on demand TV. These technologies, particularly on demand TV allow viewers to enjoy control over the TV content. But what does ‘control’ mean in this context? Viewers will have freedom of choice and they’ll watch what they want to watch.
Viewers could download the content from broadcaster’s websites. Those broadcasters can integrate advertisements into the programs. So, viewers will have to come upon advertisements. But at the same time, they can skim through those ads unlike commercials appearing during a live telecast.
Henceforth, broadcasters can’t be certain that advertisements will be watched by viewers, and for brands, it could mean final nail in the coffin because reaching out to viewers will be conditional.
Brand benefit in a changing scenario
As on demand TV puts a question mark after brand benefit, a new and more viable platform for advertisement is required. Such a platform has to incorporate changes in TV watching behavior. This is the area where ACBI’s technology falls short. It depends upon conventional TV viewing.
An application that secures brand interest in the framework of personalized TV viewing, must offer viewers their due freedom. One might say that if viewers are to choose between watching ads and not watching ads, then they will go with the latter. Thus, doomsday for brands is just ahead with spread of on-demand media consumption habit.
It’s not fully true. We need to understand the psychology of on demand TV viewers. In most cases (as reported in surveys also), they want to catch up with the live shows, BUT, in a controlled way. Let’s say you are watching live telecast of a soccer match. How much freedom of choice you have over the viewable content? None, and you’d literally beg the channel to show you a replay. Isn’t it?
But with on demand TV, you can watch a replay as many times as you want. Thus, users aren’t just catching up, but in customized ways too.
A loophole of advertisement on electronic channels is that it hardly recognizes its audiences. Just think…an airlines company’s advertisement is running, and it’s being viewed by someone, who doesn’t have a wallet to hire a cab. Then again, advertisement of an adult product is being watched by a kid.
Thus, there’s no point if advertisement doesn’t follow at least some degree of personalization. On-demand TV and alike technologies could offer brands a chance to cash in on this personalized atmosphere and make advertisement focused on varying segments of users.
The creative blitzkrieg
Doesn’t it sound more like online ad model? Yes. On the online spectrum, advertisements are to be creative enough to capture the attention of the users.
Web users don’t have patience. Probably, 5 to 6 seconds is what they are going to spend watching your advertisement. If you’re lucky enough, then it could go up to 10 seconds. Not to mention, they always have the chance to skip advertisement. So, it’s hostile and creativity is the only thing to save you. Similarly, the more control viewers will enjoy over the TV content, the more independent they will become. And it will become difficult luring them.
The truth is, we all have an inclination towards advertisement. Without advertisement, how’d one know which products are rocking the market?
So, advertisement will continue to exist. But incisive changes in their content and presentation will take place. And the content will prioritize creativity.
Opportunities for small brands
Small brands usually couldn’t compete with big brands, but if use of internet TV or on-demand TV increases, it’s an opportunity for them. They can get more visibility than what electronic outlets have been offering them.
We believe internet TV and social viewing apps have a role to play here. Zeebox, being such an application, picks up references of shows and put up ‘Zeetags’, infotags that let users know about brands, related to the show. These apps could lift references of small brands? This way, viewers will come to know about those less-known brands.
This is how a social viewing app could contribute something to personalized TV viewing. By exploring potentials of small brands (which hasn’t been explored so far) in the background of on-demand/internet TV viewing, these apps could show a new direction to brand endorsement.
The existing concept of brand benefit bases itself on spending more and more cash. So, if expected amount of return isn’t fetched, purpose of making the commercial gets lost. Use of social viewing apps could cater to user-generated and creative ad content. It puts more emphasis on the aspect of bespoke and enhanced experience on the part of users.
ACBI’s technology, which we acknowledged in the first paragraph, doesn’t at all have such prospect. It’s too banal and predictable.