TV is no longer simply a Device – It’s an Experience.

At the San Francisco Bay Area Interactive Group meeting last week, David Verklin (formerly of Canoe Ventures and Carat North America, currently with Calera Capital) discussed the future of our industry. Much of his focus was on the paradigm shifting as a result of other “sensors” creating new sources of data, while providing new avenues for ad delivery.  His statement “Television is no longer a device, it is an experience,” got me thinking about how TV, as it is referred to by viewers younger than 18, will potentially drive the delivery of ad messaging across a number of platforms for many years to come.

For the last 18 years or so, the innovation in the advertising industry has come from the Internet. There is absolutely no debating this fact.  During this period, some proclaimed the death of television, but  that was myopic. Television has not died. As a matter of fact, the money going into TV advertising continues to rise, CPMs continue to increase, and TV is still the basis for most water-cooler discussions.  If anything, the Internet has made some TV shows stronger hits by being a forum for viewers to share opinions on their favorite shows. TV is not dead, but it is most certainly evolving.

Talk to someone over the age of 18 or 25, and they’ll delineate a line between Internet video and television.  Talk to someone under that age range, and they’ll say they’re watching TV, even if they’re viewing it on an iPad or iPhone. They do not delineate the difference — it’s all one single experience to them. 
As publishers come to realize this, they’re also starting to realize video is the primary content vehicle that will drive the monetization of these new, mobile-focused platforms.  Video — or TV — content will be consumed more and more on these devices, and the ad format will drive the monetization of these platforms as well. 

This means TV could become the source for innovation in the development of new ad formats that will provide marketers with a way to deliver targeted messages.  Whether it’s a new format or new pricing models, TV content on mobile devices could become the most important ad battleground of the next 10 years!

Of course I’m not 100% willing to concede the future of innovation to the TV publishers.  While they’re certainly coming into their own, they’re woefully behind in understanding how to put these models into action.

The underlying challenge there is data.  TV platforms need a massive infrastructure change in order to enable audience buying using data, within video content.  While you can currently use audience data to provide a better understanding of who your audience is, the execution of TV buys is a manual process with limited, if any, ability to truly deliver a segmented audience buy on existing TV platforms for cable and network TV. 

So what does this all mean?  It means our business is starting to work collaboratively with the TV business.  It’s becoming clear the Internet has achieved its seat at the table from a strategy perspective — and if you fast-forward just a couple of years, you can see the Internet as the infrastructure behind all media planning and buying, including TV. 

It’s nice to have some validation, but don’t rest on your laurels.  This is when things get really interesting. 

By Cory Treffiletti
Cory, senior vice president of marketing, BlueKai, is a founder, author, marketer, and evangelist.
Courtesy of MediaPost

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