Posted by The TV Team,
Dec 14, 2011
It’s a well-known fact that the media landscape is an ever-shifting, ever-evolving terrain.
This truism has never been more the case than with the latest developments to the humble television box. Innovations such as Smart TVs and the introduction (or perhaps intrusion) of Google and Apple into the TV arena, along with the increasing trends of catch up TV, are causing considerable changes in the TV marketplace. There are, however, divisions over the direction and pace of these changes. The TV industry is split on where to stand: which opportunities are the right ones to grab hold of and which ones may leave an advertiser adrift?
If this wasn’t enough for the TV industry to mull over, Virgin Media has recently announced another potential game changer with its addressable advertising service (herein AAS). The cable provider has beaten rival Sky media to the punch, announcing that the service will be available on VOD in the 2nd quarter of 2012 with linear TV following in Q3. AAS will allow advertisers to target individual households across the entire Virgin Media platform, using customer’s postcode, age and viewing packages to distinguish and target their desired audience. Furthermore, Virgin are believed to be in discussion with retail partners and marketing company Experian about combining data, allowing AAS to further segment a given audience. As of yet, it is not known whether AAS will work on an opt-in or opt-out basis for customers.
In hot pursuit, Sky‘s rival AdSmart service is currently available on the Sky Player but is believed to be launching on linear TV come 2013. In March this year the broadcaster wrote to its 10 million customers informing them about the qualities and benefits of Adsmart in an attempt to reassure them following recent negative press about data capture and the privacy issues that engulf it. Indeed many consumers are asking, should advertisers be able to target me directly?
These ethical conundrums are just part of a whole band of queries over what this new entrant to TV’s future will mean for both advertisers and customers. For instance, how will AAS, with its capacity to target consumers at a granular geographic level, affect the current system of geo-targeting? Will the power to pin point esoteric audiences lead an advertiser to switch from ITV’s current micro-region system or will the new innovation free up the market for even smaller companies or indeed niche brands to gain exposure on TV?
Another consideration to address will be the impact that this will have on the big brands - the brands that initially saw the TV box set as their advertising mecca believing that it would grant them a mass reach and enviable brand prestige. Matthew Kershaw, content director at BBH, points out that the big brands will see this new concept of TV advertising as another form of direct marketing and he questioned to what degree this would actually be useful to a big FMCG brand.
Have your own say on the questions posed within this piece. Do you think that this will be a defining game changer for TV and eventually lead to individual households having tailor made ad breaks, subsequently leading to a cooling off of the much clichéd ‘water cooler moment’. Perhaps however you feel that this is just another turning cog to be added to the changing TV machine?
Written By Joe Kinchin