Saturday, November 5, 2011

Targeting TV, How Google and Apple Changed Everything

Advertising on television has remained relatively unchanged forever, but the idea of a connected television has opened the door to so many new possibilites. Viewers have not only trained their minds to ignore irrelevant marketing, but DVR devices empower them further. This is a look at what the world of television could look like in the near future and the marketing potential it is soon to unlock.

It is hard to believe that only five years ago, Google and Apple’s entrance into the world of television was considered a hobby and the idea of a flexible display was still show and tell. A major turning point took place when Apple began developing televisions and Google started pumping high-speed internet into every corner of the country. The words throttling and bandwidth capping were prehistoric before they ever became mainstream.

So where does that take us to today (in the year 2016)?

Television producers now develop content that we subscribe to, circumventing many of the major broadcast networks and putting an emphasis on quality content that matches the lifestyles of the individual consumers. Instead of changing channels to piece together the entertainment that fits my needs, Google and Apple now feed shows that match my interests and viewing patterns into my custom channel. I am able to watch movies and shows with my friends across the globe, sharing comments and interacting with the show’s producers. Apple eliminated the remote control with its second iteration of its voice recognition software/personal assistant Siri, now with facial recognition to recognize who is in front of the TV.

How does everyone make money?

Apple has stood by its “pay-per-series “model while Google opts for the “all-you-can-eat” subscription model, but both are swimming in a new pool of customer data that has all but removed the guessing game of the old TV ratings model. This makes way for relevant content that matches nearly perfectly with the consumer they want to reach and allows customers to drag products off the commercial, or TV show, into a shopping cart. Much like Google Ad words were ordered in 2011, TV shows are now bid on and companies have closed the marketing loop, allowing them to see the impact of their brand placements and sponsorships. Gone are the days of the annoying commercials that interrupt your enjoyment, brand placements and strategic messaging now give consumers information they are actually interested in while being seamlessly tied into the show they are watching.

So, what would I have done if I had seen this coming five years ago?  I would have waited for the release of the Apple iTV before I purchased my next HD Television and, more importantly, I would have utilized my entertainment work experience and new Integrated Marketing master's degree from Northwetsern University to pursue a career in the world of streaming video. And what can you do to prepare for this future? An understanding of customer segmentation, digital analytics, and a passionate desire to view things from a customer perspective are no longer optional, they are a requirement.
by Evan Kroft (@ekroft)
Graduate Student at Northwestern University

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