A worldwide glut of digital advertising inventory — especially video advertising — may require platforms to consider drastic measures.
Here’s one of those dire prognostications: People being paid to watch advertising.
This isn’t a new idea. But now we have new crumbs of evidence. Perhaps the new world of digital advertising may be adding to the possible oversupply of advertising, especially video advertising inventory.
In reaction, traditional TV networks look to scale back their supply of prime-time and daytime advertising inventory. As yet, this hasn’t amounted to anything.
Now we have Hulu trimming its commercial breaks to 90 seconds, from breaks that were as long as three and four minutes.
TV networks have long heard complaints about glutted non-program inventory — national advertising, local advertising, promotion time. But they didn’t really move until the digital media world took off, especially around video.
For YouTube viewers, the longtime Google video platform has had the ability to “skip” the ad after a few seconds of its duration. That’s not something TV networks directly give viewers via a remote — not with live programming, anyway.
On-demand and time-shifted programming is another matter; we have fast-forwarding. Old-school efforts for the remote include the “mute” and channel-changing buttons.
We have already seen promotional value efforts that encourage viewers to respond with a specific direct-response commercials, using a code to make a discounted purchase by phone or website. Other digital platforms have started frequent flyer-like programs for particular TV viewing, both for advertising and program content.
Much of this comes as the Netflix model continues to thrive — ad-free, subscription-fee video platforms. It’s a bifurcated marketplace: Research shows consumers don’t like advertising, and will do anything to avoid it.
Conversely, consumers say they don’t mind advertising — as long as they don’t have to pay anything per month, or perhaps a low monthly fee, such as one for CBS All Access.
What about getting consumers more engaged in timely, relevant messaging? Yes. But define relevant — and then define timely.
This seems to runs headlong into touchy areas — like privacy. Getting to watch that Nissan Altima commercial — but you’ll get paid? Maybe then, modern consumers will ask the next question: What will it really be costing me?