Colliding Worlds of Media Bring Challenges and Opportunities

Chris Hogue

It?s no secret that when it comes to media consumption, worlds are colliding.? Video consumption (VOD and live) is increasing among all customer segments and across all connected devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptops, set top box).? At the same time multi-tasking continues to occur more and more frequently.? According to a 88% of tablet owners and 86% of smartphone owners in the US use their devices while watching TV.

So in an environment like this, how does a network drive more tune-in to broadcast programming ? and then keep those new viewers (and existing ones) engaged throughout the show?? As a client partner at Roundarch Isobar this question was recently posed to me by my client.?? Our response was, ?How are you defining ?network???

It may seem like an odd response at first but remember that networks are oriented around delivering programs to the TV only.? They have traditionally done a good job creating entertaining programs to be consumed in a singular (watch) mode on those TVs.? The revenue and ad models that support this industry are also based on this same mode of interaction so it?s no surprise that most of their focus is driving viewers into a singular (watch) experience. And everything else is ancillary and meant to support that activity.

In our view, to be successful, you have to start by deciding how to redefine the network.? In this experience economy we define a network as a continuum or ecosystem.? Instead of crafting separate experiences for TV, web and mobile that drive tune-in to TV, it must operate as a connected experience, with each medium enhancing the others.? Viewers should be able to experience everything in a single medium, move seamlessly through all mediums, or use multiple mediums at the same time. You empower the viewer to consume the content in the way that most connects with them at any time.? The more interaction within and across mediums, the more richness and depth the viewers experience.

Content is still king and if a program isn?t entertaining, you?re dead in the water.? However, the way you experience and engage with content can make all the difference for competitive programs.? Most experiences are still siloed.? Watch on TV. ?Engage in social media and VOD on the web or companion app.? Little attention is paid to differentiation for advertisers or locational and situational awareness of the viewer.

Contextual clues can be gathered in many ways and these clues create the possibility to effectively tailor the experience.? If someone is on a tablet and opens your show?s app half way through an episode that is currently on air, they are probably looking for a different experience than someone who opens it at 9am in the morning.? For the person who is opening it half way through, why not give them the opportunity to get caught up with what has been happening in the episode so far.? Highlight information related to that episode or offer deals and general information on products advertised so far.

Alternatively, for the person who opens the app at 9am and begins watching last night?s episode, why not offer them unique ways to engage with advertisers in that medium.? For example, instead of recycling the same inventory, let the viewer choose his or her own ad.? It?s beneficial for all parties.? The viewer sees the advertisement for the product or service that they are most interested in, and/or is the most entertaining in their view, the selected advertiser gets an impression from someone interested in their product or service, and the advertiser not selected does not waste an impression on someone who is not interested in their product or service at that particular moment.

Driving people to tune-in is a big opportunity and a whole different bag of tricks.? But the key to keeping new and existing viewers is to engage them and give them what they want, when they want it, where they want it across and in unison with all channels.