Time Shifting and Advertising – WEB207June 7th, 2012 by Paula Lay
This week, we covered Television. Here is part 1 of my musings on the convergence of Television, time shifting and advertising.
Has your television viewing experience changed over your lifetime? Were you ever tied to the broadcaster’s schedule? Do you now use any of the available methods (personal recording or online catchup etc.) to time-shift your viewing to fit your own schedule?
Most definitely. I was a child who loved television in the afternoons – I’d race home to watch my favourite cartoons (or soaps as I got older!) so I could talk about them with my friends at school the next day. If you missed out on a show, you would also miss out on the conversation. So in a way, the scheduled broadcasts strengthened social ties based on a mutual program.
These days, I hardly watch television with the exception of live events, or big shows that announce winners (Eurovision!). There really is no way I could tie myself down to a show. I do get insomnia quite often, so I have shows that I have downloaded from the U.S. to keep me company at those times, as well as watching Australian shows online through the channels websites.
(Side note – see one of the factors why audiences need to watch shows? Give them something that they cannot wait for.. who is the winner? who will be eliminated? who is cheating on who? Talk about hooks..)
What do you think about the suggestion that flexible viewing will destroy the industry, because it means that advertisers cannot guarantee that viewers watch their advertisements? Have you noticed advertisers using new strategies to cope with people’s ability to fast-forward through advertisements and do you think these strategies will work in the longer term?
It will only destroy the industry if the industry doesn’t evolve. I watch plenty of Australian shows online – and they are broken up by ads. I would buy American shows online if they sold them to Australian audiences, but it means we fall out of the advertisers target audiences – so they geo-block us from accessing them. They could just charge a licence out to Australian advertisers to fill up advertising slots on US programs so that everyone is happy. I would happily pay for shows that I could watch instantly, was of high quality with the option of sub-titles and the ability to re-watch – if it meant as previously stated – that I could use my entertainment to reaffirm and strengthen my social ties. Where do I sign up for a subscription?
I also don’t know anyone who would sit through an advertisement today – without zoning out to check their mobile, check their e-mails, check their social networks. I went to a talk recently (Game Changers, presented by Creative Sydney as part of Vivid Ideas Exchange) on the changing digital industry, and it is said that Gen Y and future generations to come already have longer days than previous generations. Currently, Gen Y are creating 20 hour days where they are immersed in different forms of the digital landscape. This is because they are multitasking – watching TV while checking their text messages and chatting to their friends on Facebook. Advertisers will need to come up with new ways of engaging and reaching their target audiences, or be forever lost while their audiences race into digital black holes without them.