It appears television companies and cable networks see a world where on-demand programming is supported by advertising. The current climate offers a different reality; advertisers, while intrigued and inquisitive, aren’t quite ready to commit. Different charging models are being tried as the definitive standard of measurement and remuneration. An example is the on-demand service offered by Channel 4. 4OD, originally a pay-per-view programming service is now a free “watch again” service, offering all C4 programmes on demand one week after their terrestrial broadcast. There is now a period of test and rollout for content provider and advertiser.
Experimentation with different advertising methods is rife across the many video portals on the Web, such as the “featured channel” sponsorship opportunities on Heavy.com and the traditional “ad break” of Comcast’s on-demand service. Measurement of viewing figures and consumer habits is paramount. By offering advertisers insight into consumer response habits and viewing preferences and then delivering content and ads based on those habits, marketers can make highly targeted advertising placements and informed marketing decisions.
Striking the balance between content and advertising is crucial. Many current methods are perceived to be disruptive; advertising creativity is a highly valued commodity in the on-demand arena so simply adding recycled TV spots rarely yields the best results. We hear the expression “content is king” time and again; here it’s absolutely true – development of content that people really want to see will be the catalyst for successful advertising. We are encouraging clients to try on-demand video. Placing existing video campaigns on sites such as YouTube isn’t going to change their marketing strategy, but it can offer insight and learning. With so much choice for consumers, it will be some time before we see a leading method of delivery and content coupled with a valued and robust advertising model. We must educate clients about the potential. This includes the benefit to their brand and the wealth of direct response opportunities it can generate. Ultimately it is the key to bringing them even closer to their customers.
James Lunn, Cheeze