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WITH NETFLIX, YOUTUBE AND BROADCASTERS ALL FIGHTING IN THE RING, NO ONE WILL SEE BRANDS USURP THE AUDIENCE
Alex Hudson at BBC Click asks an interesting question; “is it time we started speaking of YouTube and Netflix in the same breath as the BBC and Sky?” Up until now internet TV has predominantly been in the hands of broadcasters who provide catch-up TV. Adjust Your Set and the IAB’s own research last year revealed that marketers thought “watching catch up TV” would be the most frequent activity on internet-connected TVs. Following the launch of Netflix in the UK the company has announced it will compete with subscription TV providers offering big sitcoms and films to UK audiences via internet enabled devices.
CES 2012 was a whirlwind of connected TVs. The latest technology innovation, increase in cloud services and faster internet speeds is allowing audiences to have greater freedom in the type of content distributed into their homes and the screens they watch it on. But while the technology has arrived, the content propositions are still in their infancy. Broadcasters until now have distributed scheduled programmes and catch-up services, but online-only content has not quite made that leap to our TV screens. The good news is that while the traditional media landscape has fragmented across different platforms, the cost of producing high quality video content digitally had reduced significantly with little to no loss of quality.
Research has shown that on average UK and US audiences spend four hours a day watching traditional TV, while they only view 15 minutes of content on YouTube. For audiences, online TV must provide more than an entertaining experience. Audiences want to be educated, they want to be able to engage with the content, interact with it and share it with their friends. This is why social video in 2012 has become so prevalent and where YouTube has dominated thus far. Coke-Cola went so far as to reveal their “new approach to the creative agenda of its key brands” in two videos posted online. These videos explain how Coke will leverage the opportunities of the new media landscape and transform one-way conversation into dynamic storytelling.
Connected TVs offer a platform for branded content strategies that provide a dynamic experience for audiences. This is where brands have found their niche. Brands are rapidly catching up with media owners to produce online branded content that can make the leap onto the larger screen. While Netflix and YouTube fight to retain rights over big-budget dramas and sitcoms and produce their own bespoke channels, brands will continue to take a share of the audience on internet TVs. Tim Weber at the BBC asks what e-commerce 3.0 will look like. He only needs to look at the apps beginning to appear on connected TVs to see how brands will engage and encourage customers to the point of sale.
As Devindra Harawar from Venture Beat said in the BBC article, “eventually consumers may not even be able to tell the difference between a show produced for TV and one made for YouTube.” So too will consumers not be able to tell the difference between brands own content and that of media owners.