Triple Targeted

Say goodbye to television (I tossed all mine in the recycling bin several years ago … quite a liberating experience).

Broadcast TV’s days are numbered, though when it will fade into distant technology memories is uncertain. Market forces can never be denied, and we are witnessing new and highly profitable ways of wasting people’s time (seriously, have you ever seen an episode of The View?). Broadcast TV’s demise will come both from consumer preference and the profit motives of providers and advertisers.

Is there any way we can speed-up the process? Please!

Broadcasting has always been a limited medium. Necessary in pre-digital and bandwidth poor eras, broadcasting was expensive and required people to be couch-bound at specific days and times lest they miss their favorite mental gruel. The high cost of entry isolated many creative people and separated viewers from buckets of new and potentially tastier gruel. Even starting a local television station, much less a national network, was expensive beyond anyone’s dreams. Cheap satellite bandwidth and cable affiliations went a long way to dropping barriers to entry, but it still required herculean effort to launch a TV channel.

Now anyone with a PC can do it on YouTube, and low-budget blockbusters are appearing on the likes of Netflix.

As with all things, following the money will tell you what will be profitable in the future. Netcasting (to hijack the term) is the tsunami that will eventually relegate network television to has-been status. Already people of all ages are migrating to non-broadcast consumption (that my daughter and father both consume non-broadcast media is an indicator of how viable and rapid this shift is). There are a number of customer, vendor and advertiser advantages that make netcasting an inarguable next phase in the numbing of human minds:

Asyncronisty: People have complex lives and non-aligned schedules. Netcasting allows them to consume content at their leisure, which makes them a more obtainable audience (larger viewer share).

Social: Office water coolers were broadcast television’s social media, and were thus limited to whoever was at the water cooler. Netcasting has built-in social sharing, and thus drives consumption faster, wider and deeper.

Targeting: Since people happily give some information to providers like Netflix and Amazon, it is easier for providers to attract advertisers since they can precisely target ads to the viewer (my wife and I get different ads even when we watch the same program – I get truck ads and she gets beauty product ads).

Modeling: Providers teaming with advertisers are tying big data on the back ends to model viewer behavior and consumption, making everything from A/B testing to remarketing fast, cheap and effective.

Scale: Try to scale any of this with a broadcast model. You can’t.

Say goodbye to the likes of ABC, NBC and CBS. Punt Big Bird to Roku. Turn your cable provider into a cheap bandwidth vendor. Say hello to being tightly identified, monitored and tracked so that you are compelled into buying more than ever before … and loving it.


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