We’ve probably all heard about it, “The Hopper,” the technology in DISH Network’s new box that lets you skip ads (off prime hours) and to record oodles of hours shows, etc., etc..
The initial offering to the public upset advertisers to some degree, since ads are the lifeblood of TV and the advertisers clients. Advertisers have sued, but the courts aren’t buying into the lawsuits. Yet.
But at the moment, it seems DISH is trying to make up to the adverts and is planning on letting them access their streaming data from a feature called “What’s Hot Now” from their boxes.
This feature will show what folks are watching, pinpointing what’s being watched the most. Then DISH is going to let advertisers bid to advertise in those times/slots.
Before you freak out and say, “Hey!,” keep in mind that this kind of data tracking is nothing new at all. In fact it’s been around ever since the advent of that thing called the computer network server.
We all remember the Janet Jackson Super Bowl oops when TiVo reported how viewership paid attention to that moment and became the most replayed moment in their history. (Still is.) Then suddenly, because people weren’t thinking about it much, they were taken aback when they heard this news bite.
But if you step back and think about it, all of our electronic entertainment venues these days are nothing but computer streaming content. Your Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, smartphones, cable TV comes to you via that digital world of computers that are served over computer networks. And the servers that serve networks, ALWAYS have logs and record lots of stuff.
So when you have an entertainment venue like Satellite radio, cable TV or streaming content serving your eyes and ears, all that is being noted. Whether anyone wants to tally up the data is another thing.
But then again, that data is very valuable to the adverts. This content is why advertisers drop double digit billions on ads per a single TV season. Because they know who is watching what and how to target them.
Plus, ads work. (That’s the sad part to me.)
For the time being though, the majority of advertising fodder lies within the Nielsen families and their watching habits. At least, that is, until they figure out how to better monetize everything digital. And you know that as time goes on, that day is coming.
With VoD, we have lost our ability to fast forward so we have to endure the ads (or hit mute). Online, there’s no getting around those little ad insertion modules.
And even now, Nielsen is saying that the number of online/streaming/internet users is starting to rival that of TV owners. Even if folks are using more TVs than ever before. (But I have to wonder if that’s because our TVs are now in touch with our Netflix or Amazon streaming accounts?)
Did you know?
Per Nielsen, consumers spent an average of almost 145 hours per month watching TV. Versus just over 28 hours a month on a computer. But then the subtle numbers say that there are 212 million “active” internet users versus 289 million TV owners.
Though the numbers don’t seem that comparative, to be honest, that’s huge because the internet/streaming consumer numbers are growing. And the networks ability to monetize those consumers is, IMHO, a big target.
But then there are efforts like when the production or distributors of Person of Interest bars that show from airing on any VoD service. They have a good show and they are trying to keep the monetization from being diluted by free post-airing showings.
If this Person of Interest experiment truly works to help drive up sales of renting episodes or buying the seasons on DVD/Blu-ray, it could herald a horrible new era in television consumption.
An era when you won’t be able to sit and wait for the VoD version of last night’s (or last week’s, for FX shows) to pop up. You either have to record it with your DVR (Another digital tracking device) or wait until reruns later on in the TV season or later that week. (That’s me.)
And I haven’t even tried to touch on the new era of smartphones and TV. I’m leaving that one for another day.
If you like huge, confusing graphics about stats, check out this Nielsen Blog Media Universe Info Graphic.