VON: Viewing TV From Afar

    September 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Time and place shifting have become more important to people when it comes to viewing television. Tivo and other technologies indicate how this demand has shifted power slightly from the broadcaster to the consumer.

VON: Viewing TV From Afar
Exerting More Control OverContent Delivery

The discussion about such shifting took place at the Fall 2006 VON conference in Boston. Like the lyrics in the Queen song, media consumers want it all, at the exact time when they want it.

Thom Kozik“Not only is the consumer king but we don’t even know how they’ll rule yet,” said Thom Kozik, director of business development for Yahoo! Media Group. “The way video on the net is exploding you would be foolish to predict how this is going to be used by consumers.”

Larry Gerbrandt, senior VP and general manager for Nielsen Analytics, also acknowledge the change in consumer expectation when it comes to media like video. “The consumer has embedded in their mind that they can watch whatever is out there wherever they want when they want,” he said.

“YouTube came into national prominence from a Saturday Night live clip,” he continued. “The one thing a TV show wants is buzz. Networks are now using short form clips as a promotional tool.”

When it comes to television versus broadband, Kozik said a short-form clip couldn’t be an ad that will drive people to watch a TV show. At Yahoo, he has seen news clips from ABC News rank among the highest viewerships of any clips seen on his company’s video site.

Nancy Dunn, VP of ClipSyndicate, agreed, saying short-form and other certain types of formats will work online.

“For certain types of content in the PC environment, there is incremental value to reach audiences via syndication or other models,” Dunn said.

Apple’s debut of movie downloads from iTunes caught the panelists at the session off-guard. Gerbrandt thought the announcement was unusual because Apple tends to launch finished products, rather than something that is a work in progress.

(We’ll disagree here, since Apple did this last year with its TV episode download announcement. They started with ABC/Disney and it expanded from there. – David)

The advertising industry, particularly those on Madison Avenue that have been enriched for years by conventional broadcast ads, haven’t fully embraced the concept of online video advertising.

“The last person to this party is Madison avenue,” said Kozik. “I’m still fighting with agencies that simply want to take the 30 second ad from television and put it in front of web video clips.” That just annoys the consumer watching the video.

Dunn summed up that contention. “The relevance of the 30 minute network TV broadcast is not there anymore. It is a challenge to them to make us interested again.”

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.