We will laugh when we tell our kids we had to watch Ads!

ImageWe will laugh at the idea of having to sit through an Ad we didn’t want to watch in years to come. The likes of CBS, who recently downgraded an award to DISH for their Hopper product (a product that allows the viewer to skip Ads) by influencing the CNET panel, will need to change their views and fast.

 Perhaps people have not noticed but the beginning of the end for being forced to sit through Ads is already underway. Google is building a business on the back of skippable Ads. It is a mere skip and a jump before that model is rolled out to TV. It’s not just Google though. We have all got used to fast forwarding through Ads on our PVR’s. There are companies like DISH, with their Hopper product, making it a central offering.  Even online Apps usually have a premium or Ad subsidised version. Other companies, for example SpotXchange, have rolled out account based solutions where users can pay to skip ads. The concept of not watching Ads you do not want to watch is entering our ecosystem like water pouring through a leaking dam. No matter how you try and plug the leak, the tide is turning and before we know it the idea of forced Ad viewing will be a thing of the past.

 Consumer opinion eventually is paramount. This is not about not watching ads, it is about watching ads that are relevant and entertaining. As viewers get used to skipping ads and companies offer that as an option in a new medium, like TV, consumers will turn there first. The DISH example in the US will be an interesting one to follow. When PVR’s were first launched, the whole industry was very nervous about them and the implications. But we coped. Google’s skippable Ads is a fantastic model for them with incredible CPM’s on ads that are watched through to the end. It works for them. Advertisers also like the idea of paying for real user viewership. The challenge therefore is for advertising to improve (please no more perfume Ads following the same old, superficial format) and for the delivery mechanism to improve.

 This is all fine for online, but TV? No way! Well in case anyone had missed it, TV is changing. The mechanisms through which we watch TV are changing and the way content is being consumed and distributed is changing. Addressable advertising across multiple devices is already under way in Alpha and Beta tests. Ads will become adserved which will allow better targeting and if targeting improves, the response will be better and consumers will appreciate the relevance. If we can do this well then who is to say that the Google business model will not suddenly look attractive to broadcasters?

 Importantly we will question this idea of ‘extra value’ in TV, which is code for wastage as opposed to actually buying the audience we want. An Audience On Demand offering could quickly be applicable in TV. So if we can combine adserving technology, with proper targeting and importantly measurement (let’s not get in to that today!) and sprinkle some consumer boredom with relevant advertising, we are well underway to a world where we tell our Children that; ‘yes they made us sit through five pre-roll ads before we were allowed to see the programme we wanted to watch’ – ‘and at a time dictated by them’! A crazy notion.

Blog also ran on Digiday – http://www.digiday.com/agencies/skippable-ads-are-a-good-thing/

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