Kevin Goddess discusses the growth of online video and the opportunity for brand's willing to...
Consumers Are Taking Control of TV
The way audiences consume video is changing. Industry figures show that seven in 10 people around the world have access to a television. Yet the traditional broadcast and cable companies that have had a century-long monopoly on that audience are falling short in quenching the growing desire for dynamic access to relevant multimedia content.
In the U.S. alone, the number of unique viewers of online videos has climbed above 175 million per month. That figure surpasses Nielsen’s TV programming benchmark of 115 million households, while revealing how antiquated it is to measure engagement by homes rather than users.
The mainstreaming of Internet video use is developing a new kind of audience that has two core expectations: the ability to find the exact content they want at any time, anywhere, and the integration of a search function so they can find similar content at a click. While cable providers are hampered by old-fashioned programming formats, tech giants Apple and Google are vying to provide this audience with a new style of TV that meets those expectations.
The second-generation Apple TV went to market in September, giving purchasers access to on-demand movies, ad-free TV episodes and seamless integration with Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Although all of the functions are wrapped up in Apple’s simple, elegant hallmark design, critics point out that the closed and tightly controlled content channel hits users’ first expectation dead on, but misses the second almost entirely.
Enter Google’s TV product. This fall, the search giant rolled out plans for a set-top box that will overlay online search and browsing functions on the user’s existing TV or cable service. As Google says, “Television, meet search engine.” This approach complements cable providers’ technology instead of replacing it. However, it also opens the door for a new form of advertising to replace traditional 30-second commercial spots—meaning that search engine marketing and content-driven searches will soon be available to the living room audience.