The viewership space is changing by the moment as viewers themselves are increasingly and consistently engaging with content on their own terms. This is a result of diversifying device technology and the content-viewing habits such diversity supports. The over-the-top (OTT) emergence ensures that finding online content to your liking and making time to view it is wholly individualized in a way that
- liberates viewers from scheduling/programming constraints
- requires the strategic casting of a wider net on part of digital marketers.
That said, Genius Monkey has a few insights to share on programmatic advertising and how it relates to the latter item.
Escaping Obsolete “Best” Practices
It was once so easy. Well, easier than it now is. Audiences tuned in to scheduled programming, of which there was comparatively little, at prescribed hours of the day and could be reliably segmented by the types of content they were viewing. Strategic marketing didn’t really need to be all that strategic; everyone had a largely accurate picture of who was watching what, and when, and for how long. You weren’t serving ads to a demographic so much as positioning ads within a timeslot.
But with OTT now the unlegislated “law of the land,” that timeslot is effectively 24 hours each day. Content intake hours may vary from one market segment and region to the next, but what matters is that the days of homogenous viewership are never to return. Advertising measures must become as flexible in their conceptualization as content-viewing is in its realization.
A Forecast of Viewing Trends
So, what can we expect in the coming years? The answer is obvious to most, the response less so. We’ll see a lot more of what we’ve been seeing since the rise of OTT. Viewership will become increasingly segmented, tastes and habits more particular to the individual, and plenty of digital advertising dollars will be wasted on one-dimensional strategies unable to meet viewers where and when they view their chosen content.
This is not to suggest that some predictability and stable viewing trends will not eventually emerge. Many already have. Cultural events such as concluding episodes of popular television series will, of course, draw large audiences. But these audiences will not necessarily consume media in anything like a uniform capacity. Many will watch from their smartphones while waiting to board a flight. Others will watch from their laptops while hoping their colleagues won’t notice as much. And many will, yes, gather around a television set with friends to enjoy the experience in a group setting. But only on their own schedule. In response, advertising measures can either be dynamically responsive or effectively useless.
Correctly Understanding OTT/Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is nothing more than a further refining of age-old advertising practices. It is also nothing less than essential in the modern media marketplace. OTT affords people a level of customization that very much runs counter to conventional digital strategy. A programmatic response to customized viewing allows messaging/promotion efforts to keep pace with OTT viewership.
As media is coursing through millions of devices of every sort, and at all hours of the day, fossilized digital advertising methods are simply unequal to the task of reaching viewers where/when they engage with their preferred content. Genius Monkey’s video marketing services and products are fluently responsive to the realities of OTT; anything less would see our work falling short, as is true of so many others in the industry.