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The second session I attended was the Online and Mobile Media session, which was a panel discussion moderated by Robert Montgomery, CEO of Achilles Media.
In the panel were Kurt Kratchman, Chief Strategy Officer of Schematic, John Hadi, CEO of Brand in Hand, and Jeffrey Stier, Director of Business Growth at J. Walter Thompson’s Sector 7.
Early on, it was said that this session should have been entitled, “show me the money”, as it focused on how and why people are monetizing digital media.
The discussion started off with how television has moved to the web, with ABC being the first to jump on board with both feet and present full episodes via their website. It was an aggressive move for ABC, but they saw a return of fifteen times their investment in only nine months.
The online advertising platform has allowed them to create interactive, and interesting advertising that is nearly a website on top of the video.
It reminded me of intrusive advertising in the past, but I believe, unlike with most text content, users will be willing to deal with such advertising to enjoy their favourite television and video programming online.
What they did say though is that putting a thirty second spot, in the middle of a video is no good, as users don’t connect with the advertisement, and find it annoying.
This is something well known to most people though, as even television users continue to shun the thirty second spot, by skipping it on their TiVo like devices.
It was also noted that the web is better for advertisers than many other mediums as you could control what time of day things are show, as well as making sure to push each user to local contacts, distributors and dealers.
Another point that resonated well with me was that the “pay for download model is basically dead” including subscription models. Personally, I think what Revision3 did with their members getting premiere access, and bonus features is very close to a normal subscription option, but they found a way to make it work. I think other video services, could also do something in this space to innovate, and I look forward to seeing what happens over the coming years.
In the sixties, you could reach 80% of the population by putting a sixty second advertisement on the top three television networks. Today, it would take 120 prime time commercials to produce a similar result.
Virtually no one today is able provide any form of playback, or details from the ads they have seen without some form of aide, be it visual or otherwise.
Basically, it looked to me like all of these people knew that the online space, be it video or otherwise is very exciting, and while they are trying to tap the audience, they are having difficulty. They showed some great promotions and marketing campaigns they have tried, that produced amazing results, but it doesn’t seem like there is any formula for advertising online to gain a certain minimum response.
The takeaway from this session really seemed to be that we should all be tring various things out, producing ideas on the web can be fairly inexpensive, and one of them might just go viral, taking the message to a much larger audience than most expensive, structured, online campaigns.