Connecting You with the Latest Marketing Tips and Trends.
Apple, Google help marketers envision the future of television. Forrester Research estimates that by 2016 half of all households will have web-enabled devices on their televisions, so it’s no wonder techies were abuzz last week when a certain Apple product mysteriously ran out of stock on several online outposts. Amazon, BestBuy and Wal-Mart stopped selling the Apple TV, sparking rumors that the brand’s highly anticipated reveal of a newer and better Apple TV is fast approaching. The folks over at Google certainly appear to be anticipating a move from Apple; last Monday they announced a YouTube update for their Google TV (Google owns YouTube), and let us not forget YouTube’s ambitious 96-specialty channel rollout that launched in December. This posturing makes sense; 25% of televisions made this year will feature web capabilities, and not just those made by Apple and Google. LG, Philips, Samsung and Sony are in on the game, so now, the focus has naturally turned to content. Televisions that can easily stream online content may pose a threat to traditional programming, but they also indicate a clear shift in the way consumers experience the online world. The Online has become so ubiquitous that it’s taking over the heart of the American home, the television. The question is: how can marketers use this to their advantage?
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like television has never looked so good. Web-enabled devices offer another medium for brands and consumers to connect. Siri, pass the remote.
YouTube’s new channels are attracting plenty of hits, and they’re making the same point cable TV made 30 years ago: there’s power in niche programming. This is great for brands, as it expands the ways in which they can sell themselves. Should every brand hire writers and directors to compete in this expanding universe? Not necessarily. But it’s important — and valuable — to consider ways to incorporate online video content into your digital strategy, not just because Google’s betting on it, but because consumers are buying into it. Last week, Adweek reported that a mommy-themed channel called The Moms View has attracted 60,000 subscribers and 2.1 million views in two months time (as of this post that number has jumped to 2.3 million views, and 60,500 subscribers). A Hispanic-themed channel called Tutele has 25,000 subscribers, and another science-themed channel called SciShow has 100,000 subscribers. The channels are as diverse as the public viewing them. Best of all: they’re free to watch and easily shared. My Vertical Marketing Network colleagues and I see the most compelling challenge as deciding The How and The When. That is, how can online video content engage consumers in meaningful and useful ways? And when is it appropriate? The answers to these questions will surely reveal themselves in good time.
And be assured, we’ll be watching.