I recently read quite a few articles that could soon change how we look at purchasing commercial air time!
Last year, Dish Network introduced the “Hopper”, a DVR device that is driving major television networks crazy, and has even stirred up large lawsuits! At the press of a button, the Hopper allows viewers to completely jump past all commercials in your recorded shows. Dish Network claims they were simply listening to the complaints of their subscribers, and delivered a solution.
As a media buyer, this could certainly impact the way we compare and purchase advertising spot time, across both broadcast and cable television. With more and more busy households now opting to only view their favorite shows through DVR (or even online), we could miss out on a huge portion of viewers that could see our paid ads! (not what we want to hear as media buyers!) More recently, in a possible attempt to make nice with paying advertisers, Dish Network is rumored to introduce a feature that allow advertisers to see exactly what viewers are watching, what days and times they are watching, and bid for these ad spots. This service would likely partner with a tracking device. Advertiers would also be able to wait to book spots up until the very last minute, airing in just a moments notice! This is much different than the 1-2 days notice that is currently need to start a campaign on air!
Back in the 1960’s, commercials accounted for about 9 minutes per hour of programming. These days that ad spaces has about doubled to around 18 minutes per hour! Has cramming more commercials into our favorite TV shows now forced viewers to seek out ways to avoid it, even if they have to pay for a new device? These commercials likely allow viewers to watch the programs for cheap! If one day these paid commercials are eliminated, that could drastically effect the price we pay for these services.
As technology advances quickly, I’m curious to see how we will buy and view commercials in the coming years!