The Internet and file sharing are becoming a popular alternative to TV or even DVD rental. This has put quite a few executive panties in a bunch. If people are watching TV shows online how are they going to make money? I think the answer is pretty simple.
…watch TV from around the world as if you were living there.
Flickr User Tim Pritlove.
TV makes money by showing commercials during the shows. Most of ‘em aren’t even that well targeted. I’m not going to be buying a car, so it doesn’t matter how cool the commercials are on TV. The same could be said of any number of products. The commercials run by the local stations aren’t much better, but at least it’s somewhere I can actually get to. Even if I’ll never need to.
The Internet can fix these problems. A short survey when you sign up for a free service can help advertisers find people that might be interested in what they’re selling. This would probably be better for the advertisers than TV spots. Since they wouldn’t be paying for time on a particular show because they think their customers watch it. They wouldn’t have to bombard people outside the demographic they’re looking for in the hopes that it reaches their audience. They would be targeting users instead. Every time the ad runs it could be playing just for the people they hope to reach.
Target local customers, anywhere on the planet.
That same sign up form can make geotargeting possible as well. Which means the viewers would be seeing ads for the things they can walk down the street and buy. Once more targeting your customer and not a time slot pays off. Added to this the possible ads from online businesses such as Amazon or iTunes and you have a working advertising model. A way to make money.
What about the viewers?
Should some glorious miracle make this happen, the viewers could benefit the most. A system like this would make it possible to watch TV from around the world as if you were living there. Shows in your selected language could play online simultaneously with the TV broadcast. With a short delay you could even watch subtitled or closed captioned versions of shows that aren’t broadcast in your selected language.
I’d be willing to watch commercials in a TV show, I do it already. I’d be even more interested in watching them if they’re about something I’m interested in. If that means I get to watch the shows I love I’d be happy to do it. I could watch Doctor Who on the BBC and during the commercials find out that Amazon UK has the new Terry Pratchett book for sale.
All of this, and no one would lose money. Isn’t technology great?
[tags]TV, Internet, Opinion, Television, Streaming Media, File Sharing, BitTorrent, Piracy, Internet TV, Internet Television, Advertising [/tags]