Conscious Couplings: My Wish List Of Advanced TV Match-Ups That Could Change The Game

On TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video. 

Today’s column is written by Lindsey Harju, co-founder at Blinc Digital Group.

Love is in the air – and not just in the seasonal aisle at Target.

The smell of chocolate and roses got me thinking: Which advanced TV couplings could blossom into epic affairs if struck by Cupid’s arrow?

I’m not talking about mere mergers and acquisitions. Teaming up can mean so many things, including combining capabilities to deliver new products or mixing what is considered old with the new to create unique value.

If I controlled the purse strings at certain companies, I would set my sights on these potential power couples for 2019.

Streaming flixes + other flixes

I won’t call out two specific brands that should get hitched here, but I do suggest a “speed dating” event with all of them in the room. There are far too many flixes – a play on Netflix’s name to denote on-demand content and curated recommendation offerings. The market is getting saturated, consumers are suffering from subscription fatigue and marketers testing over-the-top are feeling overwhelmed.

Before a company launches a new streaming experience – ad-supported or not – they should survey the market to see if there are any existing partnership opportunities that could help them actually make a dent in this overcrowded field. At this point, their position on the pie chart would likely fall within that small slice labeled “other.”

Amazon + shoppable video content

Sure, the goal of Amazon Prime Video is to sell more shoes on Amazon, not to generate ad revenue tied to views.

But as any die-hard fan of its original programming can tell you, its informative overlays are the best in the business. Simply by hovering, I am shown the name and headshot of every actor in the scene with links to their IMDB profiles.

That is very interesting, but what could be more fun is linking products on the screen with their current listings on Amazon. Shopping for Valentine’s Day gifts would be so much easier, too! Jack Ryan’s backpack looks both stylish and functional.

Buying agencies + dynamic creation optimization

As video marketers, we all know that frequency management is an issue. As consumers, we are annoyed when we see the same commercial 800 times. We are also aware that video editing and creation is easier than ever.

Why are agencies allowing their clients to venture into the connected TV space with just one or two ads? It’s so easy to make edits and stretch content into multiple spots, which is especially effective if a platform can segment out “binge-watchers” who will likely see the entire sequence of ads in one sitting.

There is a point in the frequency curve where a PSA for saving puppies, followed by a logo shot, will deliver greater results for marketers. While it won’t solve the issue of media waste, it will deliver a better consumer experience.

Google + Hollywood elite

As we approach any major awards event, Variety is filled with ads touting the excellence of content created by streaming services, such as Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Netflix’s “The Crown,” among many others. But why isn’t Google ever included in the list of best original content created by streaming providers?

As flixes continue to compete on many levels, content is still the primary driver. In this saturated market, Google’s attempt at content, such as its sequels to the “Karate Kid” or “Step Up,” are just not grabbing my attention.

Google has a deeper pocketbook than anyone. I would love to see it pivot its streaming strategy and bring some creative and new original content to the masses. Is Alexander Payne busy these days?

Google + data-driven linear TV

Despite my indifference to its original content, Google knows essentially everything about me, even though I proactively share very little. I accept this, because without my asking, I received a video compilation of my son growing up on his third birthday.

If I hadn’t been so busy crying, I could have certainly found that application of AI to be an invasion of my privacy. On the other hand, Google is famous for collecting tons of data but sharing very little with others.

For data-driven marketers, it is maddening. Its treasure trove of data is a goldmine. One potential avenue where its data could breathe new life into TV is with data-driven linear planning. YouTube TV and Chromecast set the stage for viewership data collection. By pairing those viewing insights with the data from my Android and Chrome behavior, Google could provide an insights product that helps TV marketers buy linear programming in a much more informed way – matching program and network selection with the best in-market intelligence around.

And if Google produces the analysis itself, available as an upsell as Google Analytics for Linear, it wouldn’t have to share any user-level data with anyone. Everyone wins!

Although matchmaking is great fun, some couples have run their course and should part ways and break up:

Industry stats for OTT advertising industry stats for ad-free OTT Services

Both sets of statistics for over-the-top (OTT) have long abided by their oath: “’Til death do us part.”

Well, call me a home-wrecker, but I would love to see how these two look on their own. As a spectator to changing consumer behavior, the rise in OTT is fascinating. As a member of the marketing industry, I’d like to understand how much time consumers are spending on content where I could actually buy an ad. Removing Netflix, Amazon Prime and other ad-free environments from market statistics would sure make the numbers more actionable.

Although we live in the age of innovation, most new ideas are really the combination of one or more existing ideas to deliver a greater outcome. And isn’t that a required element for any standout product in ad tech – the ability to connect and work with different systems?

As you review your current product road map, take a moment to dream about which outlandish mashups may change the game for your team.

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