This Is Not Your Grandparents’ Broadcast Schedule

The Evolution and Integration of Online Audio and Video in Your Clients’ Media Plan

Who remembers Napster? Not the pay service as it exists today, but the original free MP3 file-sharing network that allowed users to instantly download songs and full albums directly to their computers. Often associated with the death of the music industry and audio consumption as it existed at the time, Napster became increasingly linked to copyright and legal issues and was eventually forced to shut down in July of 2001. With about 25 million users at its peak, Napster paved the way for the popular online music outlets we widely use today. More importantly, it was one of the first outlets that provided immediate media access, allowing users to engage at the exact moment they wanted.

It’s no secret that the current media landscape is a rapidly changing marketplace. Audiences are constantly consuming, and the environment is incredibly crowded. These audiences want what they want, when they want it. Viewers and listeners are becoming more sophisticated about how, when and where they consume their media. Mobile devices, connected TVs and gaming systems have provided users with access to large amounts of content that were – until recently – only available through traditional outlets.

Online video streaming services have created the latest past time; binge-watching. Audiences are signing up and sharing account information – all so they are able to speak to the latest season of “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones.” They are also binging on old favorites, such as “Friday Night Lights,” “My So-Called Life” and “Veronica Mars;” and it doesn’t end there. Streaming services are also creating award-winning original content. In September 2013, Netflix’s “House of Cards” made history as the first web-only series to win a Primetime Emmy.

Streaming online radio services aren’t far behind. Pandora, Spotify and iTunes radio are taking terrestrial radio head on. With apps and solutions for every device, including integration into automobiles and home appliances, users are listening to these services at various touch points throughout their day. So as the media landscape and the sophistication of each audience continues to evolve, what does this mean for media buyers? The answer: a truly integrated execution – an entirely new way of approaching “broadcast” media.

Forget the terms “TV” and “radio,” and replace them with “video” and “audio.” No longer should online streaming services be looked at as only a digital advertising opportunity. These outlets should be an integral part of your overall broadcast buys – an extension of the traditional TV and radio schedules you’re placing. Think about it. The creative being used for your traditional executions can be used to develop assets for streaming video and audio. The transition is nearly seamless.

As buyers, we’re not the only ones noticing the shift. The major networks are slowly adapting their advertising solutions with the creation of network-branded apps and online-only series. As buyers, we’re able to place advertising not only on the networks, but also within the online offerings. Streaming audio is taking the seamless integration a step further. As of May 2012, Pandora is measured by Triton Digital on both a national and local level.  This measurement and data now provide the numbers associated with both the size and scale of Pandora within a given measured market, against a specified demo. Comparing these numbers with the ratings and audience data of terrestrial radio also provides the opportunity to analyze each outlet side-by-side.

In 2012, L’Oreal Netherlands executed 18 campaigns, which advertised 14 different products through a mixture of online and offline advertising and gathered information over a five month period. Results showed that for many audiences – especially smaller or more niche groups – targeted online video advertising is less expensive than traditional TV. It was discovered that shifting just 10 percent of the TV budget can increase ROI up to 32 percent, limiting the number of wasted impressions. By looking at the variation of TV pricing over time, campaigns can use a mixture of video (traditional TV and online video), allowing campaign dollars to work harder and more efficiently. Studies have also shown that when both traditional and online executions are utilized, brand recognition and ad recall doubles.

Audiences don’t care where or how they’re consuming – only that they’re able to do so at the exact moment they want. As connectivity and consumption continue to evolve, so must our approach to advertising. Being truly integrated against all screens allows cost-efficient granular targeting. It also increases the chances that clients’ audio and video messaging will not only be seen, but will cut through the cluttered advertising environment and be remembered.


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