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Interactive Ads on…Television?

NBC Universal and TiVo are two companies making television history. The two companies recently struck a deal that would create CLICKABLE ADVERTISEMENTS. From the NYTimes

“With proliferating media options and changing consumer behavior, our clients are asking for new ideas, better metrics, and more accountability,” Mike Pilot, president, NBC Universal Sales and Marketing, said in a statement.

The agreement with TiVo covers NBC Universal’s 14 television networks — including NBC, Telemundo and Bravo — as well as its 10 NBC-owned TV stations. NBC Universal is a unit of General Electric Co.

Television can become a new platform for advertising. Imagine a TV Guide channel that is clickable and searchable. It already exists on our computers under the cloak of YouTube. However, when our televisions become truly interactive, television advertising can adopt Google’s popular pay-per-click model on our laptops and desktops. TiVo and NBC recently partnered to make this a reality: “…[advertisers] can insert TiVo ‘tags’ into television commercials that let viewers click on an icon when watching an ad to obtain more information about a product.”

As of this writing, there are close to 10 million TiVo users. What will occur when this becomes the status-quo?

Small business owners who were once priced out of advertising on television or never considered television a viable advertising medium will be able to afford to advertise on this new interactive medium.

The impact will produce tremors across the board. Broadcast networks can take note. Instead of pandering to the least common denominator and generating “the next big hit,” television will be able to focus on producing original quality content. Chris Anderson observes,

Hit-driven economics is a creation of an age without enough room to carry everything for everybody. Not enough channels to broadcast all the TV programs, not enough radio waves to play all the music created, and not enough hours in the day to squeeze everything out through either of those sets of slots…This is the world of scarcity. Now, with online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance. And the differences are profound.

With all these small players in the field, THE IMPACT FOR NICHE CONTENT will be tremendous. Just as blogs and websites generate revenue through Google’s affiliate networks, these independent content creators and providers will reap the benefits of this new economy. With a growing demand for advertising space, niche channels can easily develop. An entire channel devoted to modern dance would not be out of the question. With an increase in original content, we will see an overall growth in cultural capital.

For additional coverage:
Adweek

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