I’ve seen some very interesting opportunities coming up in emerging media and want to share what I see as some interesting trends as of now – could change at any moment.
Value Exchange This is the notion that a consumer will ‘pay’ some cost to get something they want for free. There is an exchange of value between the advertiser and the consumer. The consumer wants something and is willing to ‘pay’ a price to get something that isn’t free. A few ways this works today;
- social gaming; ad networks like gWalllet and Social Vibe will trade video views of a product the consumer is interested in for a currency the consumer wants, maybe it’s Farmville bucks or a downloaded song from an up and coming artist. It’s incentive based, you do something for me and in return I will ‘pay’ you a value that is interesting to me. It’s a win/win if the consumer is somewhat interested in the activity they are forced to do. Often times a consumer will get to choose between a list of products and they can pick the video they are most interested in.
- wireless services; imagine being in an airport or hotel and wanting wi-fi but not wanting to pay $9.99 for the luxury. A consumer may get the choice to pay the $9.99 or watch a demo/video/movie trailer, etc instead and get it for free.
- premium content: Imagine the articles today behind pay walls like ESPN and Wall Street Journal are free if a consumer watches a demo, video, etc.
My opinion: I think this makes a lot of sense and will become more prevalent. I,for one, love free and am happy to participate in an exchange if it’s of value to me.
Current players: Hulu (watch this ad and get a free show) and Social Gamers Zynga, Playdom, etc.
Mobile video People now use their mobile device for not only as a phone and productivity device but an entertainment center. Mobile data is now showing people are more engaged and entertained by mobile ads then web banner ads, but mobile banner ads aren’t really any more efficient that web banner ads. Enter mobile video ads. These can run is a few form factors; interactive pre-roll video, interactive full-page interstitial, interactive app launch & banners. What I see is a real win/win is the interactive app launch unit. This appears when a consumer is downloading an app. There is a delay while the app downloads and during this time to consumer is staring at a blank download box. Great opportunity to serve a video to this captive audience. Similar to the value exchange idea above the consumer is getting something they want, the app, for free and in return watching a video. I think this concept could and should be extended to online gaming and any screen experience that is interrupted by a load time.
My opinion; All goodness in my opinion as long as the video is entertaining.
Current players; Rhythm New Media,
Content syndication In the old days big brands like Microsoft, Toyota and IBM would spend lots of money on advertising that drives consumers back to their .com domains so the consumer could see the information, watch the demo or read the review the brand wanted them to see. Fast forward to today and consumers are all over the web living life on thousands of different domains and it’s now cost prohibitive to drive consumer back to a web experience when they don’t want to leave the experience they are in; for example Facebook or Huff Post. Consumers on these sites don’t really want to go to Microsoft.com or Toyota.com because they are entertaining themselves on a different web experience. This means the content providers need to bring the information to the consumer wherever they are at on the web. This can be done through interactive banner that really act more like widgets. Content can be posted through these widgets and the widgets can move across the web and show up through ad networks bringing the content right to the consumer.
My opinion; these ads units perform very well, probably because the reader doesn’t know it’s an ad unit and thinks of it more as content
There are more emerging concepts but may they lack the scale needed to make them relevant, location based services comes to mind. When testing new media there has to be at least the opportunity to have impact so make sure the number and reach are there. Location based services still have very limited active engagement and therefore will require a lot of media dollars to drive awareness. Today those media dollars may be better spend in areas with scale, and by scale I mean millions of viewers. Each of the concepts above will easily scale to millions of users within a campaign.