Monday, 16 July 2007

TV ad revenues under threat

There was a great article in yesterday’s Observer that looked at how viewers are increasingly calling the shots in terms of how they consume television, and how this in turn is shaping how the industry generates revenues from advertising.

The premise of the piece argued that although TV still plays a massive part in our lives, audiences are becoming fragmented thanks to the likes of YouTube, MySpace and Google. Television schedules will become obsolete as people can now watch TV when they want and on the medium of their choice, and this will have a massive impact on the ability to generate advertising revenue. The journalist went on to cite how ‘TV’s share of the global advertising market dropped this year for the first time since its inception’ and outlined a number of ways in which TV has can claw back the lost ad revenue.

Some of these have their merits, a couple of others less so. But one option overlooked was using the user interface, or menu, to host advertisements. However people consume TV – via mobile, downloaded from the internet, or the old fashioned front room / sofa way – there will always be a menu used to navigate through the choices. As TV schedules get more personalised, it stands to reason that menus will do so as well, so what is there to prevent targeted advertising around those menus?

At ANT we provide user interfaces for around 70 per cent of the world’s IPTV market, and have recently made the push into the wider digital media world, precisely because of the reasons outlined in the article. TV viewing is changing and the advertising industry urgently needs to change with it, and we believe that using the user interface could be a real solution to this dilemma.

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