With a wide variety of digital mediums offered to us at this time, it was just a matter of time before someone began to merge and combine two of them together. It already happened with cell phones and online social media marketing, since the popularity of iPhones demonstrates to us. Then there is the Internet and television – two different mediums; one you utilize for all of your communication and information needs, the other is maybe more for entertainment use – something to sit back facing after a long hard day, enabling you to mentally ‘switch off’ ;.Yet considering how much time per day we tend to pay facing a pc nowadays, it’s not surprising that online gurus are using the popularity of television and have created Internet websites that permit you to choose which TV show or program you wish to watch – on demand.
What’s the deal?
In 2006, a brand new bout of the TV series Lost was aired online – around 11 million viewers it. Also in 2006, market analysts Jupiter Research reported that around 11 per cent of computer users regularly watch videos on the internet. Annually later, this figure had jumped to iptv romania 28 per cent, and it continued jumping as each year went by – presumably due a great deal to YouTube and its easy accessibility and free videos. Yet even the web sites which can be charging for their TV shows to be viewed are increasing in popularity as more individuals spend more time online.
When it comes to cost, almost all online television is free, using the traditional notion of advertisements and banner ads to produce their money. The US ABC recently announced they will make their shows available to view online the day after they have aired on television, for free. The only catch is that the commercials scattered between the shows will struggle to be paused. These commercials may also be limited in number – probably only three, being one minute in total each – and will undoubtedly be all from exactly the same advertiser, no doubt maximizing their influence on the audience watching. You can see how this idea is increasingly appealing to businesses that are able this type of major bulk advertising.
The buzz of 2010: Social TV
Nevertheless the development hasn’t stopped there. ‘Social television’ is the newest kid on the block, merging the concept of online television with the online phenomenon that’s social media. In summary, it’s TV services that involve viewers’ communication. We are now able to watch our favourite television programs online, whilst getting together with others doing exactly the same – making recommendations, critiquing, chatting, and blogging with each other. It’s adding something else to the long set of ‘togetherness’ that the Internet is creating. Obviously we’ve always ‘socialized’ around the concept of TV, even with the simplest type of discussing shows with friends – but the newest idea listed here is television will now be a dynamic practice rather than passive one. You can discuss shows, review your favourites – basically connect to the entire world around you whilst enjoying your TV experience. And in some sort of that seems to be enjoying online and social media marketing with gusto, this may appear to be always a concept that is preparing to take off.
WineLibrary TV is a good example of how internet television can assist in boosting a small business brand – or even be the whole brand in itself. Gary Vaynerchuk took his multi-million wine selling business to the online world as a way of educating his viewers about wine in a ‘non-stuffy’ way. This type of hit, WLTV has become a cult favourite, with self-named ‘Vayniacs’ interacting regularly with each other on its online forums. They even organize offline group gatherings in the tradition of die-hard fan clubs. That is social television at its best – viewers have discovered something they’re thinking about, can view and understand it online, and participate in interactive communities.
The big players
There is a sizable selection of online television websites, besides actual channels’ own sites – the most well-known perhaps being Hulu, which ABC, FOX and NBC together created to be able to bring tv shows for their viewers – without any profit. Available and then US viewers, its popularity probably stems from its option of hit TV shows the morning after they have aired on normal television. Hulu airs commercials in normal commercial breaks – the only real difference is that you’re watching them through the Internet. Another internet television station was 18 Doughty Street, well-known in the online TV world as it claims to be the very first British Internet-based television station. Interestingly, although only running for a little over annually, the TV station closed down in the midst of attempting to make a ‘citizen journalism’ element to its site, allowing the public to submit videos to be aired. Perhaps if this had succeeded, it could have been among the first endeavors into the now more commonly accepted notion of social television.
Where to from here
So where does the future lie with this particular clever mix of two popular mediums? Perhaps soon we will see the demise of the traditional television as it becomes easier and cheaper to view our favourite shows online. However some dismiss this idea of internet television, as a result of association of our PCs with work and stress, rather than the TV as a place to ‘switch off’ and relax whilst watching our favourite shows. However in some sort of where we wish things here and now, and with a generation on the rise that was multi-tasking digital technology whilst still in nappies, it would make sense that folks will undoubtedly be expecting quicker and easier-to-use combinations of the world’s best mediums. Plus if this will combine with the ‘social’ aspect of the online world that folks so love, then even better.
Channel surf from your… computer chair?
Take Diggnation as an example. This is a weekly internet tv program that was developed by the founder of Digg.com (a website where anyone can submit articles, images and videos) and a friend in 2005, which basically consists of both friends drinking beer, chatting and discussing the most effective stories that made Digg.com that week. Sometimes known as ‘the Wayne’s World for Geeks’, the show has increased its viewer numbers through the years. Its popularity deemed mostly to be its interesting content and ‘I’d be friends with that guy in real life’ hosts. It has become so popular that advertisers began approaching them for space on the show to market. Forums show that folks love diggnation because it’s relevant, relaxed and actually entertaining. Fans of Digg.com (and there’s lots of them) watch it because that’s what it is about – digg.com.
Which makes you wonder – is this where the ongoing future of online TV is going? Countless amount of smaller, topic-specific online TV shows that will cause the normal lament ‘I watched it because there’s nothing else on’ to be always a thing of the past. If more and more tv shows pop up online as more and more ‘average Joes’ use free Internet space to generate them, then surely we shall all find our favourite shows there once we look for topics that actually genuinely interest us. Or will you and I’ve our personal channels? Will your company? Now there’s a fascinating thought…
iQuantum has created an exclusive analysis process to online benchmark client websites contrary to the sites of market-leading competitors and against best practice. Our online analysis is both quantitative and qualitative, and the email address details are presented in simple, digestible terms as part of a personalised strategy workshop. We are marketers at the roots, so we understand the importance of laying-out strategy in a bang-for-buck manner, and so we always present the business case for or against any online initiative with a quantifiable justification.