I once read this statement and it made me really think about the big TV screen experience in a different way;

'The Television, magazine, and news paper industries are not in the business of content, they're in the business of audience aggregation, content is a means to an end  in order to drive bigger audiences from which they can monetise those eyeballs via advertising, to do this they need to produce and serve us content that captures our attention'.

As the saying goes if it's 'free' you're the product!

As streaming took centre stage during the global lockdown and we all turned to the likes of Prime, Disney, and Netflix to name a few it seems that Google is now introducing a series of tools in Display and Video 360. 

"These tools make it easy for digital media buyers to discover and secure ad inventory on high-quality streaming content" (link below)

Apart from streaming via smart TV devices being the next place for ad tech fraudsters to continue to rip off brands (forecast to rise to $100bn+ by 2023) by taking an average of 50% -75% of each marketing dollar into their own pockets can brands really afford to return to a world that pre-Covid told us audiences had already had enough of digital intrusions?

When you think about watching stuff on the TV what comes to mind, do you think about the biggest screen in the house, or do you think about watching stuff from different devices, or as is possible today, watching stuff on the big screen from another device?

Despite what you might read the TV in one way or another is here to stay, sure it's moved on from a central point for the family to gather around, with those annoying ad breaks we all get up to put the kettle on whilst they play out, but it's still a pretty big medium for brands to get close to us the viewer.

“Social media and content discovery will play an even more important role in marketing post-COVID-19, as many retailers and other sectors are slashing marketing budgets to preserve cash in order to cope with the crisis, especially those that previously relied on traditional forms of marketing such as television and billboard adverts,” 

What if there was a way to get audiences more involved in the content they're consuming, what if this was a fun, interactive and immersive experience and eventually lead to a shared commercial relationship?

Is there an alternative? Can we get past this moment of fragmentation to create something that serves everyone’s greater interests?

We say yes.  

Some 6 years ago I had enough with those 'digital intrusions' that seem to be pissing everyone else off as well as me, so I've been refining and personally funding a secret project for the past few years.

The project is based around putting you and me in charge of free to access and free to use 'content discovery', it's aimed at encouraging brands to produce 'engaging content' not intrusive adverts via any device.

We have built a platform (plug and play) that empowers content rights owners to keep audiences on a 'rights owners' content delivery platform when they experience what Google calls 'moments,' rather than letting audiences take their attention, traffic, profile data and purchasing power away to Google, Facebook or other mainstream search and social platforms. 

Our objective is to Engage Immerse And Monetise Audiences

By - Unlocking Commercial Value For Rights Owners From Latent And Hidden Content

Without giving away our secret sauce It leverages visual search powered by 'ACR' and other user orientated innovations - I hope to have this project live in Autumn 2020 with circa 100m+ consumers using it  so please stay tuned.

Video search on it's own isn't something new, the basis of this has been around for years, it's utilised by your set-top box, or Smart TV leveraging something called 'ACR' which stands for 'automated content recognition'. 

This is the technology that companies use to learn about your viewing habits in order they can serve you more of those digital intrusions they call 'adverts', and now platforms like TikTok (others are available) are placing the consumer in the driving seat by providing them with the ability to 'pull' the information they want, and act with 'intent' and all on their terms - not YOURS!.

Many companies like Sky+ recognise the changes in our behaviour, as we now look to binge watch Box Sets, or catch up with our favourite show, they tell us they can now target us with intrusive adverts with even greater precision than ever before.

Ad tech for TV is estimated to be the next biggest area of growth for the programmatic Tsunami of intrusive adverts that will follow, along with that we are told the ad fraud industry is set to reach circa $100 billion by 2023, so even if you and me are skipping and blocking those adverts rest assured that fraud bots are doing their job 24/7.

Without a doubt consumers have a voracious appetite when it comes to consuming all kinds of content, so it's a logical step forwards is for the concept of ACR to also enter into the 'social commerce' space.

Today we can access and consume content anywhere, anytime, and on any device, we consume more content today than at anytime in history, as a result, and in particular in a pre-Covid world when we're online we were exposed to circa 4k - 10k intrusive adverts every, single, day, as such we simply struggled to avoid all forms of digital intrusion!

We like content, in fact when it's the right stuff we love content, Game of Thrones (never seen it BTW), Peaky Blinders (superb), all kinds of sport Cup (mens and womens) and many others keep us glued to the big screen.

YouTube has redefined the term user generated content, and even Zuck's looking to get in on the action - but it all relies on intrusive advertising, and this is what they are gambling on for their future.

So, if you think audiences and consumers have to choose between a 'Freemium' or 'Paywall' model I'm going to deliver something that will 'change' established behaviour in favour of the audience and consumer along with disrupting those traditional content monetisation models.

Just like those 'free to access' and 'free to use' social platforms that we have all come to know my obsession is to provide audiences and consumers around the world the ability to simply gain free to access to any form of content they desire - so, which model do you think the consumer will choose?

It will liberate rights owners, and publishers, along with content producers with micro and macro audiences to unlock revenues from all forms of latent content.

Watch this space......