TV time bomb and impact on advertising

Published by: Ciara Regan


Recently I found myself pulling apart my DVD drawer searching for next season of 24, only to be reminded that we had in fact watched Season 1 on Netflix. Strange how behaviour can change, without the least bit of consciousness or noticeable impact.

TV provides a certain amount of satisfaction on a day to day basis. Acting as background noise while conducting day to day tasks: cooking, tweeting, cleaning, chit chat etc. Turning on the TV is the first act when I walk through the door; however it is purely from habit and for some level of comfort, not necessarily for the content. TV has become more and more of a nice to have, something I need to know is available should I desire it but actually not proving a necessity to my everyday life, with screens playing more of an important role than what’s actually behind it.


What is now becoming a requirement, a necessity, almost a compulsion is the glorious entertainment provided through the medium ofsmarttv Online TV, in essence ‘TV on my terms’. This brings us beyond the news, panel shows or even the episode of Friends that has been seen for the seventy sixth time. It is the guaranteed level of entertainment in the form of back to back, ad free beauty that is the era of box sets, whether in the form of streaming, on demand or the latest craze, Netflix.

Netflix seemed to explode and did so simultaneously to the hysteria that surrounded the impeccable Breaking Bad – it fulfilled a desire for the average Joe to be able to discuss the topic which had taken headlines across all mediums of twitter, Facebook, office water coolers and I joke not, bus stops.

TV of course offers many things not necessarily readily available through Online TV, such as news, the drama of live sports, documentaries, talk shows etc., and with interactive red button access, exclusive rights to many series, to general functionality of their offerings ensuring TV will never really die. However, it is met with equal rivalry from online subscription services such as Netflix who release exclusives such as the increasingly popular, albeit somewhat surreal show, House of Cards. This coupled with offering 4K streams last month (an ultra-high-def format for the streaming service) suggests they are very serious about being a strong contender in what they are offering – for a significantly less price than monthly TV subscription services.

The greatest challenge in this entire power struggle, however, will ultimately face marketers. Before online TV took off, it appeared we were already moving to an era where adverts were strategically avoidable – pausing the first ten minutes of TV in order to be able to fast forward through the ads. Now we’re moving more and more to a medium where, as of yet, we have no adverts – this poses a great test and an interesting future to see how this will be overcome. Will TV take the same role as seen on YouTube advertising where one can fast forward, but not until 10 seconds have been played? Will money talk, and work its way more into Online TV? Advertisers need to find their place in the world of Online TV – and essentially into the world of savvy consumers who are so often money mindful and time poor.