New Media?

We’ll see it in our readings on the beer industry — and in other contexts we’ve mentioned it in passing already — but there is a big shift in advertising markets. A Sept 25 NYT article by Amy Chozick “NBC Unpacks Trove of Data from the Olympics” provides an overview. Now full results aren’t out, but a couple things caught my eye. Streaming is new to 2012 (bandwidth and/or computers were in general too slow in 2008), including some individuals who watched using TV, a tablet (mainly iPads), their computer and their smart phone (though presumably not at the same time). The two most streamed events were also the women’s soccer final and women’s gymnastics.
Now I’m not sure what to make of this. There was no mention of “pirate” viewing; my guess is that not many American viewers know how to use VPN’s to watch the coverage of BBC or other national broadcasters. (People in countries with extensive censorship are more savvy.) And the viewership was huge, more than in the broadcast TV era, helped I assume (perhaps incorrectly) by the flexibility of new media. If mimicked elsewhere – and reinforced by the decline of newspapers and other local media – this could increase the value of national brands and hence boost economies of scale and lead to fewer firms.
Then there’s the potential to tailor advertising, if cookies can be used to track likely gender (regression analysis based on recent viewing, even better if registration for premium services indicates age and IPs give likely location). That could work in the opposite direction, improving the ability to sell niche products, but only if the value of selling multiple regional ads — and having the marketing structure to actually do so — was greater than that of selling one common national ad. At present I don’t think any marketing organization knows how to do that (e.g., the people at NBC who sell ads). But the pre-internet world included a mix of geographies, so I wonder.
Anyway, my guess is that not since the days of Mad Men has advertising been as open to innovation as it is today.
Disclaimer: my daughter is a social media marketer, the first (and so far only such) at the Greenbrier, a 4-star resort that has a big staff doing all sorts of traditional marketing. However, I have yet to discuss this content with her — plus she’s new in the job, though no one in that niche has as much as 5 years’ experience!

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