Co-existence, Not Cannibalization

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage at Adobe’s Digital Marketing Summit with Prateek Alsi from Time Warner Cable Media. In a fireside chat format (which seemed a bit out of context because it was 70 degrees in Salt Lake City this week!), we explored the state of digital video.  As you know from your own media consumption habits (or watching any child with an iPad or smartphone), online video viewing is growing. Most market research shows that over the next 5 years the number of people watching online video could grow as much as 50% and represent up to three quarters of all internet-enabled users. A lot of this increased appetite for digital video is fueled by the proliferation of connected devices – smartphones, tablets, connected TV’s and gaming consoles. Connected devices will become as ubiquitous as TV’s in the house.  So, one may think that broadcasters, operators and programmers feel threatened by this trend.  Quite the contrary. Most industry folks that I talk with, including my very knowledgeable fireside co-presenter, or clients that we work with, like Major League Baseball, are embracing the trend and charting strategies to take advantage of the opportunity. Those strategies include one that I am particularly fond of – providing access to and dynamically inserting video ads into content on any connected device.

There is a good reason why they are and should be embracing this trend. Online video viewing will not be at the expense of TV. It’s complementary. Total media consumption is growing and will continue to grow as it becomes more efficient and convenient for a viewer to access content where, when and how they desire. Simply said, TV (linear) and digital video viewing is about co-existence, not cannibalization. Given that fact, there are tremendous opportunities for content owners and distributors to better engage and monetize their audiences. And, this is where Adobe is focused.

There are a number of challenges to be addressed in this co-existence strategy, like cross platform measurement, multi-channel ad buying, cross-platform ad experiences, and improving user experience across devices, but we’ll leave those topics for another time. Until then, let the cross-channel collaborative thinking begin.