Battle for the Eyes

The battle for the eyes is getting heated. If you'll read Context is King: How Videos Are Found and Consumed Online, some very telling trends are unveiled that make advertisers very uncomfortable. The article says:

“According to a recent NY Times article, in the 1952-53 season, more than 30% of American households watched NBC during prime time, according to Nielsen.  In fact, up until twenty years ago, you could buy a 30-second spot on CBS, NBC or ABC and reach “everyone.”  Today, NBC’s prime time reach is 5%.  Sure, NBC is lagging CBS and ABC, but neither the Tiffany network nor Disney’s counterpart is faring much better.  The secret’s out: fewer people watch TV and teenagers spend every waking minute connected to the Internet, increasingly through the mobile web.”

So, how are these ads going to be served up? Cell phones, social media.

Other interesting stats.  Here are the averages of a youtube video:

  • “It will garner 500 views over time
  • 25% of those views will come in the first four days and
  • by and large, only the first 30 to 60 seconds will be watched.”

So, what we see is a very drastically changing market for advertisers where the old time “media buy” of the 1990's is now a much more complex tool. We'll also see that niche markets with their eyes on a specific site will be reached out to by companies and vendors.  Also, for schools, I think it means that we'll have to be wary of free as this can also mean that we control the eyes and attention of students for a pretty good chunk of the day for students. We must guard that responsibility and realize that the game has changed for advertisers.

This also means that advertisers could potentially partner with and support valid educational programs to reach the eyes of the students they covet.  It seems like there can be some win-win scenarios here for both, however, the whole thought makes me very nervous.

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