The dust has settled on the Super Bowl and we've stopped looking back at the ads and game. It's time to look forward at what this year's Super Bowl meant for digital video. The answer: a lot.
According to NBC, 2.1 million people streamed the Super Bowl for a total of 78.6 million minutes. That's a little more than 37 minutes per person. Pretty amazing -- considering the experience was HORRIBLE.
There are seminal events in media and technology. Some because we've taken a great leap in quality. Some because we've taken a great leap in adoption.
This was one of those adoption moments. Mind you, I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer. I'm actually excited for what next year holds. Look at what we've seen in the last two months:
- Massive adoption of connected television at CES by manufacturers
- The first Super Bowl streamed live, with millions tuning in
- The end of the game resulted in 12,233 tweets per second, compared to 4,064 the year before
All bodes well for digital video and the connected experience. In fact, some colleagues were kind enough to speak with me at CES this year about connected devices. I'd like to pay it forward, by offering some of their thoughts as free advice to the NFL and CBS, who has the rights to broadcast next year's Super Bowl.
"If I’m reaching a consumer 10 times on their tablet and 20 times on the PC and five times on their smartphone, I’ve wasted some of my media impressions when I only wanted to reach them in aggregate five times. So technology is enabling us to look at the consumer experience and from a brand perspective, better measure and deliver the messages that are gonna resonate with those consumers across devices."
-- Cat Spurway, SVP Strategy & Marketing at Pointroll
I can't begin to tell you how many of the same ads I saw on the live stream. Rather than holding advertisers hostage for the most money possible, CBS should open up restrictions to ensure consumers have a fabulous experience online by seeing a good variety of ads.
"The opportunity to test, to try to experiment and to be happy with failure, literally to applaud it because you’ve tried it, is something that I think is a secret weapon the very best companies have."
-- Brad Ball, former CMO McDonald's & former CMO NASCAR
NBC's live stream did nothing inventive. The closest it came was a live stream of Jimmy Fallon's tweets during the game. I guess you could make the argument that the live stream itself was a risk, but NBC did nothing interesting to make the experience truly spectacular.
"And the power of it is the connection. A lot of times those devices are planned and bought totally separate, but when connecting them, you amplify their possibilities."
-- Darren Herman, Chief Digital Media Officer at The Media Kitchen
The best streamed experience of the Super Bowl: the stream of tweets throughout the game. CBS needs to capture the power of what people are ALREADY doing, harness it, and don't try to corral the user.
"I think a red flag therefore would be when people start to sit back and say, 'Hey, it’s 8% of our budget. It’s 9% of our budget. It’s part of kind of an innovation bucket.’ I think the world has sufficiently changed such that [digital tactics] can no longer be thought of as, you know, the P.S. to an advertising budget."
-- Chris Curtain, VP Digital Strategy, Global Marketing at Hewlett-Packard
NBC did nothing to make the online experience indispensable. It was a throwaway: no must-have content, no unforgettable moments. In fact, since the stream was fully minutes behind the live broadcast, it actually made the stream irrelevant as a second screen.
"So you need to be asking a question of yourself, will the dog eat the dog food? Will there be enough people that will want to go to that device for you to be able to build it? You could have made some big mistakes years ago by building an entire platform on Second Life where people went, where they didn't have a real life. You could have wasted a lot of time in that endeavor."
-- Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO Kodak & best-selling author
Streaming of live sports is no Second Life. It's real and for the masses. Next year we can start treating it as such.
Oh, and CBS, you can thank me and my friends for the free advice by thrilling us next year.