Commentary

Selectable Makes Ad-Watching Worthwhile

I mentioned a few days ago how odd it seemed that Netflix was getting big stacks of publicity about “House of Cards” without that content provider providing much in the way of Big Data about who actually had seen it.

 That caught the attention of Selectable Media, which has a platform that poses questions to online viewers, as the price of entry to content, a kind of soft paywall that a lot of consumers find easy to accept. If you answer a question, that qualifies as a way in to a gaming site, or a piece of editorial content, or whatever. Selectable claims its method is a great way for advertisers to know their message has been seen, because viewers have agreed to see it. The ads have been results in terms of recall and click-through rates than traditional online advertising.

 Dan Feldstein, the director of marketing, wrote to tell me Selectable decided the “House of Cards” question was interesting enough for them to pose on its platform. “We received 1,618 completed surveys in a 3 hour period and of those, 46% subscribed to Netflix - among those who have Netflix subscriptions we found that 33% had seen at least one episode of House of Cards,” Feldstein wrote. “There was negligible difference between male and female viewership, and these numbers were consistent for the sub-segment of viewers in the 23-54 age group. So if we apply the 33% to Netflix's reported 27 million subscribers, 9 million people have seen at least one episode of House of Cards - a pretty significant viewing for any show on any network.”

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 Selectable asks questions like tht but often questions more exactly relevant to their advertisers.”You might watch a video from Lowes and be asked, ‘Are you thinking about buying home improvement products in the next six months,’” explains Matt Minoff, the president and CEO.

 Selectable works a lot in the gaming space, and Minoff explains, it’s particularly a natural fit with advertisers or products that have a clear exchange of goods—you’ll get wi-fi time, or access to editorial content. “Whereever there’s a micro-transaction opportunity is the place where we want to live,” Minoff says.

 There are, as mentioned, other players in the space, but Selectable has been up and running in a big way for about the last year and a half. A new one is HitBliss, which offers cash money for, as the Web site Digital trends.com terms it in its story, “how many ads you can stomach.”  But Selectable seems far ahead of the game, with some big clients including NBC and HBO and Samsung. It also was the third start-up accepted into Microsoft’s Bing Fund last year, and has funding from Allen & Co, and Avalon Ventures, and as Minoff explains, it’s a useful way to get to consumers because it evens up the equation—the consumer watches the message in return for a tangible benefit.

 pjbednarski@comcast.net

1 comment about "Selectable Makes Ad-Watching Worthwhile ".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, March 7, 2013 at 1:56 p.m.

    Bribery as a branding tool? Good luck with that.

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