Commentary

Will Future Media Platforms Bring Consumers Lower -- Or No -- Costs?

Despite trends to the contrary, some media futurists believe media hardware and software might be free to consumers down the road -- as long as key marketers can hit them with a few messages from time to time.  Make that a lot of the time.

By the end of next year, says Russell Glass, CEO of business-to-business marketing company Bizo, consumers will be able to get a phone whose hardware and data costs will be paid entirely by content providers and advertisers.

The data to make this prediction? Phone consumers, on average, now check them more than “110 times a day,” providing lots of marketing opportunities.

AT&T and others have already offered free hardware -- phones. In return, consumers have paid for usually pricey phone service subscription deals – the software -- usually in the form of a mandatory two-year contract.  Now, the software would also be free.

Further down the line, what if this expanded to TV viewing devices (the hardware) and programming services (the software)? Think someone could attract consumers to that kind of deal?

Proponents of high-level interactive and addressable TV advertising would have no problem backing this idea in theory. With better access to key consumers who are ready to buy, marketers might find it worthwhile to cough up more on per-impression, viewer, and user bases.

Consumers already pay an average $125-150 in monthly TV costs while also enduring video advertising.  Even if their costs won’t be totally eliminated, lowering them would be welcomed.

Just wondering whether I will need to expand my media activities -- and check my TV “110 times a day.”

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