Real Incentive-Based Viewing: Has Its Time Come?

What if networks and advertisers offered a real incentive program -- like frequent-flier-like entertainment mileage? In return, viewers would get some real savings -- perhaps a lowering of monthly cable, satellite and telco bills. Too much to ask? Not for the coming TV generation.

The key revolves around specific personal data that is looked at as the most valuable for future media and marketing endeavors.

Millennials have figured this out. According to Mintel research reported by MediaPost, 60% of millennials are already willing to provide marketers with details about their personal preferences and habits. Furthermore, 30% of those who initially balk at sharing the information change their minds when a small incentive is offered (like a $10 gift card).

Services that link social media and TV, like Viggle, have already entered the incentive TV space with similar promotions. But this would seem to behove bigger media brands -- TV networks and the like -- to foster more engagement outright.



Will corrupt consumers lookt o scam the system? Yes, just as unsavory digital media aggregators look to cheat the system. Media spillage will always be around.

Right now, TV influence isn’t going away. Millennials still have high traditional TV usage relative to their digital video habits.

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Millennials understand the trade-off. Acceptance of entertainment sponsors has been around for some time, stemming from the sponsorship of live music events which began years before the rise of all things Internet.

On the flip side, “artists” might have some concern. Who wants someone to view, engage, or participate half-heartedly in a bit of entertainment?

To them, I say, this isn’t an either/or situation. Incentive-based viewing can play a supporting, not dominant, financial role in supporting a TV enterprise. Perhaps a movie, or even music, could do the same.

You want my personal information? Don’t be too greedy. I’ll gladly watch your lame reality show, comedy or drama -- or maybe just multitask during the boring parts. You’ll be happy to have my half-attention span.

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