Commentary

Will Streaming Video Air Ads After Pause Button Is Hit?

Pausing in the modern media world? The media business moves and distractions don’t stop. But consumers might.

In this environment, Hulu and AT&T are considering adding commercial messages that will appear, on their respective video platforms, when users pause video content. A report in Variety says this new trend will begin soon.

Now, all this may not be a dramatic addition to those marketing messages consumers already are subject to -- just another way for marketers to inch into modern media users viewing and message habits.

What will these “pause” messages look like?

Some imagine they might be more subtle than traditional TV commercials, perhaps a static screensaver-like image that appears on one’s laptop, or a short two- to-five-second pitch.

TV network groups like NBCU, Turner and Viacom have already talked up the need for far less traditional TV advertising. But this remains a tough task, as legacy TV advertising buying habits are ingrained, especially as big ad revenue models continue to pull in major volume dollars.

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That said, one would believe the future won’t be including two- to-three-minute commercial TV advertising pods/interruptions. It’s about marketers finding fringe moments in and around video, when TV viewers won’t turn away or be angry.

TV viewers are not adverse to ad-supported TV platforms. But they want to have a clear idea of what is coming. “Pausing” commercials would seem to walk a fine line.

But think of the consumer when they hit pause on their remotes. What they are really saying is: I’m pausing from this screen because I’m headed to the kitchen or elsewhere. But wait... now the pause button on my remote can’t really pause all content. How are they going to feel?

Maybe consumers will sense a workaround, not only hitting the “pause” button on remotes, but the “mute” key as well. And in turn, that will have content owners -- TV networks, marketers and distributors -- working on “mute”-adverse TV commercials, we’re guessing.

See where this is going: Control over your remote may not be in your control for long.

3 comments about "Will Streaming Video Air Ads After Pause Button Is Hit?".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 7, 2018 at 10:25 a.m.

    I keep waiting for the ethically-challenged advertising industry to hijack all of the proliferating screens in my life: My refrigerator door, my thermostat, my computer screensaver, my car navigation, my cell phone ... no place will be safe. Why is my office phone screen not showing me advertising messages when it's idle?  If I'm not using my office computer screen for two minutes, shouldn't I get a heartwarming commercial message to cheer me up? No one can really sell these intrusions without eager buyers on Madison Avenue.  More is better.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 7, 2018 at 10:52 a.m.

    Douglas, its just beginning. Next up will be "smart" bathroom cabinet mirrors, toilet seat lids, tie clasps, belt buckles, ---the list of possibilities seems endless. But not to worry. In exchange for getting all of those targeted ads you will also get five- minute videos to watch---free. Or, if you wish, you will be able to subscribe to apps featuring these same videos for $5-8 per month and they will be ad-free. It can't get any better than that---or can it?

  3. John Osborn from TV-TheNextGeneration replied, December 11, 2018 at 4:53 p.m.

    I appreciate this Doug: "I keep waiting for the ethically-challenged advertising industry to hijack all of the proliferating screens in my life: My refrigerator door, my thermostat, my computer screensaver, my car navigation, my cell phone ... no place will be safe.."

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