Viewers Have Ad Choices: Opt In Or Opt Out

Modern media consumers want options about advertising -- legacy media (TV, radio, print) and new media (digital, social, premium video and desktop).

Let’s call it what it is: opt-in or opt-out.

Despite growing media choices, viewers can’t always opt out. They need to make broad choices -- usually ahead of time.

Some are easy. You don’t want advertising in your premium streaming TV content? Sign up for Netflix, or non-ad-supported premium video options, via Hulu, Peacock, whatever.

But what about live TV?

Ever try to opt out of advertising around live TV sports or news programming?  Can’t really do that -- except with the mute button. That said, there is always the original advertising avoidance approach: Using your remote to switch channels.

Traditional and new media companies do provide these options -- generally. But, for the most part, they want to know ahead of time, such as signing up for a premium streamer.



Imagine watching a close late-season NFL game when a TV network/station goes to commercial break. What if the viewer -- on his big wish list -- really doesn’t want to leave the live video stadium setting to see a T-Mobile messaging about a new broadband/mobile holiday deal?

This isn’t any real choice. If there was, it would cause massive disruptions in TV network advertising revenue.

In a separate -- but related -- story, Facebook now has concerns about Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 update, which it says could lead to a more than 50% drop in its Audience Network ad business. The new Apple software update now wants each app to allow users to opt in when it comes to initial tracking.

All that connects to advertising revenue.

True, this is more of an apples-and-oranges thing. As far as we can tell, there is no direct comparison when it comes to, say, tracking those watching a live, linear TV NFL game or connecting the dots of viewers to specific business outcomes.

In that regard, traditional TV consumers might feel more protected when it comes to privacy issues.

Still, TV networks continue to look for ways to get closer to viewers with data. High-viewing end-of-game TV commercials? Here is the sad news: They might be getting closer.

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