Since I'm a new-media entrepreneur producing and distributing online video content, you'd think I would use this soapbox to suggest that traditional media companies (TMCs) were dead because of the Internet. Not so sure about that, folks. Roughly 85% of the programming that mainstream America watches belongs to the big TMCs. Moreover, while some made-for-Web shows and videos have become somewhat successful franchises, let's face it: more often than not, those "brands" will draw blanks when you ask 10 random people from Anytown, USA.
Videocentric publishers are quickly moving toward a strategy in which multiple ad sources compete for an impression at the time of the ad call, while networks are exposing the amount they're willing to pay for an individual impression within the ad call itself. There's a temptation to call this concept RTB or Real Time Bidding, which I won't, because it's a loaded, polarizing buzzword. RTB connotes exchange, marketplace and platform, all of which are successful and proven models. They aren't, however, intrinsically linked to the concept of per-impression competition, which is all we're talking about here.
Some contend that Internet Video will never achieve its promise in the United States because the parent companies of the dominant Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are hostile to it. More specifically, CATV operators and telecos consider it a competitive threat to their conventional television subscription services. Furthermore, the threat intensifies as growing numbers of consumers discover that modern televisions can also be used as display monitors for computers or other appliances capable of accessing the Internet.
Remarkably, there are some marketers who still think that simply having a basic Web presence is enough. It's not. Consumers are actually looking for brand interaction -- a dialogue, if you will. The interaction must be based on authenticity, integrity -- and for many brands, it's got to have that element of "cool." So regardless of whether the term "utilitainment" makes you cringe, the concept behind this marketing jargon gem is genius, really. Here's why