By Hiro Media
Media philosopher Marshall McLuhan wrote in 1967 that “when faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past,” that, “we look at the present through a rearview mirror.
We march backward into the future.” This seems to be especially pertinent today when we look at television programmers who are adding over-the-top (OTT) content services to their abilities challenging and trying to disrupt traditional media and models.
For cord-cutting consumers having more network options to choose from is good news, however, many players might well be hampering industry progress and thwarting innovation by falling into the trap of McLuhan’s “rearview-mirror effect” — they’re just recreating what has already been done in OTT distribution.
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The traditional distribution model offers an impersonal user experience where viewers select channels to access the content they want. Instead, programmers should look at the online ad industry that is already targeting specific content to individual audiences.
Video content needs to be pushed to viewers instead of them having to seek it out and the key to advancement is through personalization. The March Backwards
A good example of our tendency to march backward can be seen in the very history of television itself. When TV was invented, media applied the exact same techniques used in radio instead of creating disruption.
Now we’re seeing the same behavior amongst several online media networks, while others are focusing on producing something distinctive for online environments. There may be many exciting and new shows on Nickelodeon or other OTT service providers, however, the evolution of media is the evolution of distribution. The move from terrestrial channels to analog channels enabled CNN and MTV. The move from analog to digital enabled the formation of numerous MTV channels.Up Close and Personal
As we move towards online advertising and video content, it is imperative that we don’t rework the patterns of old models. By old “patterns” we mean traditional TV broadcasting where viewers are required to approach a single channel for viewing content. This is not just a passive approach, but one that produces a completely impersonalized experience.New “patterns” that should be adopted for the online environment involve push and personalization. In other words, content must be proactively tailored and targeted to viewers on the sites and channels they visit regularly.
This is the only way content owners will ensure maximum content monetization, while viewers will be offered the personalization they expect to receive. Take advertising as an example — people don’t have to search for their favorite ads, they encounter them wherever they visit.Engaging the Consumer