Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fragmentation VS. Context

The article discusses the challenges that the multiple screen experience poses for advertising since we no longer all watch Justified at one time on FX. That leads to the metrics that companies are used to become worthless because Nelson's viewership numbers are less and less representative of the true number of people that watched the program. In addition, the multiple screens erode economies of scale that come from showing a single advertisement to millions of people.

I would argue for the potential upside, however, since multiple screens offer better context about the user. If I know a person is watching an episode on their mobile device then there is a higher certainty that a person watched the ad since they can't flip the channel. You can also tell what a person is doing and can offer better ads. Not to mention you have better information about the individual watching the ad as opposed to the household.

If a young business professional is heading home from work on a train then why not offer a grocery discount along the person's rout or a happy hour special near their home. So yes the scale of the ad is diminishing but the ROI is increasing because of better context and intent of the customer. And as google has proven context is more profitable.

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