Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Online Business and Advertising - A Transition for Advertisers

It is of no question that the Internet has become much like television and radio, as it can be considered a medium almost like broadcast that can be used to entertain and inform people. Online streaming of video and audio has allowed the Internet to be used for video services and provide radio and video entertainment through the computer that would have previously required an actual radio or television set. A number of television networks, film producers and other video enthusiasts have constructed websites devoted to showing video content, such as archived episodes of broadcast shows or even feature films. The Internet has become a nearly limitless source of resources, a media form all its own, and a place that advertisers are consistently devoting more time and resources to over time.

Television networks and film producers have created websites such as Hulu that allow people to view video content online. Specifically, content such as films and television shows from networks that agree to put the content online. Hulu's video system has been replicated and seen on websites for other media outlets such as Comedy Central and Cartoon Network, and some people, including members of my own family, now admit to having no television and relying entirely on computers to watch their favorite shows. This system has created a need for advertising revenue to sustain the websites and bring profit to the businesses posting these television shows, as the standard television advertising has dropped in revenue with people spending more time watching TV online. As such, advertisements play during, before and sometimes after the video you chose to watch. While presenting less advertising than most live broadcast, these advertisements are often the same seen on television but do not allow one to skip through using a DVR device, better ensuring people will absorb the message.

"Seriously guys, down in front!"

It goes beyond the online content of television stations and film studios. A number of entertainers work entirely through online video content, such as Channel Awesome and Rooster Teeth, two websites I frequent for a good laugh. These websites generate a large number of sketches, comedic reviews and online shows that keep viewers coming back to the point that they are considered great successes that spread and communicate almost entirely online, supplementing their online programming with live appearances at conventions and the sale of DVDs of their work. Much like the television and film studio websites that use online advertising before, during and after videos to make advertising revenue, a system that has given Channel Awesome a great enough success to be featured in Entrepreneur Magazine. The Internet has gradually changed the media landscape for almost two decades, and this shift demonstrates a shift of television content from television to the Internet.

From an advertising perspective, this creates a new method of creative thinking in advertising. While most often, the advertisements that play alongside videos seen online are similar, if not identical to, the advertisements seen on TV, some businesses such as Burger King and Verizon have gone further and made interactive advertisements that allow you to click on images in the advertisement or input your name to hear someone in the advertisement say it. This method actually engages the consumer more than simply forcing them to watch an advertisement play out, and may be appreciated for this and show better results. To conclude, I'd like to say that online video viewing is an interesting shift from television as a dominant advertising medium, and I'm excited to see this continue.

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