Tendências emergentes, factos e dados reveladores da evolução dos media, cultura, economia e sociedade. Impacto social, económico e cultural da tecnologia.


segunda-feira, maio 02, 2005

A Look at the Marketing Industry's Coming Disaster

Over-the-air network TV is gone, along with program schedules, affiliate stations and hotel demand in Cannes in the third week of June. George, Jane, Judy and Elroy get their entertainment, and their news, any way they wish: TV, phone, camera, laptop, game console, MP3 player. They get to choose from what the Hollywood big boys have funded and distributed, or what the greater vlogosphere has percolated to their attention.

ABC, NBC and CBS are still major brands, but they surely aren’t generating radio waves. Three initials never uttered, however, are CPM. They’ve long since been supplanted not just by ROI, but VOD, video on demand; P2P, the peer-to-peer Napsterization of content; DRM, the allocation of royalties for digital distribution of content; VOIP, Internet telephony; and RSS, the software that aggregates Web content for easy access by the user.

Branded Entertainment has long since been exposed as a false idol, because consumers got quickly fed up with their shows being contaminated by product placements. Satellite radio is a $4 billion 8-track tape player, stored on a high shelf in the garage, pushed aside by podcasting, which is free. The Upfront Market is an exhibit at the Smithsonian. The Super Bowl survived as the No. 1 pay-per-view event. Survivor didn’t.

The space-age family of the future can still watch CSI, any episode they want, whenever they want, but not on any advertiser’s dime -- unless they choose for their viewing costs to be subsidized. Yet advertisers know everything about them and understand virtually every move they make.

Marketers aren't adversaries
And the Jetsons don’t fight it. In 2020, consumers understand that marketers aren’t adversaries; they’re intimates, sharing info for everybody’s mutual benefit.

Yesiree, by George, it’s a brave and exciting new world that the near future holds, a democratized, consumer-empowered, bottom-up, pull-not-push, lean forward and lean back universe that will improve the quantity and quality of entertainment options, create hitherto unimaginable marketing opportunities and efficiencies and, not incidentally, generate wealth that will make the current $250 billion domestic ad market seem like pin money.

Alas, the future -- near or not -- doesn’t happen till later.
“If they do,” he says, “then the entire marketing system that perpetuates this economy will be weakened. And this is not a problem for just the broadcast television networks. This is a major problem for everyone who markets a product to the consumers in this country. Because there has been and there is not currently on the horizon anywhere near as effective a way to market products to the mass consumer marketplace. And if in fact that current system deteriorates to the point that advertisers and marketers abandon it, I don’t see anything that’s going to replace it and the entire marketing infrastructure and the economy is going to be diminished. And that’s a lot bigger problem than just a network television program.”

In other words, what’s good for CBS is good for America.

The other possibility is the opposite: that what’s bad for CBS, and for ABC and NBC and Fox and Conde Nast and the Gannett Co. is very good for America, because what emerges from the ruins will be superior in every way to what it replaced. Better for marketers, better for the economy and especially better for Mr. Jetson, who won’t have a robot maid but very likely will have a million-channel universe.



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