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What's next for ninemsn in 2012 - Part 1

What's next for ninemsn in 2012 - Part 1

I recently spoke at the IAB/AIMIA 9th Annual Future of Digital Advertising Event. The event gave me a chance to organize my thoughts around what 2012 really looks like for ninemsn and our advertisers. I want to share some of these thoughts with you in this two part series.

I believe we will see more change in digital media over the next 5 years than we have seen in the last 20. Today, the pressure on CMOs and marketers to deliver tangible results in the short term is intense. It’s easy for tunnel vision to set in. Positioning your brand and understanding how it will tell its story tomorrow can play second fiddle to the present. Advertisers are reacting to trends rather than mastering and exploiting them.

Digital trends are no different. They will have a revolutionary impact on the way brands tell their story to tomorrow’s consumer. At ninemsn we uniquely straddle the advertising and technology industries. We believe future digital opportunities will be unlocked through the power of imagination and intelligence. Creative ideas, coupled with the data and technology to bring them to life and truly connect with consumers.

So what are these trends, and how can brands prepare? I will split these trends into two parts. Part one will look at Context is King, New Horizons for TV, Virtual Togetherness and Regulators narrow their focus-as consumers pay the price.

Context is King
With all the focus on the amazing tech that enables our new era of advertising, it’s easy to forget that what’s in the ads matters too as well as the environment it’s viewed. Advertisers need to tune in to what kind of content engages their audience and create advertising that aligns with what they watch and read. You can roll out a remarkable initiative to find consumers, but how will you engage them? Premium ad placements that offer contextual inventory are essential to branding. Our focus:

  • Creating insight-led, deep content integration opportunities with relevant advertisers that are truly immersive for our consumers. Like the Coles/Food integration and Hyundai New Thinkers campaign
  • Investing in more sophisticated context and behavioral targeting technology to deliver hyper-relevant ads to people who actually want to see them
  • Continued dedication to impactful rich media executions - that don’t just look amazing, but perform amazingly
  • Providing a mix of brands that aggregate audiences (like The FIX, Wide World of Sports and Australian Women’s Weekly) along with more niche, special-interest brands (like Primped and The Knot)

New Horizons for TV
The battle for the future of the living room rages on, with a series of next generation TV platforms poised to reinvent the relationship the consumer has with content. If you followed the coverage of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this January, you would have seen the series of “connected TVs” set to hit American (and soon Australian) shores. 2.1 million Australians already own a Smart TV (Internet connected).
The definition of “online video” will become blurred and the idea of linear TV watching will become “old-school”. It will become expected that video can be as interactive on the TV as what we are used to on the PC.

In this new environment, will the internet be seen as another “channel” on the TV or will each channel be a website on the connected TV? Whatever the future of TV looks like, one thing is clear – the age of it being a one-way communciation is over. Advertisers need to be ready for that. Our focus:

  • Our Xbox console has firmly planted its flag with the delivery of premium content and apps through a new and improved dashboard, where marketers can buy 30 second spots.
  • We are dedicated to driving the growth of online video and innovations within video advertising. Check out Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s latest music video for a glimpse into what is soon possible

Virtual Togetherness

Social platforms and technologies that enable people to interact with TV programs will explode in 2012. We will see innovations that allow people to engage with shows in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.
To some degree, TV has always been a sociable activity, whether it is with family or conversation at the work water cooler the next day. Throw in a bit of Twitter, a backstage blog, behind the scene videos and tablet optimized web experiences, and you have the perfect formula for TV on social steroids. 3 in 5 Australians are already regularly surfing the Internet while watching TV.
Our focus: complementing our Channel 9 properties with PC and mobile properties that amplify and socialize the experience – as opposed to cannibalize.

Regulators narrow their focus – as consumers pay the price
If you haven’t been following the Australian government’s convergence review or the US SOPA – you should. Increased regulations threaten what many of us know and love about our online world. What worries us is that the Review won't take emerging forms of digital storytelling into account. Will companies such as ninemsn be forced to invest in "quality drama" instead of investigating new forms of storytelling? Will Facebook be forced to hand over a chunk of revenue to prop up television production?
The review committee’s focus has been on regulating Australian content rather than advertising, so we can only speculate as to how advertising will be regulated, but what is already clear is that large increased regulation will inevitably impact the content proposition we can offer to our advertisers; and for the broader industry it could limit innovation and Australian competiveness. Digital content must be seen as a dynamic and changeable.
So to our industry I say listen up and speak up, and take serious note of the Government’s actions. The Converged Media review may be our only chance to take Australia ahead of the curve. We’re a relatively small and very technologically savvy market – but we’re also a forward-thinking, imaginative and intelligent country and what our media regulation laws look like need to foster this innovative culture, and not inhibit it. See our full opinion piece by Shaun Davies, Executive Producer News.

Click here to continue reading Part 2 of Digital Advertising in 2012

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