Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Content Everywhere" Equals "Ads Everywhere"?

These days service providers are all about fixed-mobile convergence, cross-platform, and three screens. Facing fierce competition in different business silos such as voice, video, and data, service providers are aspiring to become experience providers, offering a bundle of applications and consumer experiences through all the networks they own and all the consumer devices their services touch. One of the most important consumer experience is the consumption of entertainment content and it's therefore no surprise that has become the mantra of Orange, the leading French service provider. Service providers will deliver content in different ways, including subscription, a-la-carte, and of course, free advertisement-supported. Advertrisement seems to have become the panacea for new media and it is now invading the only remaining oasis, cell phones. Cross-platform content or experience will inevitably lead to cross-platform advertisement as service providers attempt to leverage multiple screens, collect user data, and deliver ads targeted to not only an individual consumer but also the distinctive platform he happens to use at a certain point of time. The hope is that they could then charge higher CPM from advertisers. AT&T has announced its first three-screen advertisement deal with Chase, opening the floodgates.

AT&T has secured exclusive rights to distribute video, music and images from "Swampstock 2006," an annual music festival and charity fundraiser held in Rayville, LA, and hosted by country music star Tim McGraw. Chase Card Services, which markets and services more than 140 million credit cards as part of leading global financial services firm JPMorgan Chase & Co. , has agreed to be the sole sponsor of the concert and related elements.The concert elements will appear on the AT&T blue room, a Website featuring music, sports, gaming and more; through video on demand (VOD) on AT&T U-verse(SM) TV and AT&T Homezone(SM) services; and via Cingular Wireless.As part of the agreement, Chase will receive banner ads on the Swampstock area of the AT&T blue room portal, air TV spots throughout the VOD segments, and distribution of "wallpaper" and voice tones on the Cingular platform.

The other service providers are likely to follow suit in the near future. Consumers will soon be bombarded by advertisements wherever, whenever, and on whatever platform. We can only hope that someone invent a cross-platform TiVo service to zap away those ads. Oh wait, TiVo probably won't be the one-isn't TiVo transformaing itself into an advertising company? Ok, let's settle for less; hopefully these ads will at least be creative and "relevant"...

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