Sunday, May 11, 2008

Advertisers Close in on Customized TV Commercials

The problem in the $70 billion television advertising world is viewers that you don't want to buy subsidize the one's that you do.

-Tara Walpert, president of Visible World, a company that provides addressable technology

Walpert's company aims to trasform television advertising by sending particular commercials to cable television audiences that match what advertisers or cable firms know about the individuals viewing. Google is also involved in trying to build such as system, as is a consortium of cable firms through a secrative activity called Project Canoe. The goal is to be able to allow advertisers to target audiences more efficiently than ever, based on their knowledge of the habits and backgrounds of viewers.

In Wayne Friedman, Addressable TV Marketing Arrives, Variety, May 2, 2008.

The article doesn't speculate how how these systems are likely to change the entire structure of TV programming, not just its commercials. The rise of commercials tailored to data about individual viewers and households is likely to cause programmers to want to tailor entertainment and news in ways that match the categories of the tailored commercials. The implications may not be immediate, but they will take place. The version of the nightly news you receive in the year 2020 may turn out to be different from the one I get based upon what the networks know about us, and how advertisers want to talk to us.

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