MediaMind is bringing smart TV to the masses, and the results have the potential to completely transform digital marketing. Read on to find out what's coming down the pipeline.
After consolidating Eyeblaster, EyeWonder, and Unicast, MediaMind is now the single largest independent ad server in the world. Its next large-scale merger is the marriage of traditional television and online.
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According to Caleb Hill, MediaMind's senior vice president of global account management and operations: "Smart consumers are on smart devices. TVs are no longer dummy terminals receiving information."
Smart TV will bring functionalities such as the ability to shop instantly for products you see on shows, video conference with online buddies about favorite shows, and recommend video content based on viewing preferences.
"It's the most comprehensive entertainment experience," Hill said.
Hill invited a panel of digital experts on stage for an open table discussion on the potential of smart TV. The first question posed was why consumers try to do whatever they can to get away from ads. With the conversion, will they be less adverse?
"There will always be advertising," Zvika Netter, CEO of Innovid, said. "Our experience is that if there's a polite invitation for people to engage, if the call to action is relevant to them, and if they can engage without leaving the content, people will engage."
David Smith, founder and CEO of Mediasmith, agreed. "Not everyone fast forwards. Given a choice, in most cases, people would rather have an advertising environment than have to pay for things," he said.
"People are seeking out good ads now," Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction, said. "Good ads have millions of hits on YouTube. There is a propensity to skip commercials, but I think that's because most commercials are bad. The bar for what we produce for audiences has got to be raised."
Josh Dreller, vice president of media technology and analytics at Fuor Digital, explained how smart TV is the new frontier. "Everything that you've seen, from banners to search, will start to appear on your TV," he said. "There will be all sorts of great new ways for brands to connect with their audience."
Digital Broadcasting Group president, Danny Fishman, echoed Dreller's sentiment. "The contract with the consumer changes right now," he said. "Television advertising is about to mirror its digital counterpart and become a lot more personal."
The presentation closed with a passionate discussion on where cable and satellite companies -- which traditionally have been hesitant to venture into the world of smart TV -- will fit into the new paradigm. All of the panelists agreed on the idea that the power is really in the consumers' hands here and not the cable and satellite companies.
"What we've seen is that companies that feel like they can dictate to the consumer are headed for a fall," Smith said. In other words, if consumers figure out that they can get a better entertainment experience for less money, they will.
Kleinberg put it best, adding that TiVo reinvented his relationship with his television. MediaMind is betting that smart TV has the potential to do just that.
Lucia Davis is associate editor at iMedia Connection.
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