Thursday, August 20, 2009

Knock On Wood - for the internet (a continuation of yesterday's rant)

I've been thinking about the whole media-convergence thing all day, and I have to put it out there, just so I can get it off my paranoid mind. This TV merger between our two local stations has got me thinking about the shift from TV to the internet. The bottom line is, that marketing geniuses are collecting data on our clicks, and following the channels that we follow online, in an effort to see where and when they can effectively advertise, thereby increasing the effectiveness of online media Monetization.

Before, there were less obvious ways to follow our consumption habits (TV ratings and surveys), but there were also less options. Even with the 300 + channels to choose from, content on TV was geared much more linearly, than say the surfing habits of a web driven consumer. The reason online media may be so hard to predict, is the 'openness' of it all. The kind of openness that network television is probably VERY freaked out about right now. Imagine having an ad for the Simpsons during a prime-time show on NBC. never gonna happen. Or a view of other news perspectives on a network news broadcast? silly right? That's just the kind of thing that drives us to Google news, or You Tube for that matter, what makes them so much more engaging, thorough, and well, maybe self-destructive.

We can look at our own internet surfing habits as the new 'channels' that advertisers are desperate to try to find. They need to know where their consumers are, and now that we are so diverse, so 'free,' that makes things very sticky for media providers that depend on these advertiser's success to keep producing the information we need them to produce. What's the reaction?

Don't be suprised if we see more restrictions on the internet. The easiest way to find us as consumers, is to keep us somewhere. That means exclusivity to links, the very foundation of the world wide web. The idea (for them) is to keep us on 'channels' or 'structured surfing habbits' that the media can control in an effort to get advertisers to maximize their returns. More legislation, and less freedom is what I fear. Kiss google news goodbye, and look forward to the linear browsing style of of MSN.

IDK just a thought.

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