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The video advertising industry is in the midst of a disruptive paradigm shift as the traditional household TV viewer has undergone radical behavioral changes to now having personalized, on-demand access to OTT streaming. Consumers today are enabled to avoid ads and ad-based services as the options for streaming content have expanded. Consumers now have access to content curated to suit their personal interests available anytime, anywhere and on any device they choose. As we move into the world of 5G, the speedy streaming over the internet will bring a multitude of VOD competitors. But as consumer technology and content delivery and discovery continue to evolve, it's only a matter of time that the resulting fragmented and scattered market will be unsustainable and inhibit large scale adoption and growth for each platform.  

While the beginning stages will be appealing for consumers, without advertising, media subscriptions will become unaffordable for the majority and much less content will be available and at much higher prices. Naturally, the industry will fall back into heavier reliance on advertising and runs a risk of consumers shifting back and forth from an array of options to find the least costly and less ad intrusive service. Consumers will have a harder time sorting through the proliferation of options, especially if each service has its own dedicated app and billing system. OTT offerings will ultimately dilute themselves in the long run in a frenzy to either consolidate or go out of business.

Consequently, as multimedia channels diversify across platforms, the traditional TV viewer experience will remain fragmented, the subscriber base will continue to drop, advertising ROI will diminish and media revenues will steadily decline.  The effectiveness of digital ads has pulled ad spending away from traditional pay-TV. Yet, TV streaming consumption has more than doubled in just the past year as viewing habits shift away from mobile, tablet and even computer devices. Current media tactics are aiming to save media revenue but do not solve the outstanding issues surrounding consumer satisfaction and stickiness.  Instead, some of these solutions seem to add to the proactive consumer movement by shifting to ad-free media, overall slowing the growth of the TV advertising industry.

So, what’s the problem and what do we do about it?  Just the mere sinking number of pay-TV subscribers should compel the media industry to adopt a different approach. Legacy media must urgently redefine how to interact with consumers in the form of a sticky platform of aggregated content that offers new, intuitive and engaging user experiences that capture data driven insights to better measure and alter ad campaigns in real-time. With the right business model, enabling consumer engagements and e-commerce activities on TV that serves the interests of the consumer, advertiser and media alike will reshape the future of TV.