In the media profession I believe there’s been an unspoken but widely shared belief that each new development incorporates and builds on the best practices that have already been created and proven to serve the advertiser’s interests. Sort of like an expanding sphere, incorporating the best of what’s been done while encompassing new techniques -- particularly those made possible by digital media. But now I wonder if this is actually the case.
An amusing recent article in Media Post (“Stop The Madness! Buffering Is Driving Us Crazy”) talks about “buffer rage” among video consumers. It references a study of 1,000 consumers by IneoQuest that found streaming video “buffering” (delayed, stalled or degraded video delivery) ignited feelings similar to road rage. Having not experienced this phenomenon myself, I decided to do a little research on my own by streaming a bunch of TV programs and focusing my attention on how advertiser’s commercials were coming across. What I found was not so amusing.
My research was conducted using my broadband Internet provider (one of the biggest in the US) and included a wide range of video from high-rated current primetime programs offered by broadcast and cable networks, through popular reruns of all genres, to very long-tail, low-rated cult shows, to movies that included commercial breaks. Here’s what I found:
We now violate so many principles that we used to take as given in delivering video commercials:
After looking at the actual situation in streaming video today, maybe we need to alter the assumed image of current media practice. Instead of an expanding sphere is it becoming a sliding bubble, where we chase after the new while ignoring what we already know to be important practices -- at the advertiser’s peril?
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