Will Streaming Video Air Ads After Pause Button Is Hit?


Pausing in the modern media world? The media business moves and distractions don’t stop. But consumers might.

In this environment, Hulu and AT&T are considering adding commercial messages that will appear, on their respective video platforms, when users pause video content. A report in Variety says this new trend will begin soon.

Now, all this may not be a dramatic addition to those marketing messages consumers already are subject to — just another way for marketers to inch into modern media users viewing and message habits.

What will these “pause” messages look like?

Some imagine they might be more subtle than traditional TV commercials, perhaps a static screensaver-like image that appears on one’s laptop, or a short two- to-five-second pitch.

TV network groups like NBCU, Turner and Viacom have already talked up the need for far less traditional TV advertising. But this remains a tough task, as legacy TV advertising buying habits are ingrained, especially as big ad revenue models continue to pull in major volume dollars.

That said, one would believe the future won’t be including two- to-three-minute commercial TV advertising pods/interruptions. It’s about marketers finding fringe moments in and around video, when TV viewers won’t turn away or be angry.

TV viewers are not adverse to ad-supported TV platforms. But they want to have a clear idea of what is coming. “Pausing” commercials would seem to walk a fine line.

But think of the consumer when they hit pause on their remotes. What they are really saying is: I’m pausing from this screen because I’m headed to the kitchen or elsewhere. But wait… now the pause button on my remote can’t really pause all content. How are they going to feel?

Maybe consumers will sense a workaround, not only hitting the “pause” button on remotes, but the “mute” key as well. And in turn, that will have content owners — TV networks, marketers and distributors — working on “mute”-adverse TV commercials, we’re guessing.

See where this is going: Control over your remote may not be in your control for long.

This article first appeared in www.mediapost.com

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Wayne Friedman

Wayne Friedman is West Coast Editor of MediaPost.

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