AOL Launching Ad Supported TVWritten by Michael Levanduski
August 12, 2012 # 7:49 pm # Industry News, Specials # 2 Comments
Netflix is a service that has been extremely popular for a long time now. However, Netflix is not the only popular connected TV providers, being that it is accompanied by sites like Hulu. The sites are similar in that they allow users to watch connected TV instantly, but they also are not ad supported. Never in any show or movie on Netflix or Hulu will you find an advertising from sources outside the company itself. Because of this fact, AOL has ushered in something very new by creating a connected TV platform that is completely ad supported, allowing advertisers to delve into the relatively new but rapidly blooming industry.
There have been others that have tried this idea in the past, but they have never really been used like AOL’s new app entitled AOL On Network could be. In an article on ClickZ, Matt Kapko writes,
No one is really taking advantage of the ad-supported video business out there,’ DelaCruz [general manager of connected TV and mobile video at the AOL On Network] added. While some digital video platforms are focused on bringing the entire online experience to other devices, AOL is purposefully leaving social media and tracking mechanisms out of the equation. Although there is a natural inclination to want to track users online, DelaCruz believes there’s little room for that in today’s connected TV landscape.
Much like with YouTube and other video sharing websites, ads will appear has High Definition video ads lasting about 15 to 30 seconds each. Since AOL is afraid of over advertising so early in the game, these ads will only appear about every 15 minutes, which is still a good spread of time. Starting a platform in connected TV can’t be easy, and too much advertising right now would complicate things even more, potentially leading to a huge decrease in the company’s success with this endeavor.
If AOL on Network becomes a successfully functioning television platform, however, it could be just as popular as Netflix and Hulu, especially with all of AOL’s experience with online business. The actual AOL on Network platform has been around for about a year, but its first version had a very simple design and little functionality, keeping it far behind its competitors in the industry. Their new and improved version of the app has a much larger library of videos and films provided by numerous sources as well as videos from content partners.
Advertisers now have a more available connected TV platform, essentially opening an old door that has not seen much use. AOL has been constantly building their video content library, giving users more viewing options and driving more traffic for marketing. The app is currently available on smart TVs, most recently Samsung’s popular Smart TV devices. It has continued to grow in availability, and soon it will probably be very good competition for Netfilx and Hulu. With this relatively new advertising platform will come likely marketing success, just like the success that YouTube has seen with similar advertisements.