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Digital TV vs Internet TV: Marketers face challenges of integration

There are many channels that companies can avail themselves of to create an experience and a relationship between products and target consumers, especially through cyberspace as well as the new arrival of digital television, which has led to the rapid proliferation of digital videos.

With digital TV, viewers are no longer limited to four or five free TV channels as in the past. It allows marketers to fine-tune and break down their consumers into ever-smaller segments with the emergence of many new TV programmes.

The availability of third-generation mobile-telephone networks over the past two to three years has also allowed Internet usage and penetration to draw many consumers away from watching programmes on TV to various websites.

According to a survey of Internet usage conducted by the Informa-tion and Communications Technology Ministry, 54 per cent of consumers use portable equipment such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. More interesting is the tendency for younger Internet users to watch movies and listen to music online. More than 33 per cent of people from the ages of 20-24 use the Internet for such purposes.

As the content through these media adjusts more rapidly to consumer demand, people can watch their favourite programmes on "TV everywhere" or "on demand". This is ideal for urbanites who lead busy work and social lives, freeing them from the time they had set aside to watch their favourite programmes, since people can now watch them at any time.

For example, people who work in the city and have social obligations after work can effortlessly follow their favourite news broadcasts, dramas and game shows without lagging behind other fans, from the comfort of their cars or other places.

During a National Association of Broadcasters meeting, Adobe Systems revealed in-depth information about watching videos on mobile equipment and online advertisements in its "Digital Index" report.

People watching TV everywhere grew 12-fold, while people watching videos on mobile devices increased 300 per cent. People who use Facebook watched videos more than twice as much as the postings with no videos. Pre-roll adverts, which appear before videos are shown, account for 82 per cent of all video advertisements for long-format-content programmes.

Advertising content that offers new experiences and especially high-involvement products such as homes that require a lot of time to explain and that have to be shortened to merely 15-30 seconds carry high price tags.

This has led to marketers devising alternative ways to present the same information to their target consumers. These new types of advertisements allow viewers to follow more easily and help generate interest in the product or brand. The challenge then is to have content on the Internet, while blending in traditional media such as TV and publications, which still remain a necessity.

Measuring results to compare the most effective medium is necessary. However, it is not just comparing ratings of various TV channels or programmes, since people have many more options to choose from in watching the same programme.

That is why the ease of watching programmes by switching media effectively is something that many media agencies are beginning to study to find ways to track this for comparison's sake, and to be able to offer a more integrated marketing strategy.

The emergence of new media is an interesting and positive development, but in the era of rapid changes, marketers have to learn how to manage them well, or run the risk of the old Thai proverb "to pound and dissolve chilli dip in the river", which means to be a profligate spender with nothing to show for it at the end of the day.


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