Globally video content is going to go ballistic with 3 trillion minutes (6 million years) of video traffic crossing the Internet each and every month in 2016. That works out to 1.2 million minutes of video streamed or downloaded every second. (Source Cisco VNI)

In addition, the number of connected devices on the planet will increase from 10 billion in 2011 to 19 billion in 2016. So there are more consumers online than ever, watching more video content than ever on more permanently hooked up devices than any of us could have imagined only a few years ago. This content obviously doesn’t have to originate with any of our local broadcasters, it can come from any place on Earth, from any number of websites, services or Apps. 

How do you plan on reaching the millions of viewers watching this wealth of content? Even if you can somehow identify what they’re watching, where they’re watching it and how, do you think that you can interrupt them with a thirty second advert at the front of every video clip? One that they can skip after five seconds? Do you know anyone who actually watches the entire ad before a YouTube clip or are they more likely to have their mouse pointer poised over the “Skip this ad” button, ready to hit it in the first millisecond that they can?

No worries I hear you say, we’ll just make sure to get them when they’re watching local On Demand TV, where they have to watch the adverts if they want to see the show. Seriously? Most people multitask quite well when they’re browsing the web. If an ad pops up and they can’t skip it, they’re going to effortlessly zip off to another browser tab or App until the ad is over. They may well listen to the sound in the background but that hardly makes for an effective TVC. If you think that viewers have a lot of choice on a TV just with the TV channels, think of the limitless online options available to your potential audience. Bear in mind that today’s smart TV is basically a computer, complete with USB mouse and keyboard. Don’t presume that your audience will just placidly sit there when they have other choices…lots of other choices.

The hijack behaviour deemed acceptable by consumers on TV and radio (every advert in these environments is effectively hijacking a program or show of some sort) is much less tolerated online. That’s an attitude that may have to change in time, in the same way that consumers may have to get used to pay walls on their news sites or Apps, but right now, online viewers resent intrusive adverts. Even briefly hijacking a web browser or a news App with an ad can provoke a negative response. 

The time to start thinking of alternative ways to reach consumers is now, before they’re all totally switched on and connected, but disconnected from your marketing messages.