Let me interrupt your FM feed

I’m not entirely sure about this approach to advertising, but it merits discussion. A company in the US is using an FM transmitter that plugs into your iPod to transmit its ads.

This kind of reminds me of something that happened to my sister over the weekend. She went to use the washroom at 3am and the scented puffer thing she bought that emits pretty smells once every hour went off as she opened the door. She told me that she nearly had a heart attack thinking that someone was hiding in wait.

I liken my sister’s experience to this ad transmitter service. Totally useless. Consumers don’t want more ads. They don’t want more clutter in their otherwise busy days. Although ad spending is going up, the attention span of consumer in regards to those ads are going down.

Can the FM transmitter approach. It will be ignored and seen as intrusive.

Who will win the online downloads war?

Here are 3 different approaches that broadcasters are using to make their TV shows available online.

Here’s how all 3 stack up:

  • Fox is using a complicated revenue-share to offer its content for downloads.
  • ABC is using an ad-supported model and will offer its content to be downloaded for free.
  • NBC will offer its content for a small fee.

I have mixed feelings about all 3 approaches, but the broadcaster who offers their content for a small fee and has no ads in it will win out in the long run.

Even my boomer dad gets it

Yesterday, I visited my dad to have an Easter Sunday dinner. He’s a Baby Boomer and at 59 years old, he said something to me that lets me know that he “gets it.” Although he has never been online, he certainly understands why certain industries, such as broadcasting, are doing so poorly while podcasting is taking off.

Over roasted chicken and rice & peas, my dad talked about the reasons why he would never pay for cable (although he’s had it for years – don’t ask).

He said:

“The cable companies show me the same thing over and over, so why the heck would I ever pay for it? Give the people what they want, or they’ll go somewhere else to find it.”

Little did he know that he’s talking about the exact phenomenon that’s sweeping the Internet right now – on demand content. It’s the reason why more and more broadcasters are offering their TV shows as a download through iTunes (albeit for a fee). It’s the reason why podcasting is taking off.

Cable companies and broadcasters need to wake up. In the words of my boomer dad, “Give the people what they want, when they want it.”