Crackle: The Blueprint for the Future of TV
My thoughts on the direction of television and new media.... There have been several different discussions about where the television industry is headed in the next decade. Two of the major focal points of discussion have revolved around content distribution methods and how it will impact the advertising industry. I have seen reports calling for the end of the commercial and having the networks rely entirely on a subscription over-the-top model. While subscription model networks are unique and fantastic offering the viewer an incredible amount of content at a touch of a button, there are a few hurdles that OTT networks must climb before claiming victory against traditional broadcast television. The issue that arises with this concept is asking the consumer to purchase multiple subscriptions on top of their current cable or satellite package. Even you as the consumer decide to eliminate cable all together and stick to strict digital OTT networks, your monthly fees for a handful of networks would more than likely exceed a basic cable package that might contain over 50 channels. There are several pros and cons to both traditional cable models and digital OTT subscription models. Enter Crackle. A digital OTT network model that I call the best of both worlds. Crackle contains tons of great content with no monthly subscription fee or any aggravating logins and passwords to remember. Crackle's revenue source is powered by interactive commercials. Utilizing a model like this breathes new life into a commercial and actually enhances its effectiveness with the ability to click on the ad (depending on what device you are using) and directly go to a site to purchase the product. If the product draws enough interest, the consumer can literally click to be transferred to the product's ecommerce outlet, read more information and order the product within a few minutes. This new distribution method of advertising creates a new avenue to generate not only product awareness but sales while eliminating several layers of asking the consumer to either drive to a store or search for the product on a website. While browsing Crackle's catalog of content and cruising through a couple of Seinfeld episodes, I took notice to some of the advertising that appeared during the breaks in the shows. One was for a new Samsung smartphone with the commercial linking directly to Best Buy's website with an opportunity to purchase a product. Another commercial was promoting Las Vegas travel with a link directly to a website to book a hotel and airline package. This model of distribution is engaging, easy and effective and it is available not only on your television, but on your smartphone, tablet, or computer on-demand at the viewers convenience. Sony has indeed hit a home run with their digital model. It will be interesting to see how it develops and who will be next to follow the groundwork that has been built.