As TV and the web finally come crashing together-- what with Cablevision announcing that they'll offer Netflix and Hulu via their set top boxes, and Netflix looking to revive Arrested Development-- the next big battle between the analog and digital worlds looms: who is going to serve up the advertising in this new era?
In one corner, you have the traditional TV buying giants, companies like MediaVest. who are tied into the ad agencies via their common holding companies. And in the other corner, you have the big web-ad buying services like Double-Click, who also have cozy relationships with ad agencies.
I'm not placing any bets here, as the new market has yet to fully develop. But at some point we're going to get to a place where 30 second commercials are being served up during a program being streamed from a website somewhere and both sides are going to think they should, by rights, be the one serving it up.
As the convergence happens, the level of data available to media buyers will greatly improve. They'll know your previous viewing patters, what times and shows commercials for a specific brand are likely to be watched or ignored, whether a show has High Social or Low Social content, even how often your IP address has been served a specific commercial.
Now which side is best positioned to take advantage of this new data is not clear. Which makes this one to watch.