The technology that is offered to consumers now is in a constant state of change, and these consumers are still in the process of adapting to these endless changes. One of the notable adaptations that are being made is the immense shift people are making from watching television shows and movies on their actual televisions to now viewing these things digitally. As companies like Netflix, Hulu, and of course YouTube have made a huge number of television episodes and popular movies available at the simple click of the mouse, or even the tap of a screen, internet users have made the choice that anyone would expect them to. Although this change may not be so great for TV advertisers, digital marketers can definitely get excited. As more consumers are using digital televisions and film channels, more marketing options have become available to advertisers on the web.
With a bit of help from eMarketer’s new report, “Digital TV and Movie Streaming: A Rising Tide of Devices, Content and Viewing,” we can see just how the shift to digital TV will rise over the coming few years. By 2017, the amount of internet users that watch shows on digital TV channels will reach upward of 145.3 million. That is a significant increase from the reported 106.2 million from 2012 and the forecasted 120.7 million viewers for 2013. However, what is possibly most exciting as far as digital TV numbers go is that, “Digital TV viewers will cross a critical tipping point in 2014, surpassing 50% of the US internet user population.”
In a survey reported by eMarketer, conducted by Belkin and Harris Interactive, a significant number of cable subscribers saw digital media platforms like Netflix and Hulu as at least a somewhat suitable replacement for their basic cable packages. About 12 percent of respondents said that they would definitely consider making the switch, while another 18 percent said that they would somewhat agree that these channels would be a good replacement.
Now that the world knows just how big digital television is likely to get, digital media channels are naturally hopping on the marketing band wagon. Although one of the more popularly used digital television companies, Netflix, is a paid subscription that brings in profits through pay from subscribers, there are companies like Hulu that rely entirely on advertising to bring in revenue. Also, Sony’s Crackle is entirely ad-based. “The monetization strategies vary as much as the content, and so far it seems the market is accommodating all approaches.”
Marketing with digital media channels that show users the most popular television shows in an instant format will probably become one of the more effective methods a few years down the road. What is important right now is to see the growth that eMarketer predicted actually take place, in order to make digital TV an actual viable marketing destination.