In 48 Months, Traditional TV and the 30-Second Commercial Could Be Gone
For nearly 60 years, the 30-second commercial has been the gold standard of broadcast television advertising. In fact, advertisers are paying $4.5 million for the privilege of running a single 30-second ad in the next Super Bowl. But major broadcast companies and cable channels are no longer the only game in town when it comes to TV viewing.
We already know how popular YouTube, Hulu and other video platforms are. We already know about the programming from Netflix and Amazon Prime. But many analysts have been predicting for the past decade that Google is building its own internet. This may be coming to fruition as the company’s Google Fiber initiative continues to provide broadband and TV services to more and more homes across the country.
First rolled out in 2012, Google Fiber claims to offer more than 150 channels and thousands of on-demand shows and movies, connection speeds up to 100 times faster than basic internet, the ability to record up to eight shows at once, and enough cloud storage capacity to save up to 500 hours of video – all at a fraction of the prices charged by traditional internet and TV service providers. You can even download an app to your mobile device and use it as a remote control.
At the same time, wireless technology is already delivering connection speeds that are fast enough to watch real-time TV and support thousands of viewers simultaneously. These new Wi-Fi tools can provide reliable connectivity in areas covering more than 20 miles. The foundation is being laid to make Google the most prominent video carrier in the world.
Internet-connected Apple TVs are already here. Online viewing of television – live and on-demand – is already here. The traditional TV is gradually being replaced by internet streaming devices in living rooms across America.
The emergence of Google Fiber and smart televisions could completely turn the viewing experience and advertising models upside down. Instead of having different cable packages that allow you to view certain channels, you would use search functionality to find the content you want. There would be far greater variety of programming and far more flexibility in viewing behavior.
Would this be the end of appointment television? Could every desktop and mobile device be capable of tapping into Google Fiber? Would the combination of lightning-fast connectivity and smart TVs allow for viewers to instantly respond to ads by touching their giant flat-screen TVs or clicking a mouse?
Will the 30-second ad continue to be king, or will a new format emerge, such as virtual reality videos that enable 360-degree viewing? Will dynamic ad insertion and hyper-targeting capabilities change the way advertising is purchased? Will programmatic ad buying be transformed before it even goes mainstream?
At this point, Google Fiber is only available in nine U.S. markets and there are significant infrastructure hurdles to overcome. But think about the possibilities of a national, Google-driven internet distribution system that could be complete within five years. It could just be the end of TV as we know it.