A Top-Down Approach Needs to Be Balanced with Consumer-Centric Thinking
Imagine having to watch an hour’s worth of commercials before a two-hour movie. Or being tapped on the shoulder before each page of a novel with an “exclusive offer.” It sounds ludicrous, but this is essentially the way we experience ad-supported content today. It’s no wonder ad blockers are proliferating.
This is because something strange happens to ad execs when we walk through the doors of our corporate offices: We somehow forget that, just before stepping over that threshold, we were a part of the population we’re trying to reach with ads. With this perspective mysteriously erased from our minds, we begin describing people as “users” that “consume” content in a “cross-screen” environment. When was the last time you thought to yourself, “I’m done watching short-form, snackable content on my mobile screen and now I’m going to watch long-form, premium content on my OTT device?”
This collective amnesia can be cured by simply reminding ourselves that we, too, are the viewers. People don’t think in silos. They just want to watch their stuff where and when they want — and so do we. This is indicative of what I see as the major problem in our industry: We need to balance our top-down approach with consumer-centric, bottom-up thinking. As we begin to make this change, what should serve as our beacon is a sense of balance and empathy.