There has existed a loose understanding between publishers, advertisers, and consumers. Consumers get content from publishers in exchange for viewing ads. Publisher’s get their work financed by advertisers in exchange for renting advertising space. Advertisers get access to publishers audiences in exchange for financing their production. Television, display advertising, billboards, radio ads, etc. all work like this. However, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in value to advertisers as the rise of independent content creators continues. I call the phenomenon “Durable Advertisements”.
First, we need to define what I mean by durable advertisements. In a typical advertising scenario you’re renting space from a media company. An advertisement does not live forever, but rather expires when the purchased media is used up. It’s finite. A durable advertisement is one, that because of the nature of the media, doesn’t ever disappear. It’s integrated into the content medium in such a way that if someone views it in the future.
Secondly, it’s distinct from native advertising in that the advertisement is separate from the actual content and doesn’t dictate or attempt to mimic the content.
So what’s an example of a durable advertisement in action?
Gimlet Media is a fantastic example of a company that’s selling durable advertisements. (Full disclosure I have no relationship with Gimlet Media outside requesting a media sheet. Alex won’t even return my unsolicited emails). Their startup podcast has fantastic replay value. I frequently go back and listen to season 1. Every time I re-listen to it, I hear the same advertisement from companies that bought that space.
The reason I replay it, and I suspect that others replay it, is that the content itself has enduring value outside of the moment. It’s not the weather, it’s not a daily stock report, it isn’t the news. It creates and inherent value that endures.”In the same way that “Confessions of an Ad Man” by David Ogilvy is still considered mandatory reading in the advertising industry, the ideas and content are to some degree timeless. It’s evergreen content. When many of the most popular content creators of our day become popular, it’s because they’re building something new. Something that resonates. Not simply riding a wave.
From a formatting standpoint, they do a good job separating the ad from the content. From a technical standpoint though, there is no ad slot like we would think of when it comes to say display advertising. As an end user, It’s all the same audio recording. This is what I mean. Where a display ad is served from an ad server based on impressions in real time. Gimlet ads persist regardless of if 1 person listens of 1 billion. This is beautiful because if you believe they’re a growing brand (Which I do) you can piggy back off 3 phenomenons to deliver a lot more bang for your clients media dollars.
1. As their brand keeps growing and people view old episodes you’re getting free media.
2. Binge Watching.
3. A desire for authenticity.
Millennials absolutely love binge watching. As a millennial myself I can vouch for this. (I watched an entire season of House of Cards in a day. No judgement.) The question of course though is why does this matter? One word. Repetition. I’m not going to get into the details as to why repetition is so valuable, but when building top of mind awareness, repetition is a big deal.
This extends far beyond Gimlet Media. Podcasters, Youtubers, etc. are all selling durable advertisements without even realizing it. As independent content creators continue to grow in number they’re going to realize how much more valuable their media is than a typical broadcast.
The opportunity to build authenticity with an audience is unprecedented. Many times, things like ad sense make little or no sense to a content creator. It’s disruptive (In a bad way) to the experience they’re crafting for their audience, and doesn’t provide enough revenue to justify the interruption of the story they’re trying to tell. With these durable ads, media companies, brands, agencies, etc. can work with the content creator to build the kind of advertising experience that their audience will not only respond to, but be thankful for. They know how hard it is for small publishers to make enough money to do what they do all the time. If brand support of independent lets creators produce more or create higher quality content the audience will recognize that. This creates a situation where consumers are not only tolerating the advertisements, but are actually happy that big brand support is giving them more of the content they crave. I can’t think of a more real way to build a positive and authentic relationship for a brand than supporting the things their consumers care about.
From an advertiser stand point, I have an opportunity to not only get my clients more value but also support independent content creators? Sign me up yesterday.
Durable advertisements are on the rise, and every single stakeholder wins because of it. If you’re an advertiser I would suggest you take advantage of this phenomenon before content creators wake up and realize exactly how valuable the space they’re selling is.