Everyday we’re bombarded with promo ads for upcoming television shows. While I’m generally uninterested in watching the latest TLC docudrama, every once in a while I see one for something and think “man, I should watch probably that.” And then what? It ends. I go on with my life and probably end up missing it. As unfazed as I am by this, television broadcasters probably aren’t. Well, Dijit Media thinks it’s figured out a way to fix this.
Dijit has spent the last year trying to figure out how to stake its claim in the television industry. Last May Dijit launched its consumer-facing platform, NextGuide, which aimed to be an all-in-one TV discovery service. Now the company is teaming with TV broadcasters to launch a new “remind me” button for television advertising.
This new feature is exactly as it sounds: If you see an ad for a program on your phone or computer, be it a YouTube video, a social campaign, or just an ad, a button will pop up that says “Remind Me To Watch.” From there, the user is taken to NextGuide’s homepage, and that program is added to his or her NextGuide reminder list. Once the program is about to air, the user receives an email reminder.
To roll out this feature the San Francisco-based company is teaming up with 11 “major networks,” which include Fox Broadcasting Company, BBC America, and truTV Networks, and Dijit says more will be announced later.
Jeremy Toeman, the company’s CEO, says that historically television marketing hasn’t necessarily led to informing a viewer that a new show will be airing. This is funny because, according to Toeman, one in eight of all ads on TV is for another TV show. “Not a single TV ad has a real call to action,” he says. He sees this feature as “connecting the dots between a promotional campaign and an audience member.”
Dijit has been testing out the “remind me” button for a few months now, and claims it’s been successful. The open rate for reminder emails is between 46 and 56 percent, and the click-through rate from the emails is at around 15 percent (which, as he says, is more than double the industry standard).
The real question is whether this will be enough for Dijit to amass a real usership in television discovery. The last time I wrote about the company, I was skeptical about NextGuide’s ability to truly attract an audience by merely providing features to find and record your next favorite show. The “remind me” button does fill in some of the gaps, as it provides a back-end way for the company to make deals with broadcasters.
Toeman wouldn’t call this a pivot, however, or a change in business model. He told me this simply reflects the full scope of what Dijit is trying to do. “Half our story is around discovery,” he said. And the other half, I suppose, is this new feature that will then, of course, drive more television discovery.
Instead of synergy, though, it’s possible that Dijit is barnacling itself to a sinking ship. If you check annual television statistics, primetime ratings have been dropping to all time lows. All of this points to a new type of television viewer who streams shows at their own leisure (or worse, torrents), and probably doesn’t sit down with the family during the airtime. While Toeman is aware of this, he also emphasized that 87 percent of TV watched today is still watched live. “There is a shift underway,” he says, “but we don’t know how long that shift will take.”
As a result he’s positioning Dijit in a contorted television nether-space. It deals with streaming providers like Netflix with its NextGuide platform, allowing users to discover shows and then add them to their queue. And it has formal arrangements with broadcasters through this new button.
While clickable buttons on ads are something I, and perhaps many others, steer clear of, this one, which isn’t all that different than an Apple iCal invitation to a meeting, has more appeal. If the company can get viewers to make it a habit to click on Dijit’s button — a big if, of course — it could crack our viewing habits, and that would mean it’s succeeded.
[Image Credit: Spinoff]
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