When I was procrastinating today, I noticed that Facebook has introduced advertisements in videos uploaded by users and pages now.  I noticed this when I was watching a teaser for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere one of those “life hack” videos appeared. In this video, a bottle of Coca-Cola was being sawed into bits and glued onto a Coca-Cola can to create a rather pointless can with an unscrew-able lid. Beneath the video showed “Products shown in this video” and had a link to follow to go to Coca-Cola’s Facebook page, or another link to go to the Life Hack video page. I thought nothing of it, waited for it to finish and continued procrastinating and watched the rest of the teaser.

The Pirates of the Caribbean video I was watching was just the teaser for the movie, and had a link in the description to follow to see the full trailer on YouTube. I noticed at this point that I had been exposed to marketing for the movie, for the life hack website, Coca-Cola, and now YouTube, so out of curiosity this time (instead of procrastination), I followed the link to see how deep this string of advertisements will go.

Once on YouTube, before watching the trailer, there was a 5 minute trailer at the beginning of the video, for a completely unrelated short film/documentary about a man driving across the Antarctic. Within this ad was only on brand of car; Hyundai. On the video, it left links to click on to visit either the full video for the film/documentary, or Hyundai’s website. The video didn’t provide an option to skip the ad like YouTube usually does, and I found that quite odd, so I watched the rest of the video, still hoping to just watch the Pirates of the Caribbean trailer.

At the end of the ad, yet another ad shows up, this time as a pop-up beneath the video, asking if I want to skip remove ads by trying YouTube Red. I selected “No thanks”, and finally at this point, was I finally able to watch my trailer. After about 15 minutes trying to watch one trailer, I was interrupted by 7 different and unrelated videos and other digital marketing materials.

By the end of the trailer, I was exposed to marketing from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the Life Hack Facebook page, the Coca-Cola Facebook page, YouTube, that short film/documentary, Hyundai, and YouTube Red.

I feel like this is really effective marketing by each of these businesses, some marketing materials are more subtle than others, and without me scrutinising each and every detail for this blog, I probably would not have noticed.

After all that trouble to watch one video seeing ads within ads within ads, I have now installed an adblocker to my browser so that I can procrastinate in peace.




The Long Tail theory in the Music Industry

Chris Anderson’s Long Tail Theory about how technology and the internet enables niche markets.  In the past, traditional walk-in stores had limited, specialised products. Take the music industry for example. Ten or so years ago, for access to music, most people would either go into a store like Sanity or JB HiFi in order to purchase the music of their choice, and discover new music on the radio. To share music, people would lend their tapes or CD’s to each other or provide each other with a copy.

As time went on and technology progressed, people began to have access to their own personal libraries of music through devices such as iPods, where music could be bought off iTunes or like most people, downloaded off the internet. People could create playlists of their own taste and more and more genres and types of music emerged and became popular due to the internet. The internet also enabled for people to share their music with their peers with sources such as YouTube, where the song could be downloaded using a converter.

Nowadays, music streaming services have emerged, and with a small subscription fee, users have a vast range of music at the touch of their fingers. Songs no longer have to be downloaded, allowing for ease of access and the exploration of new music.  Music is now shared still through the use of the internet, YouTube and other websites still exist for listening to music, but now playlists and songs can be shared through apps like Spotify.

Going back to 10 or so years ago, the genres of music that were available seemed to revolve around a few popular genres, such as pop, RnB, rock, country, etc. Now that music is so easily accessible, there are more and more sub-genres emerging, causing people to steer away from the main genres and listen specifically to what they want to listen to.

Business Implications:

  • As anyone can post music online, both existing and new music artists are using online streaming websites or applications like SoundCloud or Spotify to expose themselves online. The streaming services are being used as a platform for these artists to further progress their music careers. Regardless of the genre produced, these services are available to anyone with an internet connection, and therefore there is bound to be someone in the world who will listen to your music.
  • Rather than playing generic radio music, businesses are taking advantage of music being so easily accessible, and creating playlists to suit their brand and brand image and identity. As different genres of music generally have a particular demographic or segment that listens to it, businesses can target these segments by playing their preferred music in store. For example, within a clothing store like Glue, having a younger target market, they play music such as deep house or pop music playlists.

In my opinion, there are definitely a much larger number of genres of music nowadays, and I believe that it is due to ease of access caused by the internet and technology. Do you agree? Do you think that your favourite genre of music would have existed 10 years ago?