Product placement has been used for many years by companies, and it’s common for brands to pay for their products to be shown in TV shows or films. But now, with the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix, this practice could start being tailored to each individual viewer.
This sophisticated technology could, according to marketing experts, become mainstream in the near future. It would mean that, for example, a viewer that’s known to drink vodka might see a liquor brand, while someone who doesn’t drink might see a soft drink.
In addition, streaming services could start to tailor which products are seen by the time it’s being watched. For instance, someone watching in the morning might see a glass of orange juice, while someone viewing in the evening might see a glass of wine or a can of soda.
Streaming services are in a better position to start using this technology than traditional TV services, mostly because they have access to more data on their customers’ behaviour and interests, making it easier to determine which products would be of interest to them.
In a time when competition is tougher than ever, many brands welcome this as a way of reaching younger viewers, viewers who avoid adverts, and those who are harder to reach by traditional advertising methods.
Many services, such as Hulu and YouTube, already have access to customer data like their age, location, and shopping patterns, which is then used in targeted ads. Some of this is collected by the platforms, and some is collected by independent data companies.
Streaming platforms are already trying out new ways of advertising. For example, Hulu has recently introduced ads that play when the viewer presses pause. It’s also started using ads when viewers watch more than three episodes of a show in one sitting.
Product placement, however, is very popular with platforms as it allows them to provide marketing services for companies without any interruptions for the viewer. This also allows them to charge more, as, often, customers are willing to pay more for commercial-free options.