Thursday, September 20, 2007

NBC U Steps Into The Retail Kiosk Arena

Media Post has reported that NBC Universal is going to be installing retail kiosks that allow customers to download music and will promote NBC's new TV programs (in particular, their late night line-up). According to the article, "The network will have access to hundreds--an exact figure was not provided--of so-called Mediaport ATMs at retail locations to display their promo content. The ATMs, or "vending machines," offer some 1 million tracks that can be downloaded to mobile devices or CDs."

This comes right on the heels of the announcement that NBC U has put together an ad council to look into further advancements in media buying and planning. Plus, it's also no secret that major media outlets are starting to pay more and more attention to out-of-home advertising.

This is a great move on NBC U's part, and if their research and experiments pay off they're going to look very smart when the other major networks begin to follow suit. Considering that the network consistently falls behind CBS, ABC and FOX in the ratings wars (watch a week's worth of Conan O'Brien and you'll likely hear a joke about NBC being #4), they really can only gain momentum by experimenting with non-traditional advertising methods and media.

I also think that a music download kiosk could be a very solid platform for ad delivery, as it's a prime example of giving back to ad viewers. Whether they are drawn in by the content on the screens or by the prospect of downloading songs, viewers are bound to get something worthwhile out of the experience. It's also a good way to engage younger audiences, which is certainly a big reason why advertisers and networks have been experimenting so much recently. The TV ad market, while still huge, is slowly being eroded by the prospect of something better, whether it's YouTube, TiVo or the fast-growing video game market. These things are not only eating away at the TV viewer base, but also at where viewers' attention spans and taste for TV advertising.

But the fact remains that television is still the defining media platform, and if NBC and the other big networks can bring more viewers back with techniques such as this one then it will serve as a big lesson for traditional media.

Tags: NBC Universal, interactive kiosks, kiosks

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