Content and Advertising in Harmony?

Life without commercial interruptions AND free content has been a nirvana promised over the years like the potential of a winning lottery ticket. The problem, of course, is money. Obviously, if the content has been created, then those who do the creation should get compensated for their time. It is certainly true that fees from cable and satellite companies are not enough to go around. The OTT model, like Netflix are not showing commercials, but how long will it take before investors demand more revenue?

Since advertising is a critical tool to keep the majority of the content flowing, then why is it unnecessarily annoying. Advertisers try to make them funny or inspiring or exciting, but in reality, they are just in the way. Do we need to just suffer through commercials? 85% of consumers will leave the content as soon as they see the ads play, 65% will skip it as soon as possible, and 25% are blocking ads altogether. This is an enormous threat to the health of a business, and one no one would tolerate this on any other channel, but digital.

Even on the radio. Remember when even XM and Sirius (now SiriusXM) used to say they were commercial free? What happened to that? Consumers like commercials so much why were they willing to pay for an ad-free version? A study showed that but 42% of consumers are willing to pay for fewer ads. Is there another way?

YouTube and the MLB showed some interesting new ways of advertising during the 2019 World Series as has NASCAR. They are playing commercials while the action is going on, moving it to a little box somewhere, or on top of the action. Those experiments have been largely relegated to television. Social, free OTT, and dedicated channels (Hulu and others) are still using the old “Endure this or you won’t get to see your stuff” model. The advertisement has something to do with the content, but absolutely nothing to do with the context. But they are at least trying.

Content, Commercials AND Customers can live together.

This would require, of course, harmony between brands, distributors, and content providers. However, the economics of each of these industries continue to put them more at odds with each other on this subject rather than together. Realizing this seemingly irreconcilable anomaly, CatapultX, a start-up out of New York, is trying to address this challenge using a novel approach; watch the content WITH the viewer. Merging AI algorithms to understand ongoing video context, the speed of real-time bidding (RTB), and a basic understanding of individual users’ tastes, they are striving to allow advertising to complement the content, rather than compete against it.

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Imagine the drama series brought to you by your favorite store, when the actors are “shopping” there in the storyline, without interrupting the action. Or a subtle Starbucks ad that rolls along the bottom of the screen in conjunction with the coffee shop scene in the video. With view-ability and likability increasing, they are estimating results often 3x to 5x higher than traditional methods. This means more advertising revenue for publishers and more engaged customers for advertising.

With new technologies like this, hope (and less anger) are on the way. If the commercials are made to engage with the viewer while the content is playing, then the viewer will be less likely to skip the whole experience. If publishers need funding from advertisers, this could make it work for both of their audiences; the advertisers and consumers. Early results are showing that the odds of this being successful are better than that lottery ticket.

Founded in 2019, CatapultX is an AI-based platform at the forefront of innovative video marketing. Serving contextually relevant video ads that don’t interfere with consumer experience, CatapultX brings a profitable, engaging and enjoyable experience to publishers, advertisers and audiences. If you are interested in expanding the profitability of your content or building a more robust advertising portfolio, reach out to us at or set up a meeting with someone from our sales team.