For almost 80 years, marketers have taken advantage of the latest entertainment technology to capture the attention of their viewing audience.
Consumers began watching television in their homes during the 1930’s. The first paid sponsorship in the U.S. through the medium of television occurred during a televised game on what is now NBC between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies on July 1st 1941 for Bulova watches (the Phillies won). Through a popularity boom in the 1950’s, and the introduction of color technology in the 60’s, network television formed a foothold with American viewers and won a prominent place in the living room. Over the next few decades viewers watched their favorite entertainers, cheered for their sports teams, and learned about local and global news on their TV screens.
On September 5th 1995, baseball once again was at the center of new technology. ESPN’s SportsZone streamed a live radio broadcast of a game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners to thousands of its subscribers over the Internet.
Out of the Living Room
By the mid-2000s, the Internet’s most popular content was being delivered to large audiences through content delivery networks (CDNs). The efficiency of CDNs allowed streaming media to be distributed further and eliminated connectivity issues. Remember buffering? In December of 2005 Saturday Night Live aired its first video short called “Lazy Sunday”. Although originally aired on TV, the only way to view the clip was to Google “SNL video” watch it on a brand-new platform named YouTube. In the click of a mouse, the world was introduced to streaming and sharing videos online. Since the release of the first iPhone in 2007, over 50% of video consumption is taking place on mobile devices.
In the late 2000’s, television networks and independents such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and Roku began creating sites where shows and programs could be streamed online. After 2010 Smart TVs began dominating the television market. As of 2015 smart TVs are the only type of mid to high-end television manufactured, once again allowing consumers to view their favorite programming and receive brand messaging in their living rooms.
(The Yankees lost)