Recently, Engadget uncovered a very interesting entry from the US Patent and Trademark Office from Apple that would allow 'systems and methods [to seamlessly switch] media playback between a media broadcast'?¦and media from a local media library.'?
For example, say you're listening to streaming radio that cuts to a brief video ad and the algorithm determines that this ad isn't something that you would
be receptive to (either based on specified preferences or previous usage / engagement), then you would instead be met with a video from your own iTunes library. Remember those puppies you recorded at Bob's house last weekend? SO ADORABLE. Ok, now back to your Creed channel on Pandora.
Out of context, it seems as though this is an odd concept. Media networks can target a specific audience and if they happen to miss a few on the fringe, oh well (still nailing those impression numbers!). The idea of not serving an ad at all, not even an alternative ad, seems a bit odd as there could be missed advertising opportunities that the algorithm doesn't pick up on thus money left on the table for the media property. But what if that interpretation of the technology is not necessarily the case? What if this technology is using this algorithm to hyper-target, ultra-customize, uber-personalize the ads down to not only what it knows about the user but also has access to?
For example, say in a few years, you're watching a stream of Apple's latest Worldwide Developers Conference and between speakers the player runs an ad for the new iPhone 8. The ad features a bunch of teenage hipsters playing around with the phone with the latest Gotye song playing in the background. But jump over to the cube next to you and your coworker Jim, is seeing that same video but set to a Phil Collins song. Next to him is Mary who has that video set to a song by Adele. Next to her is Frank, the IT Guy, who is yelling at everyone to STOP STREAMING, YOU'RE SLOWING DOWN THE NETWORK. (These problems still exist in the future.) What do they all have in common? Those songs were all on their respective 'recently played'? playlists on iTunes.
Of course, this scenario is purely speculative (and totally ignoring copyright laws), but it's always fun way to think about what new and creative ways the advertising experience will be enhanced in the not-too-distant future.