Friday, October 28, 2011

Time As Currency

There’s a new movie opening today called “In Time.”

The movie is about a time in the future when the only way to stay alive is to steal, earn or inherit more time.

In other words, time becomes the currency that people want more of.

Which makes it a little bit like the digital platform.

Everyone today still seems to be focused on size. “How many” is the number that everyone claims is important. After all, our industry is based on the belief that share of voice = share of mind = share of market.

I disagree. The important number on the digital platform is “how long.” And the new model is share of time = share of mind = share of market.

The reason is simple.

Time is finite.

There are only 24 hours in a day. And we only have so much time to give to brand decision-making.

Which means the more time I decide to spend with one brand, the less time I will have to give to a competitive brand.

I’m not talking about time purchased by the brand – thirty seconds here, thirty seconds there. That's something that the brand controls.

No, I’m talking about the amount of time I decide to give to the brand. And that's something that I control.

Up to now, we’ve been very good at measuring the amount of time the brand purchased. We know how many people (impressions) had a chance to spend time with the brand.

But, we haven’t known how much time the consumer actually decided to spend with or give to the brand. On the digital platform we do.

Which is why the digital platform will soon be monetizing how long, just as it currently monetizes how many.

Because on the digital platform, time is the currency.

Time is money.

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