I’m old enough to remember when NBC fought tooth and nail to keep “Lazy Sunday” off YouTube because it was a platform it couldn’t monetize and was seen by network and others as simply an outlet for piracy. Now, though, SNL and other late night shows are producing material that might air on TV first but which is really meant for online viewing.
There’s no better example of that than James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment and Variety explains how the producers use brand integrations to monetize those clips. There’s a lot of thought that’s put into which offers to take since they’re getting some that aren’t going to match to the demographic that they’re trying to reach. I think, though, this is going to be a short-term tactic. Basically they’re going to find, based on precedent, that the requests are going to become more and more intrusive, such as needing to add a 15-second sizzle reel in the middle of the video or needing to work in these five brand messages. So while this is what’s working for Corden’s production team and the network right now, expect this to evolve over time and for the ad element to become even more overt. The advertising industry is expert at using the thin edge of the blade to open up a big hole for them to drive through.