Advertising in the Digital Age: Where Did My TV Go?

A Washington Post article by Cecilia Kang, “Americans are moving faster than ever away from traditional TV,” summarizes the current state of television viewing:

“Cable networks have seen steep ratings declines, which got much worse in the last six months of 2014. Cable ratings among adults fell 9 percent in 2014, three times the rate of decline over 2013…”

Why the reductions in ratings? More and more people are turning to streaming services and mobile devices to watch TV. Services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu continue to add subscribers, and even traditional networks are beginning to offer streaming services for virtually any device.

Does this mean TV is dead? Absolutely not. As the article states:

“Television is still king, with viewers of all ages getting the vast majority of their video entertainment and news from live programs and using time-shifted services such as DVRs…”

Does this mean the traditional delivery method for TV, namely cable companies selling large packages of channels, and the traditional advertising that goes with it, is dead? I’d argue it is on life support, and there is a search for its living will. The cost of creating quality content continues to go down, and the ease of accessing it is going up.

Does this mean advertising has to change? Absolutely. With traditional media, you conduct research to determine how best to communicate your message to an audience. One problem with this is you have very little control over whether or not that audience receives the message, nor can you tailor the message for targeting different subgroups within your audience.

The good news is, the shift away from bulk content delivery also means a shift from bulk message delivery. Through new forms of targeting, utilizing everything from a mobile device’s geo-location to a person’s social media activity, different types of advertising can be delivered to different target audiences for the same product or service.

As with any change, there will be those who fight it and those who embrace it. Regardless of which of those stances you take, the change is coming. I believe embracing the change is a much better option, both for you and your clients.

Stay tuned for more posts that build on this concept of individualized or demographic targeting through alternative marketing channels. Contact us to learn how 24 Communications can help with your advertising needs.

Recent Work