TV Viewing Down? Related to quality of shows…

There has been a lot of talk about TV viewership declining in the last few years to people who come home and go on the internet all evening rather than watch the big 3 networks or cable on their couch. This isn’t a big deal for us consumers because we are just doing what we want, and chatting online with friends or blogging is better time spent than being a zombie in front of the TV. The thing is, the networks are really worried that they might loose those advertisers who pay up to 350K (on big events like the Oscars) per 30 second spot for TV commercials if they can’t prove that as many people are watching. They might have to sell an oscar commerical spot for a discounted 300K instead, and that is revenue loss.

Revenue Loss Bad! Revenue Gain Good! Grumbles the cave man CEO.

They are trying to prove that people watch their shows online and go to their web sites and all kinds of stuff, but the truth is that we are in an age where consumers determine what we want to do for entertainment, the networks do not. And even more than that, the advertisers do not. We will ignore millions of dollars of ad placement for a Friday night new movie in theaters, in favor of going online for a WoW match which did $0 in advertising. This pisses big companies off. They no longer have a reliable model for getting people to see, recognize, remember, buy and prefer their product anymore. Any shakeup in their billion dollar system that may make their quarterly return to shareholders less than anticipated will get people fired, will get people promoted and get more money spent. So, as someone who realizes that media planning is more fragmented than ever before and that demographics of each of your emerging properties changes monthly, I realize that there is a huge opportunity here to reformulate things more efficiently and make advertising a lot more relevant. But that probably won’t happen. We will probably still see ads plastered on non-relevant things, at un-relevant times and continue to forget them immediatley. 

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