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The Sad Future of TV Advertising

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July 14, 2015 by Scott Howard

I saw another statistic last week that makes me glad I don’t work in the television business.  The article from AdAge.com starts with the headline, “Televisions Are No Longer the Screen of Choice for Kids”.

Who are the kids they are referring to? Well, it appears that they are toddlers, which are age 1 to 5 or so.  I have 8 grandkids and 6 of them are in this age range. july4 2015-7

Instead of watching on the tv in the living room, family room, or where ever room, what are they watching and where?

Looks like tablets are winning big.  The web is winning big, and who is losing? Traditional TV Broadcast Networks. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS.

30 years ago I saw the rise of cable TV which was the beginning of conditioning us to pay for extra tv channels even though we could watch 3 or 4 channels with the most popular programs free.

Look at the shows that have been getting the Emmy nominations and awards the past several years and you’ll see what I have witnessed as more and more of the shows are only available via cable or internet.

A former coworker of mine from the radio advertising world now works in tv advertising. His job is to get results for people who give him money for advertising on his tv station, just like mine is to get results for people who give me money for advertising on my radio station.

But the odds of success are drastically stacked against him.  The last time I watched any program on his TV station was a sporting event. Last winter.

Of the traditional broadcast TV networks, I watch CBS the most, followed by ABC, NBC, PBS and FOX.   But when you add up the actual hours each week, there are some cable channels that get more viewing time than any of those broadcast networks.

You’ve already lost me as a potential customer if you are only using my local broadcast tv channels because, I don’t watch with enough frequency to have an impact.  The 10 or so cable networks I tune into at least once a week are not being used by local businesses to reach me either.

Hang on a second, I started talking about toddlers, 5 year olds, the kids of my kids, and now I’m talking about my baby boomer TV viewing habits…

The point is, the broadcast television networks with their local stations have already lost the baby boom generation which is currently age 51 to 69.  We are the ones who watched TV before cable.  My kids, the millennials are the ones who are switching from cable tv to web tv services like Netflix and Hulu.  Their kids, the ones the study talks about, we honestly have no idea how they’ll be watching what we call TV when they become adults in 15 years.

But the death of local TV advertising has already begun…

Scott Howard aka ScLoHo has 25+ years of experience in marketing , advertising, media and works directly in the radio and digital world from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Contact him at Scott@ScLoHo.net or 260.255.4357.

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