The Future of TV Advertising

Tracks trends in traditional television ad sales and the impact of new technologies, new competition.

My Photo
Location: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Proven senior level executive with over 25 years of leading turnarounds and startups of software companies in media, finance, energy and business intelligence. See more at Linked In.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Now Cable Viewing Declines

Catch the Variety article.

For cable TV, May proved to be the cruelest month, at least in the Nielsen
ratings: Nine of the top-10 ad-supported networks declined in number of total
viewers, five by double digits

This isn't supposed to be happening (yet) ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ratings Slip -- Again!

Broadcast and Cable is running a story about the recent ratings decline.

The reasons are conjecture, and do not acknowledge the real underlying problem with broadcast media.

"The time zone change" --- wow, now that's creative!
"Creative difficulties" --- duh?
"American Idol" --- even though they were down 7% AND were able to increase their rates!

The underlying issues are a bad pincer setup --- a) increased competition for, and fracturing of the audiences, as they have many many many choices for entertainment.
b) Advertisers, especially small and medium advertisers, get much more accountability, feedback and optimization of their buys when they go to digital media.

Oh yea, and digital advertising has passed $17B a year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Younger Viewers Trust On-line More Than TV

Comscore publishes a report showing that younger viewers trust ads associated with on-line more than those on TV. While TV is more noticed (in your face!), the on-line ads carry more trust.

Couple that with the fact that viewer measurement is much deeper (for all but the big big advertisers) on-line, it is no wonder that the on-line world is seeing a resurgence in values ... viz: all the M&A activity.

Again, TV can/should respond by pressing harder on accountability and measurement, but larges factions (especially smaller market sales forces) are well tuned to selling just the opposite!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Now This Is Interesting -- Magazines Held Accountable?!

MediaVest USA has been reported to demand that magazines report actual circulation statistics by issue, not just averages!

Golly! You mean advertisers want to know if they got what they paid for?? Shock!

Again, this can happen because MediaVest controls $900M of consumer magazine advertising.

But, as I always warn, if you are a smaller advertiser, you too should demand full accountability .. and walk to the nearest web advertiser if you don't get it from the traditional media. Remember, the traditional media profits from keeping actual performance obscure!

New Granular Approach to Audience Ad Measurement

The talk of the "up-front", the annual event where major advertisers and agencies commit to annual budgets with the broadcast and cable networks, is the Neilsen ratings change.

Neilsen has traditionally measured audiences for 1/4 hour segments and did not differentiate between the program and the ad. Independent research, and everyone's anecdotal evidence, suggests that ads ad NOT watched as often as the program itself. So Neilsen and the industry are slowly moving to a system of commercial ratings, where the audience for individual ads are rated.

Now that is a LOT of measuring points!!! Every ad in every pod on every TV station and network for every demo!! Oh! Did I mention that DVR playback within 7 days will be included as well!

The good news: It is a step in the right direction. No intelligent advertiser wants to spend money without some form of measurement. And this provides much more than ever was available before. Big advertisers and agencies have driven this, and will take full advantage, holding the networks accountable for delivering the audiences they paid for.

The bad news: I can't see how the data at a local level will be filled in to the extent that local advertisers can use ... or understand and process. There just are not enough measuring points to find out who is watching the Food network at 2 pm on Wednesday in York, PA. And an advertiser in York hasn't the wherewith all to audit that spot anyway.

The bottom line still remains: If you are a small advertiser ($1M or less in most of the country), beware. You probably don't get what you want and measurement from the media industry is likely to be obscure. Set up your own measurements .. like how many people came into the store after the ad, a phone in number on the ad, or something to tell you the ad worked.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Newspapers Lose paper Readers, Gain Web Readers

Newspapers lost 2.1% of their circulation in the last 6 months, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, and web visitors to newspaper sites was up 5.3%.

Now, unfortunately, that 5.3% in no way makes up for the losses ... and is a sign of the times (again, again) for traditional media.

Ken Rutklowski's lively daily email carries the headline User Generated Content Threatens Traditional Media. According to Accenture, media executives are concerned that videos on sites like You-Tube, amateur web photos, etc. are increasingly appealing to younger audiences, and threaten their future.