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Consolidation Needed for TV to Please Advertisers

2015 10 09   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

So while there’s one segment of the television industry complaining that business isn’t what it was, another camp says: “TV is everywhere; shut up and watch.” The truth is somewhere in between.

Linear TV isn’t what it was even a year ago, and won’t be the same as it is now in another 12 months. But make no mistake, TV is not as ubiquitous as some would suggest (or sell it). Tiny little segments of what’s on linear TV are available piecemeal across probably close to 100 different devices, services and platforms. And they’re all competing with one another for your eyes. Each offers you what it thinks is the hook that will get you to subscribe – conveniently forgetting, or willfully denying, that it offers only marginal value.

Here’s how you can test the ubiquity of a medium: Turn on your radio and see how many stations you can tune in. All of them, right? Right. And you easily can select satellite or Pandora, even Spotify if you like. Apple Music will be next with in-car access. That’s ubiquity; a single device that gives you universal access.

TV isn’t there yet – and may not get there for some time. The first thing that has to happen is consolidation of content-delivery services. Once that’s been brought down to one or two systems, then television might be considered ubiquitous. Until then, the best we can say is that segments of video entertainment are everywhere. Hardly attractive to me as a media buyer. Even less so as a consumer.