You know, I’d rather just stick my head in the sand than talk about the effect data has begun to have on TV advertising, but a MediaPost article this week – “How Data Will Do To TV What the Internet Did To Computing” – got my mind on the topic again. I’ll keep my head up and, instead, just dip my big toe in the water because I don’t want to get bitten by the sharks.
Here is my take on data and its effect on TV, in viewership and advertising: It’s compromising both, making it all less valuable. We have virtually the same number of viewers consuming way more diverse video entertainment on dozens more “channels,” accessing all this stuff through a dozen or more devices. This makes ALL of them less valuable because none can claim the mass reach that broadcast and the largest cable networks still can – at least for the moment.
The general direction is toward increased fragmentation and dramatic devaluation of each media source in terms of the ability to produce a return on investment (ROI) for the advertiser. Television is in for a rough ride; it’s going to look like one big party as each new device, channel and show rolls out its advertising offerings – at least trying to do some of it programmatically – but I think that, in the end, those who continue to embrace the human-to-human experience will win the day – if not monetarily, then certainly in every other respect.