FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, June 24, 2005

Broadcast TV Advertising On the Decline

So far this year, the broadcast TV networks have earned less in preseason ad buying than last year. Media observers such as Jeff Jarvis believe that this is not just an isolated decline, but a critical tipping point in which advertisers are beginning to seriously question the value of network TV advertising, and are shifting their priorities (and budgets) to online and digital media. The decline of key demographics and the mass audience in general, the ability of TV viewers to "zap" commercials, the growing popularity of cable, and increased use of the Internet and other media all factor into this decline.

The interesting question is not so much how advertisers will respond (simple: they'll go where the eyeballs are), but how network TV will respond. Will networks take more risks in an attempt to attract more viewers, or play it safe? Will they cut production budgets to the bone (which in all likelihood would mean more reality shows), or roll the dice on a few really big projects? If the media observers are correct and this is the beginning of a long-term trend, the broadcast networks have to make some crucial moves over the next few years. And as audience share dwindles, the margin for error grows ever smaller.

Sources: Media Post, BuzzMachine