TV and the web compete for ad dollars

The transition in paid media is happening. Traditional daily newspapers are declining. So are lots of mass appeal magazines such as Newsweek and Time. Specialty magazines, however, have grown and continue to be introduced as the fragmentation of media in the USA continues.

One change worth keeping tabs on is TV advertising departing to the web. Internet video, the process of putting television programming on the web is in full force and television revenues are beginning to see a bit of a squeeze. Hula leads the charge (http://www.hulu.com/ ). How fast dollars move from network television to Internet hosted video over the coming years will be worth watching for those who have relied on television for access to U.S. consumers. Right now, TV advertising still commands a good sized budget from companies like McDonald’s, General Mills and Proctor & Gamble.

Sam Schechner at the WSJ writes an insightful piece in Monday August 15 edition
( http://tiny.cc/0pc16 ) that includes this observation:

Declines among younger viewers accelerated this TV season. At any given time of day, about 11.5 million people between 18 and 34 years old watched TV on traditional sets between last September and the end of last month, down 2% from a year earlier and 3.4% from two seasons ago, according to Nielsen Co. Networks are able to charge advertisers a premium for viewers in the age group, which also is a barometer for future viewing habits.

As long as the networks are able to keep the new (and more expensive) shows exclusively on prime time television, then their revenues will remain solid. Older programming on the web is the norm, with CBS releasing none of its current programming to the web and only 7% of its overall content.

For mass marketers and brand builders, it all bears watching.

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