TV Isn’t Dead (But It Also Isn’t Growing)
The future of television, supported by ads, has been the subject of concern and speculation for the past several years as more and more SVoD (subscription video on demand) providers enter the scene. There are two main threats to TV currently: the first is shrinking audience reach, and the second is the rising cost for advertisers without a significant ROI. But do these threats spell out the inevitable doom for ad-supported, cable television? Not necessarily.
TV isn’t dying, but linear TV also isn’t showing signs of growth as audiences under the age of 35 opt for streaming services over traditional cable. Even cable mainstays such as the NFL have experienced drops in viewership. Bolstering linear TV for the time being are the abundance of advertisers who are still willing to pay inflated ad unit prices to reach fewer viewers, if only because there’s currently no better alternative. Capturing younger audiences while maintaining their loyal viewers should be the main priority for broadcasters, and to do that, they’ll need to grow by diversifying their services and fostering OTT and VoD partnerships.
Previously subscription-only VoD services are now looking to expand into the ad space, but don’t have the infrastructure; broadcasters have the infrastructure but need to capture VoD’s audience. A partnership, especially a partnership that brings a multitude of services under an all-inclusive TV package, could be the solution both industries are looking for.
The ways consumers are viewing content are changing, expanding across new screens, and subverting traditional measurements of viewer interest. These changes are not passing fads either. With so many new demands on top of existing expectations, TV needs to grow to meet viewers where they are, rather than hope the viewers’ needs will shrink to meet linear TV’s capabilities.