TV Wars…

So it seems we’re on the cusp of a new battle with television with BT now joining the ever competitive market place – it seems IpTV is now a genuine reality, Digital is growing by the day, Mobile TV is coming our way and HDTVs are already falling in price… This is set to be one of the largest, and most significant, battles in the history of broadcasting – the battle will rage between the providers, the content companies and ultimately the advertisers as they each look at new ways of winning share of audience. What looks certain is that as someone once said: the times, they are a changing…   

A lot has already been written about the future of television, and the impact this will have on advertising – the key thing I think to understand is that both need each other: they coexist – good programming requires large amounts of capital and large amount of capital comes from advertisers wanting to reach the large audiences drawn to the good programming – a virtuous circle for all involved – no? 

Consumers need to understand that advertising (or TV license fees) are a very important part of the mix i.e. needed to ultimately ensure good program quality – so whilst PVR’s and the ability to time shift may be seen as a way of ‘avoiding’ advertising – the damage that using them could have on the industry is significant. However for the quality of television that many have come to expect consumers will need to be prepared prepared to accept advertising in new and possibly more invasive ways (constant tickers across the program, increased product placement etc) – you can’t (I believe) have one (good programming) without the other (advertising/license fees).  

But alas, it seems that some broadcasters are not pulling their weight, and disrupting the equilibrium. If they continue to spend the advertisers’ money to knock out sub standard shows (just look at ITV and the fiasco that was Love Island or Gold Plated or Channel 4’s Unanimous) then consumers are just going to say no, turn off and the advertisers will look elsewhere, and the programs will suffer and the consumers will switch off and the advertisers… (I think you get the idea – a vicious circle). So it shall be interesting to see how each party adapts to accept the new era of broadcasting, advertising and consumption of the content – long live the virtuous circle – I hope…

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