What I find most of concern here is, when you look at a set of data that point to the overall valuation of television entertainment and the driver of that industry, advertising, Pew found the following:
1. Decline in importance of cable or satellite TV ( 23% in 2009, down 10 percentage points from 2006).
2. Minuscule drop in importance of the home computer as a necessity (50% in 2009, down 1 percentage point from 2006)
3. The increase (yes, increase) of high-speed Internet viewed as a necessity (31% in 2009, up 2 percentage points in 2006)
4. Twenty four percent of respondents indicating that they have reduced or cancelled cable or satellite TV subscription.
5. Fifty seven percent of respondents who have bought less expensive brands or shopped more at discount stores.
What does all this doom and gloom mean for the television industry (and by default, television advertisers)? An incredible opportunity to define and implement near-term learning exercises to drive long-term growth opportunities. This is the voice-of-the-customer telling us that we are losing relevance in their lives and it is up to us, as constituents of this ecosystem we call television (and I mean that in the broader sense of an ad-supported entertainment market) to fix that.
And where does the answer lie? In integrated and widely deployed advanced television services and applications, of course -- everything from interactive advertisements, online content entitlement strategies, multi-platform campaign measurement, etc. And yes, we have heard this all before, and yes, we have been at this for 15 years and little has impacted the everyday business (except if you count disintermediation and cannibalization as positive outcomes). But I ask you this: Can we. as a multi-billion-dollar industry afford to stop trying, pushing, compromising, collaborating and innovating? Hopefully your answer is no.