Social media is getting more ad revenue. But the dollars are coming out of budgets for print, radio, outdoor and other media -- not TV.
That is good news for sellers of traditional TV.
For a long time, it seemed the Internet was angling to draw dollars away from television. But traditional marketers want to have their cake and eat it too. They still love to spend money on TV, but now realize that adding social media components -- perhaps sold by traditional TV -- could be a good way to go.
According to many analysts, social media has helped TV maintain or improve overall usage levels. Many marketers would say it has helped increase engagement levels for their campaigns.
This is not to say that TV marketers won’t also be looking to gains from digital video extensions like Hulu, syndicated video players, and their own video players.
Perhaps getting that social media connection is more valuable in the near term, with the engagement, conversations and connections serving as an additive to television.
There is, of course, continued debate about the good and the bad here. Social media can work in the negative with both TV shows and the brands that offer TV support.
Do we care, notice, or become concerned when social media features negative discussion about those Coca-Cola cups on the desks of “American Idol” judges? Or when viewers can’t stand the music video in which the “Idol” finalists bop around in a Ford car.
Those who put emotions aside have always reasoned: “Hey, at least they are ‘engaged’ with our brands.”
In the coming years, all this will need to be worked out on a wholesale basis, such as: What do TV networks do with 300-plus upfront advertisers? Does everyone placing a media budget get a network-backed social media connection?
No matter. Socially speaking, TV has found an ally.