Commentary

Does The Cost Of iPhones Vs. TV Sets Mean Anything For Ad Sales?

Some perspective about new consumer device spending: an iPhone can cost as much as 40-inch or 50-inch TV, $750 or more.  

This iPhone/TV set comparison came from  Malcolm CasSelle, senior VP and general manager, digital media of SeaChange International/NewCoin, speaking at the TVB Forward Conference.

In a multitasking world, smartphones can be found regularly sitting right next to the TV viewer -- in their pockets or hands.

Revenue models for the two businesses show a different story.  For the big TV screen, you still have some $80 billion in overall TV ad spending, around 42% of total U.S. media spend, according to eMarketer.

Smartphones, the entry tool for the mobile world, will bring in $28.7 billion in ad spend for 2015 -- around 15% of total media spend, according to eMarketer.


Consumer costs for electronic devices and the business costs in terms of advertising revenues have a loose correlation. Ruminating over the expense of an iPhone is just the start -- especially when it comes to growing costs for apps in the future.

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And then there are other consumer services to consider: broadband, traditional pay TV provider packages, mobile, landline, and new OTT platforms.

Does it matter what consumers pay? How much should that factor into their entertainment/media engagement, and how should marketers respond?

Prices for iPhones keeps climbing.  But what happens when we start to pay $1,200 for the iPhone 10s,  say in 2020? We’ll be happy that 16K TV 70 inch sets might only go for $900.

2 comments about "Does The Cost Of iPhones Vs. TV Sets Mean Anything For Ad Sales? ".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, September 21, 2015 at 3:05 p.m.

    Apples and oranges. Smartphones are paid for a little at a time, but TV sets typically are purchased all at once.

  2. Jon Latzer from Alpha Media, September 21, 2015 at 4:27 p.m.

    I tried sending a text message over my TV and it didn't work.  Rats
    I tried doing my banking on my TV and it didn't work.  Rats
    I tried using Google Maps in my car with my TV but that didn't work.  Rats
    I tried face timing my friend on my T and that didn't work.  Rats

    Is there anything my TV can do that my iPhone 6S can't?  Yes, it gives me a great TV watching experience.  All in all thought, my phone even at more of an investment is still a more functional deal.  I'll happily pay more relative to the usage I get out of it.

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