For Millennials and most modern consumers, television has been a key part of our daily lives — whether it’s looking forward to relaxing and watching a show after a long day at work or cheering on a favorite sports team during the playoffs. However, the rise of technology has changed the way people consume visual content, making it tough for television to compete with the digital world. Could television really be dying a long, slow death? Here are four reasons why digital media is causing the death of television and why marketers should ditch television for digital media.
1. Money Better Spent
Not only is cable becoming increasingly more expensive compared to online streaming options, but the return on investment of traditional marketing is waning. Online marketing offers a plethora of targeted ways to reach an audience. For the first time since 2009, television ad spending in the United States dropped, while digital media had double-digit growth. This year, television’s share of the total United States media ad spend will drop from 33.9% to 31.6%, while digital ad spend will climb 18.7% to total $107 billion.
2. Endless Possibilities
Thanks to technology, everyone now has access to all things on the Internet via their smartphones. According to Tubular Insights, 87% of Millennials are never without their smartphones and 92% browse on other devices while watching television. For example, you’re sitting in front of the television watching “The Simpsons” but lose interest in the specific episode, so you switch over to your iPhone to stream a different, perhaps funnier, episode. Watching television in real time limits you to that one episode (plus sitting through commercials), while going online offers a quick and reliable way to watch anything from anywhere at any time.
3. Higher Engagement
Audiences no longer have the attention span to sit through commercials and absorb information. Instead, viewers are resorting to using second-screen devices which allow them to spend time on
social networks and chat about the show they’re watching or engaging with, thus taking on a more engaged viewing role. Going online also gives viewers the power to skip commercials altogether,
pause and play content on their own time and watch what they’re actually interested in.
4. Generation Gap
Millennials are taking the digital world by storm and leaving live television behind, along with the older generation. According to the Consumer Technology Association, people ages 18 - 34 spend 55% of their video-watching time consuming content that has already aired live, and the heaviest 60% of live television viewers are 45 years old or older. This generation gap will only continue to make online viewing the preferred way to consume media.
As marketing professionals, it’s crucial to take the time to understand what’s driving people to consume information digitally and push traditional television to the side. Technology will continue to offset traditional media consumption habits, thus forcing companies to implement new digital strategies that will ultimately deliver the highest return on their investment.