The Biggest Changes In 'TV' May Not Be What You Think

TV is certainly changing.  As a consumer, you’ve likely noticed it for years.  If you read the trades and all the coverage of the upfronts and NewFronts, it’s becoming more apparent that the industry is finally being forced to admit this fact, as well.  The model for the industry is going to have to evolve even more than it is willing to admit at this time -- and maybe not in the ways you immediately think.

The facts are the facts.  Digital, streaming and CTV ad spend are about to eclipse traditional linear TV ad spend.  YouTube makes up more than 10% of all “television” viewing, and that doesn’t include YouTube TV.  Amazon has proven to be a massive player in the world of TV and even companies like Walmart, which purchased Vizio last year, will be entering into the market.

Previously, each year the upfront market rolled out its presentations to ensure advertisers knew what was coming in a landscape of finite inventory.  Those packages revolved around interruptive models of advertising that were unavoidable and truly were effective because the audience was not distracted and they were indeed focused on the content before them.  That is no longer the case.



Inventory is no longer finite.   Quality inventory is available at exponentially higher levels, across many different channels and formats, most of which is on-demand.  What’s more, the audience is no longer captive.

Interruptive formats are annoying.  They can be skipped or ignored.  They can even be avoided altogether with the wealth of paid streaming options  available. Much like the rest of the digital media landscape, the consumer/viewer is in control, and brands are not.

These changes brought about new ways to position inventory packages.  Terms like “non-interruptive” or “the new lead-in” were pervasive the last few weeks, as companies tried to find ways to differentiate themselves from traditional television.  Then there were the more traditional players who simply led with “we have that too” as the core of their pitch, while rolling out stars and celebrities to woo advertisers into a sense of comfort.  No amount of celebrity will overcome the fact that consumers don’t like interruptions, and there are many, many options for how to reach an audience.

Most digital companies rely on the data to target the audience, but we also need to rely on the creative execution.  It can’t all be interruptive.  There has to be other ways to scale, and these upfronts did provide some insight into the alternative formats that will shape the TV landscape for years to come.  Integrated partnerships and media are just part of it.  Branded content is continuing to grow. 

There is a wealth of ways to reach an audience and drive more engagement, if you know where to look. Just as important, there are tools for measuring the impact generated by these new models.  Pay attention to these tools and how brands will be using them as they continue to shift their dollars and prove the value of this expanded digital TV arena.

4 comments about "The Biggest Changes In 'TV' May Not Be What You Think".
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  1. Roger S.Furman from Sports Marketing Communications, May 22, 2024 at 3:02 p.m.

    I would like to see and learn more about these"TOOLS" you mention in this article.

  2. Cory Treffiletti from Rembrand replied, May 22, 2024 at 9:27 p.m.

    Roger - not to be too self-promotional, but check out our company at and a company called for initial examples.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, May 24, 2024 at 4:45 a.m.

    Gees Cory.   "Tools" can have a very different meaning here in AU.   Hehehe.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 24, 2024 at 1:51 p.m.

    Cory, a coluple of points. First, from an advertiser's point of view, "TV" is now a combination of linear  as well as CTV/streaming---with linear supplying about 80% of the available GRPs for national "TV" buys. That disparity will slowly change in CTV/streaming's favor as the ad-supported CTV/streaming services build up their  viewing time and as they  add ad clutter in order  to be profitable. But we are years away from linear TV being dethroned from its current, still dominant, position---the only exception being for advertisers who only sell to teens, kids and very young adults. And there aren't that many of them. Most want a variable mix of young, middle aged and older adult GRPs.

    Another point concerns YouTube--which I use all the time. The stats you mentioned---which, I believe---include YouTube TV---- represent consumption of all content, much of it either short- form, amateur videos, reruns of old TV shoiws and movies---often with fading, blurry images and poor sound--plus newer movies and TV shows. Also, the ad positioning and formats  are not very favorable for advertising communication--which is evident in the poor results noted by observational studies of attentiveness. So 10% of all viewing does not equal 10% of the kind of viewing environment  that many advertisers wish to use.

    Finally, despite the hype and some slow movement in this direction, "outcome" and  related measuremets that are more important than simple "impression" counting, don't effectively apply to a large proportion of "TV" time buys. These include the upfronts which grab 70% of linear TV ads dollars and will add  many billions more of CTV/streaming ad dollars as well as the rigid "must buy" program preferences of many advertisers, namely sports, news, specials and much of prime time on the broadcast TV networks,. In the former case---upfront buying--  these  are usually multi-brand deals involving ads and programming that hasn't even been created as yet  for all of a corporation's brands in aggregate---which means that better  brand trageting--even if possible----isn't playing a key role. On the "must buys" it doesn't matter what the data says, the advertiser will buy time in these shows anyway.

    Yes, change is usually a good thing and there are signs that new approaches are gaining traction---but what we can expect for the near future is essentially more ---mostly---of the same.

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