It's All TV, Isn't It?

I'm a TV guy and proud of it. I enjoy horizontally watching a slew of my favorite professionally produced TV programs, surfing the electronic program guide, neurotically scanning my personal video recording selections to ascertain future storage capacity, and fast forwarding through advertising messages to see if I can accurately time the activation of "the play button" with the final second of the last commercial position in the pod preceding program content. And selfishly, I admit, I rejoice in the $60 billion spent on TV advertising annually; remain unaffected by naysayers' pronouncements about TV, the dying medium, and the 30-second commercial, a relic of the Paleolithic media age; and eagerly await the ubiquitous deployment of interactive applications in the televisual realm (telescoping, requests for interaction, TV microsites, long-form advertiser-produced content, intuitive navigation and combinations thereof).

That's me. So here is my question to you. Why do the online ad agency professionals insist on calling the video viewing experience in the broadband arena "video streaming?" Why don't they refer to it as "television?" After all, TV is defined by Webster--haven't checked Wikipedia--as the "transmission of video images." In my opinion, had they utilized the time-worthy appellation, they would more readily gain access to a greater share of the $60 billion in TV ad revenue, make my job and that of other digital transitionists easier, and accelerate bridging the gulf between the two mediums to mutually share in the ability of the fundamental sight, sound and motion attributes of the video experience to engage the consumer.



Part of the answer, I think, lies in the line of demarcation drawn by the online ad community that, unceremoniously labeled the traditional media community as "offline"--kind of like the tail wagging the dog, albeit a very long, but nonetheless considerably smaller tail. Online generates $15 billion-plus (40% or more in search) in ad revenue. Offline media generate upwards of $245 billion in the U.S. Not a pleasant way to encourage a fellowship between mature and burgeoning advertising sectors, particularly when the mature/traditional community, via the media planner, oftentimes is still the gatekeeper to allocating ad budgets by medium.

The other half of the dilemma seems to reside in the traditional community's need to disproportionately silo ad budgets to different distribution platforms, even when they fall within the same consumer experience. As an example: when a television viewer in New York City watches Channel 7 (an ABC station) via an over-the-air signal, we call it "broadcast." Pretty simple. However, when a cable subscriber watches Channel 7, do we define the viewing experience as broadcast or cable? And when a satellite customer views Channel 7, is the experience broadcast, cable, or satellite? And let's not forget to add broadband, mobile and telecos into the miasmatic discussion.

I would argue that to the consumer, it is all the same experience. It's television. And if we, the ad community, both mature and burgeoning, are successfully going to engage the viewer of video, whether it is via traditional television, broadband and/or mobile, we must view it as TV as well, and utilize each platform's individual attributes and applications to enhance our messaging capability in the service of our client's goals.

Next story loading loading..