Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sign o' The Times

So here we are. Confronted by a landscape that's changing daily. And the best advice we can offer is to hold tight?

How can anybody in the industry today still defend television as the best buy? I've seen the statistics and understand that television still has a broad reach. In fact, we're discovering that multi-channel efforts increase the effectiveness of a television buy.

But this doesn't defend television as the best option.

Let's think about this claim for just a moment. We're surrounded by studies that show us that customers are spending more time online, more time watching digital video, slightly less time watching television, more time working, less time on vacation and you can add anything I'm sure I've left out. What it adds up to is about a 32 hour day (finally time for sleep).

Take a look around and find someone participating in a singular task these days. It's not uncommon for customers to be watching television while also online. In fact, they are often doing this while engaging with family or friends. It's naive to think that we focus our attention on one item anymore.

Whether this is a result of a new digital culture or perfect timing for a technology in our lives, the reality is that we spread our attention around.

Let's top this off with a heavy dose of real time communications. New technologies have made it possible to get all of our news and information in real time. Where televisions strength once reigned - the ability to deliver news and entertainment to everyone at one time - is eroding due to our access to the same information as it happens.

What's better is our ability to receive this information from our close, personal contacts. Nothing against the pretty, tan ladies and gents that grace my nightly news programs, but they don't know me like my friends and family. Even the digital connections that I've never met have a better understanding of me. They have at least heard my voice whether through video, typing or uploaded photos.

In fact, what's the point of newspapers and television? They certainly were not created to sell to us. They would have never taken off in the first place. Now that digital technologies are replacing the original use of these devices, why can't we expect them to be relegated to second tier status? Is the fight to keep television as the best mass medium about defending what is likely to be or what we wish it could be? And are our predictions based on evidence or fear?

I think you know my opinion.


Amen. Video highlights this wonderfully. Though I wouldn't agree that these are *new* revenue channels. Let's just call them recently discovered.

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