"Wake up" old-media publishers and broadcasters
Copyright © 1996 to 7am News
TV broadcasters and print-media publishers are only just starting
to realise that they're losing a small but rapidly growing share of their
audience to the Internet.
In the USA, Nielsen, the ratings people, say that prime-time TV had lost 1.2 million viewers to the Net as of late '96. That may sound insignificant amidst a population of over 250 million, but it's a trend which is growing almost exponentially and could spell trouble for advertising revenues if ignored.
Particularly worrying for TV broadcasters must be the arrival of the integrated TV and Net browser. Most of the major TV manufacturers have already committed to providing sets with Internet capabilities built in and advertising agencies should be bracing themselves for the effect this will have on the effectiveness of TV advertising, particularly for expensive, "luxury" products.
Instead of sitting through five or six minutes of ads and station promos, users of Net-capable TV sets are more likely to go "surfing".
The whole viability of the Net-capable TV set is questionable however since Internet capabilities will be limited to "top-end" sets, appealing to the same audience as those who currently buy TVs with Teletex or NICAM stereo; a market which is also likely to already have a PC with Internet connection in the home.
Even discounting the effects of the Net-capable TV, increasing numbers of people are switching off the TV and turning onto the Net as an interactive alternative. Advertisers will have little choice but to follow.
Unfortunately the paradigm shift is both difficult and confusing to many publishers and broadcasters with the hiring of outside skills and knowledge being deemed critical for success.
Success and experience in print and broadcast media are of minimal value when addressing the Net as a publishing and marketing medium.
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