TV: Searching for Higher Definition

Perhaps the biggest and most confusing word in today’s media landscape is "TV." As the industry continues to evolve, the term TV becomes more fractured into separate species – broadcast, cable, connected, streaming, social, etc.


Yet news and blog writers, myself included, continue to use TV as the catchall for everything related to the industry. But (there had to be a “but”), this oversimplification is generating a collective confusion in our headlines:

"Is TV Dead?" – AOL ad on the cover Adweek

“The Problem With Web Videos Is That TV Is Really Big Still” – The Wall Street Journal

“TV Is Dead. Now What?” – Politico

“TV, Not Digital, Propels Madison Avenue Spending” – MediaPost

Mixed signals anyone? Here's the reality. TV is now the ultimate cord-cutter and no longer bound by platform, time or place. So writers, for the sake of your readers (and mine), let's embrace a truer definition: TV is now the content itself – The Good Wife, Game of Thrones, Monday Night Football, Dancing with the Stars, The Price is Right – the programs and broadcasts we watch live, record, download, stream, or buy on DVD (have I forgotten any?)

In summary, what we watch is the content itself – our favorite TV shows. When and where we watch it is on TV sets, laptops, smartphones and tablets. How our content is delivered is through broadcast TV, cable TV, and streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Apple TV.

As long as there's a steady stream of new, quality content and people to watch it, the avenues to consume it will continue to expand, evolve and be newsworthy. And you can be sure advertisers will be invited to the party (hey, these shows don't pay for themselves). And as we write about it, let’s make sure we give our readers the clearest picture possible.

Jim Madsen is a Copywriter at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.