Welcome To The Year(s) Of TV

Author: Cory Treffiletti. Source: MediaPost

Remember “The Year of Mobile”?  Every year from 2006 all the way to 2016 was proclaimed the year of mobile, but in retrospect I think 2015 might have actually been accurately named.  That feels like the year when mobile matured the most.   

Well, I’m here to make another bold proclamation: The years 2017 through 2027 shall be named the “Year of TV” -- every year, repeatedly.

As with every other column dedicated to “the future,” we have to look at the past and the present. The fact is that TV has always been here, but we define it as something different over time.  So what I call the years of TV is the 10-year overnight success that will see the foundational elements of digital advertising applied to the next iteration of addressable TV.  With this change will come new revenues, new opportunities and increased efficiency for advertisers.  

Ten years is probably the right amount of time to think this through, since it’sthe typical turnover period for set-top boxes.  In that period of time we could see the evolution of those boxes to adopt the technology and processes required for truly addressable delivery at scale.   The industry could likely do this right now since the technology exists, but getting it into people’s homes is not cheap and it takes time.  

How often do you revisit your cable provider at home?  For many of you elitist folks, your response will be “bah – I cut the cord years ago.”  You are in the minority.  Most people still have a cable provider and the only time they revisit that is when they move, or when they are looking to cut their monthly costs.   Otherwise most households subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” model — as long as they can watch their shows, everyone is happy.  

Over the next 10 years I absolutely see more cord cutters, but in parallel I see a lots of innovation in how cable companies will package and sell their products.  More a la carte selection is inevitable and desired in order to combat cord-cutters.  

TV as it currently stands is simply another screen in the home, but an important screen nonetheless.  In fact it is probably the dominant screen, in many cases at least equaling if outnumbering the number of mobile phones in the home.   The device is not going anywhere, but the systems that support it are changing.  It just takes time.

Once addressable technology is in the home, it’s as simple as switching it on — and all of a sudden we have critical mass in a 51” (on average) screen for truly targetable, measurable video content.  All of the foundational elements for programmatic and targeted advertising are adopted, and the effective budget for this kind of media doubles almost overnight!  (Of course, it’s not that simple – I overstate for the purposes of this column.)

Effectively, we then have the two largest media formats (three if you break out mobile from online) leading the pack to become 100% addressable and measurable.  The role of advertising in the marketing toolbox then becomes amazingly important.  It actually gives me little goose bumps to think about this, since I am really a media geek at heart.

So if you are creating any presentations and are looking for a sweeping proclamation to make, feel free to have your first slide say, “Welcome to the year of TV!”  You’ll be able to get a lot of use from that slide over the next 10 years, and the mobile marketing lovers in the audience will feel your pain every time you bring it up.