Thursday 10 May 2007

TV Viewing Changes

Backstage's article about the change in American television viewing habits points to a fundamental shift thanks to the proliferation of DVRs, TiVos, etc.

This will have a profound effect upon revenue streams for broadcasters, as the American television networks are likely to discover in the coming weeks when they present their Fall schedule to potential advertisers.

Television has made billions based on how many people watch a show at its regular time. That idea may already be obsolete. So should the industry use DVR viewing when setting ad rates? If so, how quickly must people watch the shows -- within two days? A week? What about people who watch shows on their cell phones or on network Web sites, which Nielsen doesn't measure yet? Later this month Nielsen will begin measuring how many people watch commercials. Should those be used to compute advertising costs?

Right now, none of those questions have answers.

However, "if we continue to do business assuming people will watch television as they always have," said NBC's Wurtzel, "it's a dead-end game."
Over the coming years European markets can expect the same shift in television revenue models, especially with the increase of online on-demand material.

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