I recently read Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists. The novel revolves around characters connected with an English newspaper published from Rome. (BTW, I highly recommend the book for people who enjoy character development.) The book reminded me of how quickly the newspaper industry had to deal with the loss of advertising money – and with other changes stemming from the Internet Age. Nobody could have predicted the speed with which free content took the world by storm and there was barely any time to come to grips with the new reality.
Now, those excuses do not hold for people dealing with TV programming. We know the world of television is changing. And yet, I don’t see much acknowledgement of the fact that TV commercials are headed the way of dinosaurs and dodos. With the growing use of DVRs and Tivo more and more people are viewing all their favorite programs by fast-forwarding commercials. The new patterns of TV viewing are also challenging concepts such as prime time. Why pay more for ad time at 8:00pm over 4:00pm when there are no guarantees when the program will actually be viewed? All this is writing on the wall. There is going to be a time soon when spending money on TV advertising will become a questionable choice.
As someone who enjoys commercials and has laughed (and cried!) through a few, I would hate for this to mean death of the video ads. I believe we will continue to see the spirit of TV advertising continue on YouTube. Creativity and the ability to tell a good story will definitely work well on social media as well. So, this will not really be death, just a reincarnation!