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Broadcast Television: Another Technology Able to Adapt

September 20th, 2017   ||    by Charlene Weisler   ||    No Comments

With all the increased competition among content viewing platforms, one might be forgiven for thinking broadcast television is under great strain. But to adapt a phrase from Mark Twain: The report on the death of broadcast television is greatly exaggerated.

In fact, television is not only not dying, it’s poised for a new era of growth and evolution. As Ed DiNicola, head of TV at Cambridge Analytica, notes in MediaPost, “What some are calling the end of TV is just another evolution.”

Working in Tandem

Buying both television and digital gives advertisers greater impact, with the combination of television and digital delivering better results than either can achieve individually. Jasper Snyder, executive vice president of cross-platform research and innovation at the Advertising Research Foundation, actually found a “kicker effect” when TV is added back to digital spending.

Turner’s and Neustar’s recent study demonstrated that television is making good use of advanced analytics to maximize efficiency. In a MediaVillage article, Steven Wolfe Pereira, chief marketing and communications officer at Neustar, concluded that television “remains a very powerful advertising vehicle. Brands are realizing they need both digital and TV in their mix to drive business outcomes.”

The Next Evolution

The advancements of data-driven technology and audience buying are giving television a shot in the arm. Syndicated services such as Nielsen and comScore are developing new ways of assessing television performance with more granularity using set-top-box data, purchasing data, and (often) first-party data from the client.

Even traditional job requirements are responding to the new landscape. Research departments have evolved into data science and insights departments—and sales departments are recalibrating from selling silos to focusing on cross-platform offerings, enabling platforms to be monetized efficiently.

“With audience-based buying and selling, account executives need to speak from a data perspective,” says Hanna Gryncwajg, an advanced TV consultant. “Having great relationships and good presentation skills are no longer enough for success.”

The Big News: ASTC 3.0

And then there’s ASTC 3.0, the new over-the-air broadcast television standard for digital television. According to the ASTC website, ASTC 3.0 allows for greater service options flexibility “for terrestrial broadcasters to send hybrid content services to fixed and mobile receivers seamlessly—combining both over-the-air transmission and broadband delivery” as well as multiview and multiscreen capabilities and the “option of choosing among standard definition, HD and Ultra HD resolutions.”

The roll-out of ASTC 3.0 has the potential to dramatically change the local television industry, according to Tracy Swedlow, chief executive officer and co-founder of the TMRW Corporation. ASTC 3.0 will enable TV stations to become over-the-top services, with offerings such as on-demand, interactivity, and advanced advertising.

“It may be the first time where we’ll see TV commerce really happening because all this will be against the backdrop of one’s local experience—community shops, restaurants, and other services,” says Swedlow.

ASTC 3.0 could be a profitable game changer for television in the hyper-competitive media market—perhaps even allowing TV to begin taking dollars away from digital.

TV’s Heady Future

The future is always open to speculation, but the trends favor broadcast television. Swedlow sums it up: “When prognosticating about the future, we always tend to think that a current technology or medium will be completely replaced by an emerging one; in fact, they often persist and thrive. I’m sure that everyone was predicting that radio and movie theaters were going to disappear when TV came along, and that clearly hasn’t been the case.”

So too with broadcast television and its newer competitors. Stay tuned . . .

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