Why TV continues to be a powerful medium in the digital age

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Smartphone subscribers and mobile Internet users are increasing at an eye-popping rate in countries like India. The data consumption in mobile has also changed a lot in the last 5 years; leading to speculation that advertising spends on mobile will overtake TV. In spite of all these factors, the growth of Internet infrastructure to support this double-digit growth of smartphone users is not visible. 4G and similar fast interest services will take a years to penetrate across the tier 2 and 3 cities of India. The traditional media will stay highly important until there is an up shift in the Internet delivery infrastructure.

TV works better than any other form of traditional advertising because of the highest absolute volumes of sales and the ROI. A PWC study showed that TV delivered the highest sales returns of any medium and has the highest correlation between brand equity and ad dollar spend.

Another important factor limiting the reach of digital is lack of popularity of social networking and mobile games among the elder generation. But, the TV viewing time increases steadily as people get older. As per stats, an average 18-24 year old watches 117 hours a week and a person aged 50-64 watches 195 hours a week. A Nielsen report also suggests that our media habits have remained fairly steady over the last few years. Changing the viewing behavior of the elder generation and majority non-urban population is a laborious task. A large proportion of India’s audience comes in the latter. Thus TV holds high significance and remains as a fastest medium to build interest in a product.

The constant demand for TV ads is because the big-screen makes the ad experience better. Digital video and new interactive forms of smartphone ads like the interstitial ads won’t be able to deliver the same experience, that it has been delivering in developed markets because of lack of high speed internet. Data from eMarketer suggests that, although growth in the advertising revenue of digital (all channels combined) is outpacing the growth of TV, TV is growing at a steady pace.


Important thing to note is that the Indian TV ad market is expected to grow 74 percent between 2011 and 2017.

Why advertisers rely on TV
– Reach and Scale: On TV, the brands would be able to reach a massive scale of audience at peak times . The chances of getting noticed by the audience get high as the number of ad slots increases.
– Freedom to select the context- Advertisers has the say in selecting the context where their ad should appear. Thus they can protect the brand getting linked with sensitive content.
– TV is the most talked about medium – People love talking about TV on online and offline. Many people among the younger generation have a second screen that enables them to give live, online reactions to TV via Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
– Reaches a broader demographic audience- TV reaches a wider target audience of all age groups nationally. Being the most common leisure activity, audiences are funneled into larger segments of people who will see the advertiser’s ad.

How technology is improving TV advertising: –
Intelligent TV buying-Mobile is assisting TV broadcasters in gaining more details about their audience with which they can show targeted content and ads based on a person’s behavior and user intent. Real-time engagement on TV ads and viewership will measurable because of this.

Second Screen advertisements– 58% of people, while watching TV, use their mobile devices. Marketers can capitalize on this opportunity by showing ads on the second screen to create engagement for their TV audience.

Integrated TV ad campaigns –TV is being increasingly watched via online streaming on desktops as well as on apps on mobile devices while on the move.
Using Cross-device tracking, marketers are now able to identify the personal digital devices, monitor the online activities of their target audience and deliver ads on multiple devices to reinforce their brand.

To summarize, TV will not lose its significance for marketers in the foreseeable future, and will remain an important channel for advertisers to deliver brand communications. In the digital age, a blend of digital interactivity and TV’s big-screen will power the advertising experience for the global brands.

About the author / 

Neeta Nair

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