Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 5, 200910:38 PM

Life During The 30-Second Spot

The TV industry is about to go through some very dramatic changes. Yes, people have been saying that the Internet, Social Media and other new media channels would spell their doom, but few probably imagined that the current economy would really push that agenda forward.

"Revenue in the television industry will take a dramatic fall below the $20 billion mark starting this year, according to BIA Advisory Services. After six years with industry revenue hovering between $20 billion and $22 billion, 2009 is expected to end at an even $17 billion in revenues, a 21.2% drop in two years from 2007's $21.5 billion, BIA says."

That was the news yesterday over at MediaBuyerPlanner in the item, TV Revs to Decline 21% in Two Years; 'Transformation' TV's Only Hope: BIA. According to the BIA report, Investing In Television Market Report 2009, there will be a slight increase in revenue in 2010 (+0.6%), but 2011 might experience a slip back into the negatives again. That same report is expecting to see a return back to positive revenue streams in 2012. What's even more interesting is the expectation of a 1.1 billion dollar increase in ad revenue that will come from mobile video programming - yep, content on your mobile device.

What is going to save the 30-second spot? 

"Since 2003 TV revenues have held steady but are now beginning a dramatic downward shift. This corroborates our calls for transformation as the only path to expansion for the industry. This will come from cross-platform growth and real energies put into finding local advertising revenues available through mobile and online advertising,�? said Mark R. Fratrik, Ph.D., Vice President, BIA Advisory Services.

This is going to be a huge challenge.

If the recession really does drop the television industries revenue below 21%, the channels' abilities to truly innovate and "transform" are going to be dramatically inhibited by other more immediate needs (like replacing the billions lost in advertising while trying to maintain the integrity of their traditional media channel). It is something that the newspaper industry is grappling with in the public eye at this moment.

What is your advice to the TV industry?

By Mitch Joel