Do you remember the first television commercial?
Probably not, it was aired July 1, 1941 on NBC, which at the time was known as WNBT-TV. This was not only the birth of an advertising platform that would go on to provide the world with some of the most successful adverts ever produced, but the beginning of a dominate mass medium that no other has ever came close, until now. As television is becoming ever diluted and overpopulated with choice, accompanied by the biggest shift in the way we consume media since the start of television, networks are now rapidly trying to keep up with viewers.
Today television still commands the largest advertising spend, although it also continues to decline as other new media rise. Gone are the days when networks controlled our viewing habits, now thanks to the internet we control what we watch and when we watch it. New mediums such as online video, still only have a small share of advertising expenditure, but they are growing at a rapid pace and predicted to soon surpass television.
eMarketer has made predictions that suggest US online video spending will account for only 4.3% of total online ad spending, a tiny 1.6% of television ad spending. The report also estimates online video spending will account for 11% of online ad spending and 5.5% of TV ad spend.
“As the main vehicle for brand marketer ad spending, TV is not losing its place to online video advertising anytime soon,” says David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Digital Video Advertising: Where’s the Money? He also predicted “In 2009, for example, for every $100 advertisers spend on television, they will spend only $1.60 for video ads. Even by 2013, that number will only reach $5.50.”
However, even at this early stage online video advertising does lead television advertising in one important metric: ad spending per hour viewed. TV networks are now beginning to see the end of prime time slots, a huge source of revenue for many years. It has now become massively important for broadcasters to invest in online platforms in which the user controls such as an interactive WebTV, gradually enticing more viewers and as a result more ad revenue in the future. This paves the way for the best of both worlds by having television in an online environment, seeing the re-birth of a new age in the way we consume advertising and the way we watch television, which without a doubt if it isn’t already, it will be online.