The Evolution of Television & Broadcast Advertising

April 21, 2016

Just in the past few years, TV and broadcast advertising have changed drastically. However, things have changed quickly for television viewing and advertising since the very beginning.

Here are seven dynamics driving the transformation of television that fall into three buckets: content delivery, advertising, and viewer engagement.


The ability to access televised content and digital videos over the Internet at anytime with any device has completely changed the rules of TV advertising.

The Adobe Digital Index from Q3 2015 shows the consumption of TV Everywhere grew 102 percent year-over-year across all devices, up 37 percent from Q2. Only one in seven households subscribes to TV Everywhere content, allowing a huge opportunity for growth. Adobe also found that 23 percent of TV Everywhere is now consumed on TV-connected devices, like Apple TV and Roku, representing mainstream adoption with a 130 percent increase watching at home.

Programmatic Advertising

TV advertising is a huge, expanding business. Spending is expected to reach almost $84 million by 2018. Combine that with the blurring of lines between TV programming and Internet content, we come to the advertising bucket and its three dynamics: measurement, programmatic ad technology, and addressable advertising. Unlike traditional broadcast TV in which all viewers in a region see the same commercial content during a particular show, Internet TV allows for targeted ads based on the individual viewer.

The real-time nature of programmatic advertising can provide specific data on audience demographics and ad views enabling advertisers to create targeted ads that address pockets of viewers. Advertisers benefit by avoiding the over and under-buying of ad space based on estimated viewership as used in traditional broadcast television.

Interactive Content

DoubleClick’s third bucket is viewer engagement. Since programmatic advertising can help direct ads to targeted viewers using individual factors like geography, seasonal weather, and existing customers versus non-customers, advertisers can make use of the Internet’s two-way communication abilities in this context.

For instance, an ad can contain a call to action leading viewers to an e-commerce platform to complete a purchase. A 30-second ad can contain a click-thru option to view a long-form ad or a website to explore the offering in-depth.

Thanks to these rapidly emerging and evolving technologies, we have entered a new frontier in televised advertising. The key to success for all advertisers is to resist the one-way communication mindset of traditional broadcast advertising. Those days are forever behind us.

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