Not to put too fine a point on it, but TV is in a very precarious position, and will need to completely change their internal expectations, business models, development, and release schedules to survive.
I would bet any person a large, embarrassing, Romneyesque amount of money that this premise is untrue. I’d put concrete numbers on it, that in another four years, TV ad spend will still not have declined to match its percentage of viewership.
All of these articles inherently carry the same misconceptions: that an eyeball on one platform is the same as an eyeball on another. That the time spend will somehow ever match the money spend, or that it should, or that anyone wants that. That all media platforms are created equal. That all ad money is spent in the same manner. That all goals can be achieved in the same way on any platform for the same money.
Ad money is staying in TV (and remember, it has actually GROWN), not because people are dumb and they don’t realize it yet. It’s because television is still the best way to do brand marketing. It is the most effective.
Ad money left print - primarily newspapers - because the products we internet people have made disrupted their industry far more than television. We made products for direct response, retail, commerce and below the line. These same products don’t make good brand advertising. You know what we’ve given brand advertisers? Banners and Pre-roll. What type of ads to people hate the most on the web? Banners and Pre-roll. Do either one of them inspire anyone? No. No. No.
It boggles my mind that after sitting here listening to people say all the ad money is going to move to the internet for FIFTEEN YEARS or so, they still just say the same thing. Any minute now! Any minute now! At some point you have to stop and wonder if your fundamental premise is true or not. In this case, you have to stop and wonder if the only, or even the most important, metric for why and where ad space is bought is “where the cheapest eyeballs are.” You know what? It’s not.
I have never, ever, met a single person responsible for buying ad space that said “hmm, I think I will align my ad dollars exactly to the ratio of eyeballs across media segments.” NO ONE EVER SAYS THAT. It doesn’t get sold that way. It never has. It never will. And honestly, it’s REALLY rare I meet anyone who ever says “let’s only buy the cheapest media eyeballs.” When I do meet someone like that, it’s because THEY DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY. So they don’t move the needle.
I realize four years is a long time, and by harping on this constantly, hopefully (please god) people will eventually realize the truth, and then maybe some genius company (like the one I am working at now) can harness this truth and make a product that does brand advertising on the web as well as TV does it AND brand advertisers learn to love it. That would be so, so awesome. I would lose the bet in that case, but so far, aside from Tumblr, I don’t see anything on the web that’s even been close to providing a brand marketer anything that would get them excited.