Does anyone remember what commercials are? Oh sure, we are still confronted by them occasionally when we are trapped by time and circumstance. However, as most of us realize, zapping through those commercials on a recorded TV program has become routine. Additionally, increasing numbers of viewers are cutting the cable cord to run with various streaming services.
Companies such as Viacom, CBS, Time Warner, and others are losing billions in market value as investors digest these trends. The world of TV entertainment is looking very different today than a generation ago. Exactly if and how the stakeholders choose to adapt is an interesting trend to watch. Perhaps in some cases, they will succumb to entropy and disappear from the entertainment landscape. Erin Griffith summarizes the current state of affairs (“Fear and Loathing in TV Land” Fortune, July 1, 2016, p. 48):
“The digital world has become a hostile place for advertising. . . .
By the time the TV companies catch up to the future, their business may be long gone.”
Advertising makes a lot of things possible in the entertainment world even when we do not appreciate its interruptive nature. The key players have to figure out a way to keep consumers happy and still generate a profit. Regardless of what strategy is created, I predict that our love/hate relationship with advertising will need some tough-love therapy.