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The Pending Collapse of the Value of Broadcasting to Advertisers

When the millennials do take the industry through that cycle, there will be an inevitable market correction. The advertisers will see huge, inflated “finger in the air” BARB ratings for streaming that in no way correlate with the streaming data. The streaming audience will be validated in a way that the panel and estimate process simply cannot compare to. The argument that the “millions” on broadcast are more valuable than the “real” hundreds of thousands watching online will weaken as the close engagement with streaming services proves a concrete return on the advertisers' investment, and the spray and pray model for broadcast advertising moves from being a central market driver to being relegated to “vanity publishing” while the real audiences are becoming valuable partners in a working ecosystem.

Those traditional models won't go quietly. Much like the recording industry employed the RIAA to essentially victimize their own audiences, the TV industry will continue to overvalue itself for some years - until it dawns on them that they are the only ones left drinking that Kool-Aid.

Those broadcasters that are embracing online will span that bridge, but any TV network that prioritizes its broadcast business today over the new models of tomorrow has their risk management out of balance.

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