Television Media Buying – Then and Now

There is no question that the Television market has been fragmented by the growth of strong Cable Networks, Television Syndication and the Internet.

In years gone by, most of the mass broadcast audience could be reached by the major television networks. That’s just not the case today.  Back in the early days of Cable, it was considered a peripheral buy to shore up a Television Schedule.  Cable was used as an inexpensive way to build heavy frequency to a small segment of the market.  It’s a whole new ballgame.  Today, it’s a major consideration with designated budgets and goals. Overall, Cable Ad Revenues have doubled in the past 10 years. With so many cable offerings today, you might think the TV media market would be fragmented to chaos as far as reach and frequency goes. But, it’s not so. Fewer than 20 Cable Networks have evolved into solid numbers.Reaching your target market is actually easier now because Television is becoming more similar to Radio with distinct viewer demographics in cable. We’re not all glued to the TV on Sunday night watching Ed Sullivan. Younger readers are probably thinking about now “… watching Ed who?”. The dynamics have changed and with it the parameters to reach your target audience. Advertisers actually have more opportunity for a tighter, targeted TV buy at lower overall cost than ever before.

The job of the Media Buyer and Media Researches is vastly more difficult because of the plethora of options – an overabundance or excess of offerings to reach your target viewer.
Some options are easier to track; others impossible. The cost efficiencies of each segment must be considered when putting a Media Puzzle together. The media buy just isn’t complete until all the piece fit! And these days there are many more pieces.

Another important shift contributing to audience fragmentation is how people are spending their time. We’re in the “I want it now; I want it when I want it” world. New media will always emerge to feed that hunger. And the fragmenting will continue.

For those interested in the concept of Reach & Frequency, I want to share a blog post that I
think is right on the money: TV Reach & Frequency – Obsolete? This article should bring up questions from the layman about R&F. Like “What does Reach & Frequency really mean
for me?” If so, I’ll be happy to respond.

Remember though … some things never change. It always boils down to Media Buying being a Science and an Art. Statistical analysis of Cost per Thousand viewers reached (actually, opportunities for viewers to be exposed to your message) is needed because that is the basis of how media is priced. But the importance of a Media Buyers gut can’t be overlooked. Blending those two is the mark of a true Media Professional. Always has been; always will be!

Linda Yarbrough is the owner of The Media Mix. She is the author of the Media
Marketing Strategy Blog: Yarbys Corner and can be found at Twitter @LindaYarbrough,
LinkedIn and Facebook.

Solving your media marketing puzzle is IN THE MIX – The Media Mix!

May be re-published only with Full Author By-Line Bio.


About Yarbys Corner ... Linda Yarbrough

Linda Yarbrough "Yarby" is a marketing and media strategy specialist who expanded her business to actively work on the internet 10 years ago. See our ABOUT page for more professional and personal background.
This entry was posted in direct marketing, internet marketing, Media Buying and Planning and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Television Media Buying – Then and Now

  1. Lynn says:

    I found the comparison between past and present in this article to be a very effective way of understanding the “present”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s