4 Ways That TV and Digital Can Learn From Each Other

Posted by Ashley Swartz on Jun 18, 2019 1:00:00 PM

learning-from-TV-and-digital

At Furious, we eat, sleep and breathe arming TV sellers with the tools they need to incorporate the lessons of digital and ultimately to keep TV ascendant in this next era of media. We see it as a matter of adaptation, of retooling the organization, the business, the stakeholders, and the sellers in the trenches with a new set of tools with which to fight what is essentially a new battle.

Throughout the next month, we’ll be releasing content to give TV sellers tools they need to stay on top. Look for learnings on addressable TV (i.e., thinking beyond CPP), our thoughts on the unduplicated reach curve (spoiler alert: it’s a myth!), and our take on the rate card of the future.

As I’ve mentioned before, the TV ad industry is strong and not going anywhere – despite predictions of its demise. Television continues to deliver enormous value, by offering reach that you can’t get in digital at a lower cost per media dollar spent. Even digital giants Amazon, Facebook and Google spent more than $400M on TV combined in Q4 of 2018, just on their voice-activated solutions.

But we’ve undeniably entered a new media era, marked by changes like more connected devices, younger generations living at home longer, and the prevalence of getting our news from social outlets. In the face of this change, TV buyers and sellers have an incredible opportunity to evolve.

Here are four key learnings that TV can teach digital, and vice versa.

1. Size still matters
(No surprise!) This holds true for video in particular. TV home-runs like Sunday Night Football or hit shows like “This is Us” are still jewels in the video crown—commanding $665K+ and $433K+ respectively for a 30-second spot. Digital extensions are gravy, as long as you have level of confidence it’s a similar audience. 

2. Content adjacency remains key value and performance driver
In other words, shifting to a purely audience data-based delivery is not the way forward with video. Not only does content adjacency have proven effectiveness results, but brand safety drives a constant yo-yo of brands entering and leaving platforms like YouTube – all due to fear of showing up next to questionable content. Research by Omnicom agency Hearts & Science showed that 70% of consumers wouldn’t recommend or purchase from a brand with ads near offensive content.

3. Increasing the shift to impression-based selling models for TV 
At Furious, we believe that a full convergence of digital and TV buying is a myth, but we do work with TV broadcasters to shift their perspective from spots to impressions and create the processes to support the move. This allows TV to be sold in an apples-to-apples basis with digital, so you can measure comparative value. More on this to come in a future post…

4. With reach comes waste, but the jury is out if it is really less efficient
Yes, you want to reach as many people as possible in a TV buy, but you can’t buy just a fraction of spot. Only the future will tell if addressable TV is the ultimate solution to this problem; when we shift from fishing with a net (spot/point buys) to fishing with a line (targeted impressions), those eyeballs get exponentially more expensive. 


Instead of pitting TV against digital, we believe the future is “yes, and….” After all, eMarketer had to revise both its TV and digital video 2019 forecasts upward. The work comes in distilling the lessons from both sides to improve overall ad effectiveness. And hey, we get it! This is hard work, which is what keeps us getting out of bed hungry every day. We are solving digital problems with digital solutions, linear problems with linear TV solutions, and ensuring that the sum of the parts is greater by taking lessons learned and best practices from each. Stay tuned for more to come!

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Topics: Digital, TV Landscape, TV vs. Digital