Don’t Count Out Television, Just Yet.

Two recent reports on the health of television and film industry offer me hope.

While U.S. ad spending is expected to drop 8.7% this year, TV is being hurt less than other media.

TV Still Beats All other media for # hours watched.
TV Still Beats All other media for # hours watched.

ZenithOptimedia’s forecast for spending on advertising this year shows television ad outlays falling by 5.5% in 2009. No one likes negative growth, but this year’s TV’s market share is expected to rise to 38.6%, versus 31.8% the previous year. The forecast has TV’s market share hitting a record high of 39.3% by 2010.

“Advertisers that cut budgets across the board will often cut television last, since they know it best and are convinced of its effectiveness,” the report stated. “The medium may also be benefitting from the fact that people are spending more time at home and watching more TV.”

And, going to movies. Business is booming at the nation’s movie theaters. Revenue and ticket sales are each up about 10 percent over the first quarter of last year.

This goes along with what I have been saying about this media meltdown. The wrong approach is to strip away our best talent, and with them, our ability to produce quality product. When the story is good, people will watch it. Now is not the time to cut back for short term gain, now is the time to seize audience share. Do we really think we can’t beat newspapers at the online video game? Advertising dollars moving the the web? Then, why will big firms pay millions for a Superbowl ad?

The key is quality programming and engaging storytelling.

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