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In reality, online complements and enhances TV, rather than competing with it

Well, it looks like the honeymoon is over. The last week has seen an outpouring of reports claiming TV to be a more popular medium than the internet, and that TV advertising is more effective than online ads. This cyclical reaction comes as no surprise but erroneously paints a picture of a battle between the two. In reality, online complements and enhances TV rather than competing with it.

Online had a good run as the media darling, with traditional media being hit far harder by the recession. But as TV and print start to come back to life, online is being seen in a more realistic light. As WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell said this week in the group’s half-year report, “Traditional media is biting back… new media hasn’t been successful implemented as yet and is still in its early stages.”

This rationalisation can only be positive.

Ofcom’s annual report last week found online TV growing, findings confirmed in our own research into online TV. But our report also confirms online TV remains embryonic: most people only use the internet for catching up on TV they’ve missed, a solitary activity with none of the sharing activity ’social TV’ hype promises - yet.

A rational view, therefore, means it’s no surprise that this week’s Deloitte report for the Edinburgh TV Festival finds only 3% of people saying they pay attention to a pre-roll ad, compared to 36% for a TV ad. How could it be anything different yet? As ITV head of online sales Richard Parboo points out in our feature on the measurement of online TV on page 20, “We consider VOD to be a one-year-old industry.”

The internet isn’t, and never was, going to replace TV. Interactive media instead enhances TV. Interactive voting via SMS is on the way back to TV shows, seamless interaction making primetime shows more entertaining. Each week new media age reports brands using online to continue the journey started on TV.

Honeymoons may be enjoyable, but a long-term marriage of TV and online will be far more satisfying for consumers and advertisers.

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Published 26 August, 2010 by NMA Staff

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