The new television

Todd Merriman

The very idea of television is in the midst of a stunning re-imagination; new technologies are changing how content is created, distributed and accessed. Digital technology and the internet exposed the music industry as little more than a house of cards, easily toppled by enterprising technology firms (most notably Apple, now arguably the most significant music company in the world). Now these forces similarly threaten to loosen the stranglehold the major studios, broadcasters and service providers have had over the medium of television, and call into question the value of TV advertising, both the underlying revenue stream of the whole industry and the marketer's go-to instrument for extending awareness and building their brands.

The new television promises a more fluid and irregular experience, near-infinite fragmentation of content, and increased competition for eyeballs. It's a prospect that frightens broadcasters and service providers. But while they tremble at the prospect of a new vision for television, marketers should welcome the change and the innovative marketing opportunities it makes possible.