The Evolution of Traditional to New Media

Traditional media is alive and well.

For years, there has been chatter in the industry that traditional media is dying, but I am here to tell you that traditional media is still very much alive and well. There is no argument that traditional media is undergoing a huge transformation and has required a “digital tune-up,” which has been crucial to its survival.

When we refer to traditional media, we are talking about media channels such as television, radio, print, and out-of-home. Now I want you to think back about the last 24 hours. How many of you have watched a TV show, whether it was on the TV or your tablet? How many of you drove to work and listened to the radio? Oh, and while you were on your way to work, did you see a billboard? I am willing to bet that you were able to answer yes to at least one of those questions, if not all of them, and it is further proof that traditional advertising is not dead.
Let’s take a look at the different channels and how they are evolving.

TV advertising has still proven to be a highly relevant channel. I suggest reading these two studies by Turner Broadcasting, which show that TV is the most powerful business driver for advertisers, and TV is a significant driver of social media engagement. In Nielsen’s recent Q1 2016 total audience report, television continues to have the highest reach out of all media when you combine live plus time-shifted TV. Yes, it’s true that traditional TV viewership has seen some declines over the years, and other forms of online video with highly targeted advertising opportunities seem very attractive to advertisers.

To stay relevant, the TV advertising industry is answering back by gradually shifting its focus from traditional mass targeting to specific data and audience-driven TV advertising, such as programmatic and addressable TV advertising. These methods are still in the beginning stages, and more and more cable providers and network television stations are adopting the technology. This is looking to be a huge emerging trend with the potential of significant growth for the TV industry. Experts are projecting that by 2019, programmatic TV will account for $10 billion of TV budgets compared to the $2.5 billion that was spent in 2015.

Another important evolution in the world of television is the penetration of subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) programming (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime), which is now reaching 50 percent of U.S. households, according to Nielsen. Viewers can watch what they want, when they want. TV networks are recognizing the appeal of SVOD and actively creating new distribution channels of their own such as branded apps and websites in order to distribute their programming to viewers.

Behind television, radio has the second highest reach of all mediums. According to Nielsen, on average, radio reaches nine out of 10 millennials each week. Some marketers will argue that radio is the most effective way to get your message across due to the fact that radio listeners are more tuned in and have a higher ad recall.
Local radio, also known as terrestrial radio, still remains strong and is the main source of advertising revenue for this channel. With that said, the radio industry has done a great job adapting to the digital shift of consumers by creating a strong online presence. Streaming radio services such as Pandora and Spotify have created new and exciting advertising opportunities that allow you to reach highly targeted consumers when you want and where you want.

Out of all the traditional media channels, the print medium has suffered the most, as the industry was slow to adapt to the digital shift of consumers. Many have turned to free news sites, which means publications have had to put more of a focus on relevant and reliable content in order to reach a larger audience and boost their search engine visibility. Some large news outlets have done a great job of this and have managed to drive large volumes of traffic to their site, generating ad revenue through online video and display ads.

When you think of out-of-home advertising, the first thing that may pop into your mind is billboard advertising. Well, this is certainly one avenue of OOH advertising, but the truth is, there are limitless opportunities in the world of OOH advertising. From billboards to transit advertising and putting your message on the back of a bathroom stall, OOH advertising has allowed marketers to reach consumers pretty much anywhere.

One of the biggest breakthroughs in recent years was the development of digital billboards. Digital billboards have brought significant advantages to advertisers. Businesses are now able to tailor their messages more effectively by having the flexibility to easily swap messaging in and out with huge production and installation cost savings.
In summary, traditional media is far from dead but rather is evolving to meet the needs of consumers. In this digital age, it is important to focus your marketing strategies around delivering the right message at the right time and in the most engaging way possible. Fortunately, with the way traditional media channels have been able to evolve and adapt to this digital era, they are able to provide the advertising opportunities to help fulfill these strategies.