Sunday, February 21, 2010

Is Online Advertising Really a Better Option Than Television?

Setting aside the question of legality, the availability of full-length TV shows has been growing by leaps and bounds since the first arrival of YouTube, but the battle to make some money off of the venture has been proceeding at a snail’s pace by comparison.

In the last year or so, quite a few leaps have been made to ensure large media outlets get paid for their show’s popularity online in forums like Hulu, where they can run short ads when someone views old and current TV shows.

The rush to make money in online channels has created a lot of buzz as executives fear they’ll lose their television ad revenue as viewers switch to watching online. Their fears seemed founded: TV ad rates are less than they have been in previous years, as advertisers scale back their marketing budgets to accommodate their dwindling revenues.

Online advertising is cheaper and seemed to be reaching a wider audience. Even as they learned to make money through online ads, television execs were concerned for their dwindling revenue overall.

They may not need to be concerned. A new survey by eMarketer indicates that while online ad revenue is fast growing, TV advertisers will actually spend less per hour of viewing than their online counterparts – by a stunning 38%.

Maybe it isn’t time to give up the ghost on old-fashioned TV advertising after all; in short order, it could be cheaper to reach the same audience on the tube than on the net.