Worlds Collide: Advertising in the Convergence of TV and the Web

11 October 2012 | Blog

As the Internet and TV continue to converge, we’ve begun to see practices leaping between mediums. With Web original series springing up like mushrooms and TV series engaging directly with their audiences through social media, it’s no surprise that TV and online advertising have begun to take cues from each other.
It used to be that TV advertising was sold in carefully managed bundles, with premium inventory driving decisions, while Internet advertising was chopped up into targeted blocks and sold by auction. But as each industry has continued to mature, they have taken advantage of each other’s wisdom. The premium content providers have increasingly removed their inventory from bulk auctioneers, bringing ad sales back in-house to preserve the value of their inventory, the same way TV defends its own premiums. Meanwhile, TV has begun to realize the potential of targeting and selling non-premium inventory by third party ad sellers. In both cases, it makes sense—premium slots work most effectively when advertisers can pay the premium for broadest reach, while the lesser reach of non-premium inventory is more effective for everyone when it can be reaggregated into targeted audience segments.
As TV and online content move increasingly close together and advertisers push for ever more unified campaigns, this borrowing of best practices can only accelerate.