Thursday, April 5, 2018

Commercials. Are they going the way of the (fill in your own favorite now-defunct technical thing-a-ma-jig)

by Don Keith

I do still try to listen to over-the-air radio sometimes. And there are times when I am forced to watch a TV show or newscast in real time without benefit of commercial-clipping. 

And it hurts. It is painful. It is discouraging.

And you know what it isn't? It isn't effective for the advertiser. I doubt many listeners or viewers pay attention to the incessant wall of commercial content that gets spewed out between precious bits of music, information or entertainment. I got in my truck the other day and tuned in a local news/talk station's PM drivetime show. From the time I started listening until I arrived at my first more than twelve minutes, I promise...I heard nothing but commercials and station promotional announcements (commercials for the station).

One of the more astute observers of trends in media is Mark Ramsey, who has been quoted in this blog often in the past.  Because he IS an astute observer of media trends.  In a recent blog of his, he talked about news that at least one major media outfit was considering cutting back to TWO MINUTES of commercials PER HOUR.  Not twenty minutes. Two!  And the discussion is interesting.

Is it possible?  Can others even think seriously of such a dramatic cut in commercial load when the common wisdom is sell everything you can?

I don't believe it is a question of "can they?"  It is a question of "will they?"  Or will radio and TV wither away as consumers become more and more viewers and listeners to content that has NO commercials? And go away because advertisers finally realize that being the middle spot in a ten-minute commercial break does them absolutely no good?  Or that "BROADcasting" is yesterday's ad medium and they can now target right down to the eyeballs and eardrums they actually want and need to reach, not pay for everybody with a radio or TV set?

I would talk more about this but now, here's a word from our sponsors...

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