TV  Broadcast Industry Undergoing Massive Change: Moving to Mobile Broadcasting
19 March 2010

TV Broadcast Industry Undergoing Massive Change: Moving to Mobile Broadcasting

It is only a matter of time before broadcasting on these new broadcasting media channels will monetize the content and snatch even more of the revenue from traditional TV broadcasters.

You may be asking yourself, what does Broadcasting advertising revenue have to do with mobile media? Interesting story. Mobile is poised to become the new way broadcast content will be delivered. The launch of the iPad will see a rapid movement to mobile tablet devices, and smarter smartphones that tune into Internet-based mobile radio and TV content. At least that is SmartAirMedia's opinion. The latest data in Canada points strongly to these conclusions.

Canadian TV broadcasters are still struggling under the weight a loss of 10% of their advertising revenue in 2009. The data comes from a new report from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

The total revenue for private broadcasters in 2009 was $1.97 billion, compared to $2.14 billion in 2008 (a 7.9% decline). Private conventional television stations experienced a 10% drop in local and national advertising revenue in the same period.

There is one positive trend in Canada. Canadian produced local content has yielded great results with cheaper production costs and great viewership. A great example is the CTV program "Corner Gas". Canadians are finally producing content that appeals to a mass audience. There is a trend towards local home-grown relevant content to be more popular that globally-syndicated all-American programming. Audiences want content that is relevant to their lives, and this is a big change brought on by the influence of Social Networking.

These changes in the broadcast industry have been heralded as a "crisis". I suppose it is a crisis because the stakes are high and the revenues are even higher. The CRTC has been tasked to address the problem since this "problem" was identified, based on the new report. You could also reframe the "crisis" as a fundamental "change" in broadcasting. The question is, what type of change is underway?

The centre of the issue is a very "fractured" audience. Increasingly audiences are being split between broadcast TV, cable, Internet viewing, and mobile viewing. There are many more ways to gain access to programming now and audiences are tuning into these alternate sources of programming. The bottom line is that if eyeballs are moving away from the TV set, then the advertisers are following with their spending.

In the end, this is a classic case of waiting too long to respond to major industry and user trends. The risk is that broadcasters will be swallowed up in the process and unfortunately, this is where most TV broadcasters find themselves now.

In a related report by the CRTC (released March 18 2010), cable companies saw their revenue grow by 11.9% last year after having increased by more than 16% in both 2007 and 2008. Total revenues climbed from $8.2 billion in 2008 to $9.2 billion in 2009. WOW! We know who is making the cash now.

The data generated by the CRTC strongly suggests that broadcasting is shifting to new delivery channels above and beyond Television. The TV Broadcasters are having their revenue's eroded by new broadcasting media such as mobile video, Internet TV, Internet surfing, You Tube, and Cable based on-demand programming. The companies providing the pipes to deliver this new digital media content are raking in the cash that has been lost from TV Broadcasting.

It is only a matter of time before broadcasting on these new broadcasting media channels will monetize the content and snatch even more of the revenue from traditional TV broadcasters. Newspapers are also poised to grab even more of this audience, with tablet-based interactive TV papers and books that offer text plus interactive digital media. The New York Times is launching on the iPad platform in April 2010 and the iBook Store is opening when Apple launches the iPad.

Will TV broadcasting adapt? The signs are that this isn't happening very successfully. Tune in, and find out more in the years ahead… Currently, the future is not looking to bright for TV broadcasting in Canada.