Despite declining traditional TV ad revenue, mobile TV can change the equation

According to BIA’s fourth edition of the quarterly "Investing In Television Market Report," the consulting firm anticipates the downward slide in TV ad revenue will continue in 2009, predicting an 8.5 percent decline from 2008's -7 percent growth. That's negative numbers.

“The television industry needs to focus more on compelling crossplatform advertising opportunities in order to significantly raise their revenues in the coming years,” said Mark R. Fratrik, BIA Advisory Services VP. “With the steady improvement of their online and mobile presence, they now need to demonstrate to their advertisers the significant value proposition they can offer through a bundled advertising package.”

Fratrik emphasized that BIA research for the NAB FASTROAD project estimates that by 2012, an additional $1.1 billion in ad revenues alone could come to local TV stations from multicasting if they began delivering news, information and entertainment to cellular, mobile and portable handsets. This allows operators to capitalize on time shifts in viewing patterns and the public’s increased desire to download programming on devices other than their primary televisions.

At a recent Kelsey Group conference on interactive local media, there was consensus that traditional and online media are blending together, offering a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on a multiplatform advertising approach. For example, one panel discussed how NBC, Comcast and CBS Radio collaborated on a successful Great Used Car Sale campaign in Chicago using the different forums these firms offer. The 10-day event generated 26 million online impressions. Going forward, television can certainly embrace similar strategies to extend its presence in more sophisticated ways.

Peter Krasilovsky, Kelsey’s VP and program director of marketplaces, expects to see TV ads act as differentiators for leading online services because of their broader scale and ability to reach more people than new media. “In 2009, look for crossmedia bundles bringing together television, radio, newspapers and online services as a way to improve overall revenues."

You can find a comprehensive profile of the 210 U.S. TV markets plus Puerto Rico's and TV market projections through 2012 in BIA's "Investing In Television Market Report" and its 2008 "Investing In Television Ownership Report."

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