Mobile Killed the Video Star

Is TV on its way out? A new survey says this year—for the first time ever—Americans will spend more time on their mobile devices than watching TV. While it’s been forecast to happen for a while now, the moment arriving is no less dramatic.

What does that mean for brands trying to connect with TV viewers? A few things:

  1. Just because they’re on their mobile device doesn’t mean they’re not watching TV programming. From Netflix and Hulu to apps for just about every broadcast and cable channel out there, the content is still flowing, just in different ways. Smart brands will leverage that.
  2. TV shows become content for social media. Late night shows are best at this, posting segments of last night’s broadcast to their social media platforms. Pre-roll and ads within these videos are ways to tap core audiences as well as new ones, based on the data served up on each and every user. And all that ends up on mobile devices.
  3. Live programming. The powerhouse broadcast TV networks and cable channels still do live events better than mobile. Even apps pull breaking news from TV stations and networks because they don’t have the infrastructure to run their own news operations. Since our tribal desire to gather around a big screen for a sporting event isn’t washing out anytime soon (just ask FOX, NBC and CBS, who annually vie for the rights to the Super Bowl), brands that want to piggyback on the popularity of these events will continue to strategize on where their best opportunities lie to reach their core audience.

It’s hardly breaking news, but the screens are now wherever the eyeballs are. It’s up to the brands and the agencies that help them to make sense of where the biggest payoff is.

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