- In a Wall Street Journal podcast, David Levy, president of Time Warner’s Turner cable unit, said he believes marketing dollars will begin flowing back to TV as its analytics and targeting capabilities become more similar to what digital marketing has been offering all along.
- Levy stated, “There was a quick move of a lot of television dollars going to digital, basically a CMO was saying ‘I want to try new things. I want to try Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram – I want to try all these ad hoc opportunities around the marketplace.’”
- The television executive's argument for TV’s comeback was that “brands matter, content matters and the consumer experience matters” and he thinks TV’s quality brand and reach will win out in the end.
Levy’s comments come at a time when essentially every forecast has digital passing TV in advertising spending no later than next year, and digital – especially mobile – grabbing the lion’s share of ad spending growth by a large margin for as far as research groups are willing to predict right now. Basically every indicator sees TV’s growth slowing to almost zero while digital advertising will continue to grow in double digits.
According to Levy dollars are going to shift back to TV because the marketing channel is “starting to act more like digital” with analytics, data and targeting that has made digital what he described as “very sexy” for marketers.
He also pointed out that right now digital is also trying to become more like TV with the emphasis on video content and live streaming services like Facebook Live. The two are becoming more similar, and as Levy put it, will meet somewhere in the middle. But as he also pointed out, TV is playing catch up in the analytics and targeting space. It was essentially brought into that arena by force as marketers demanded the same level of transparency and measurement they had become used to with digital marketing.
As the head of Turner, Levy has a vested interest in hoping his prediction is correct, and TV is certainly not going away, but whether it can get back in the driver's seat, edging out digital and even mobile, is unclear.