Can Lady Gaga Save Television?


Within four to six years, you will be watching your Computer monitor more than your TV screen. New television ad rates just out have risen markedly. It may be a matter of an industry shooting itself in the foot or the big screen.

Today, TV has half as many eyeballs as it did a mere five years back, that’s 50% less potential shoppers to sell to, according to Bloomberg Financial Network.

Advertising is what its all about, make no mistake there. TV news has been parroting government stating that the bad times are gone, “Happy Days Are Here Again,” Yet job markets lag, housing has not rebounded, home prices dropped again last month and 1 of every 7 home mortgages are in trouble.

Television has been telling tall tales of terrific times on the horizon to rachet up advertising prices. Now they cannot justify either that phoney fake good news or irrational appetites for higher unearned income.

In some ways, television networks don’t seem to be getting the big picture even now. All one has to do is look at their heavy hitter going into it’s season finale episode – the show “Lost”.

In a few days, “Lost” will bring in $900,000 for a 30 second spot. Sure it seems like real money, nearly a cool million but consider “Seinfeld” and “Friends” each sold off half-minute spots for $2,000,000.00.

As popular as Lady Gaga is, it is doubtful even she could resurrect those numbers for more than a tiny blip.

Trends tell us we will be spending more time dabbling with Facebook, watching You Tube, or trading email with friends. Some of us are learning via online academic classes or webinar courses. A comedian said ABC could change its name to ABT (anything but television).

Current television-signal delivery accounts today show 1 of 8 households will cancel cable TV this year as a result of already going to Internet for entertainment.

So a burning question for TV show advertisers is, will what we watch on our monitors bring in ad riches the way better productions generated revenue in the past?

It doesn’t seem likely.

TV’s grab-for-cash upsell game this week, points out that people today do record broadcast television shows so we will watch favorites again and again, making television ads more valuable then ever.

That is probably not true. That method of entertainment delivery lacks any demographics relating to how effective ads are.

In short, if they can’t tell, how the sell goes, no matter what they say, advertisers won’t pay.

Next stop: Just out – “Google TV”.

Claudia Strasbaugh was a freelance writer who founded Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Writer’s Guild, was head writer for the weekly TV show “Kill ‘EM With Comedy”, plus California Bureau Chief for National Lotto World Magazine. Claudia also ran a non profit called Dinner On A Dollar. Sadly, Claudia passed away in 2015, but we are pleased to display her writing works.