Interesting article from the New York Times' David Carr on Time Warner chief executive Jeffrey Bewkes that covers the TV landscape from Bewkes' perspective. Bewkes says no matter where you watch your TV, you're going to wind up with the same amount of advertising.
But unlike HBO, broadcast channels and the vast majority of cable channels live at least partly on advertising. “Makes no difference,” Mr. Bewkes says, confidently. “The ad loads” — the amount of advertising — “will be the same.”
Mr. Bewkes’s saying it does not make it so: more content on more platforms almost always leads to lower ad rates. Just ask newspaper owners how their online ad revenue compares with what they can still get for old-fashioned paper advertising.
Though I agree with Mr. Carr that Bewkes saying (and wishing) it doesn’t make it so, forthcoming Nielsen measurement will likely make it so, at least for viewing that occurs within 3 days of original telecast.
Nielsen plans to roll-out its “TVandPC” (lack of spaces their idea, not mine!) measurement in Q1 that will count online and on-demand viewing in the C3 (commercial ratings Live+3 days) ratings used to sell TV advertising, provided they have the same national commercial loads as what aired on TV.
Once rolled out, that pretty much ensures that any online and On Demand viewing within 3 days will have the same commercial loads as were on TV. It will be particularly interesting to see what Hulu does. Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has not been a supporter of full commercial loads in the past. I imagine he likes the idea even less now, when people who would've screamed loudly anyway will scream even more loudly if they’re paying for the “ HuluPlus” service and getting full commercial loads (Hulu Plus subscribers currently get the same amount of commercials that are on the free Hulu).
Original plans with TVandPC called for testing/evaluation to begin now-ish with a full-fledged rollout in February.