How Cable TV uses Internet to Win Back their Market Share

Cable TV seems to be in trouble, due to smart TV.

But they’re fighting back, using social media and new technological developments.

Below is a guest post explaining the situation and the influence on Internet marketing and TV.
Here goes.

The use of smart TVs to access online programming continues to gain favor with American viewers.

According to a survey from the ad network company YuMe, 11 percent of U.S. households already have a smart TV, and of those consumers who plan to buy a new TV this year, 8 percent indicated they'll buy a smart TV.

The number of viewers now using streaming Web TV services such as Netflix and Hulu has increased as well, due to the popularity and ease of streaming one's own programming when the viewer wants.
More than half of TV-viewing Americans (53 percent) have watched streaming entertainment, according to a Harris Interactive survey.
Among 18-35 year-olds, accessing TV programming via the Internet TV ties traditional cable TV viewing in a survey of how this demographic accesses its entertainment programming.

Cable TV Steps Up

How is the cable industry fighting back? According to CableTV, there are a multitude of ways cable companies are bundling and discounting their offerings in an effort to compete for your entertainment dollar, from subscription packages that offer the most HD channels to greater access to movies and sports from around the world.

Photo Credit: Tobyotter

Enter Social Media

In addition, cable TV operators are recognizing that social media is increasingly playing a role in their viewers' lives.
Viewers are interested in sharing the content they're consuming and learning what their network of friends is viewing. In response, cable TV is stepping up its social media presence, especially on Facebook, which is a rich source of potential ad revenue for cable TV companies.

Three cable TV shows are in top five list of the most-liked TV shows on Facebook, according to, which tracks Facebook business pages and the numbers of fans they attract.
These three shows (South Park, MTV and SpongeBob SquarePants) collectively have more than 124 million active fans who interact regularly on their respective Facebook fan pages. Spongebob Squarepants alone has 39 million fans, while the show itself attracts in the region of 4.6 million viewers a week, according to

The “Two-Screen Experience”

In today's world, it's vital that businesses be accessible via mobile technology, and cable TV is no exception.
Beyond sites like Facebook, cable TV operators are increasing their advertising options and ad revenue potential by exploring branded apps and games for mobile devices.
By tying in a game or other app to a show, the cable TV operators can provide additional opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences.
As Jesse Redniss, Senior VP of Digital for USA Network noted in AdAge:

"A lot of people are talking about it because of the huge emergence of digital and social used together with television, and making real impact on user engagement."

The two-screen experience is growing as well. Cable TV operators are providing additional content for shows via mobile apps and websites, which is helping grow the “two-screen experience”.
As viewers become immersed in their viewing experience, cable TV providers are giving advertisers another opportunity to reach their target audience – so even if viewers are fast-forwarding through advertisements on a DVR, they can still be reached through the second screen, where advertising is tied to the show content.

While this information may seem to be heralding the end of TV advertising as we know it, not everybody sees the end in sight so soon. More precise metrics are becoming available to advertisers, cable TV media buyers and others with media budget spending power.
In a recent article on Gigaom, Doug McCormick of Rho Ventures argues that while a lot of the current conversations center around the trend for video viewing to take place via the Web, people are missing the fuller story:

“Once they [advertisers and media buyers] transition to using a scientific media buy, using the most recent tools available, the result will be a win-win for marketers and TV.”

How cable TV responds to Internet TV and how providers will use the Web to increase revenue is an evolving story, likely to continue to shift and change along with viewers' preferences and available technology.

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