Focus Your Spend: Digital Is Becoming a More Trusted Source for Content Than TV

Focus Your Spend: Digital Is Becoming a More Trusted Source for Content Than TV

TV has been considered as the most important marketing channel for years. However, two years ago, digital marketing overtook television in terms of ad money spent. By 2021 it will be responsible for more than half of all ad spending. Though TV viewership is plummeting every year despite the quality and the number of shows produced, that is not the only reason why advertisers now prefer online video to TV.

Online video vs TV advertising


You can’t manage what you can’t measure. The old, trusted business mantra didn’t apply to one department of all companies for decades, and that is marketing. It was simply impossible to grasp just how many eyes and ears landed on billboards, TV ads, and radio jingles paid. Now, not only is it possible to know how many views did the ad get, but for how many seconds too, and how many engagements or clicks they’ve resulted in.

This drastically cuts future marketing costs as marketing teams finally know what is working and what is not.

Advertise Everywhere

Advertisers go there where people are. And nowadays, people are on the go more than ever. While there are some networks that provide TV on the go, rare are those who watch it. It’s not pragmatic to watch a 30-minute show on the commute to work, but a four-minute video? That’s going to enhance any subway ride.


People are aware of ad targeting, and while yes, people know that TV sports network mostly get advertisements aimed at men, they know that online they are targeted for ads as an individual. For most, it’s getting the best from a bad situation. Targeting isn’t even considered a “bad” word anymore. It’s a way to maximize everyone’s benefit and to match the user with the products/service he is most likely to be interested based on his own actions online.

The Cost

The ads for TV require a studio, actors, cameras, lights, director, or at least an animator and a voice actor. Ads for online videos can be produced for a fraction of the price of TV ads. It’s more money left for paying advertising places and intervals. Not to mention that online video ads can be changed easily if necessary.

Empowering the Consumer

In 2018, for consumers, it’s nearly offensive that they’ve said no to other plans so they can watch their desired TV program and they end up watching blocks of ads. People don’t want to channel surf mindlessly for five to ten minutes while the program they are watching is being interrupted by advertisements. This creates negative emotions towards the ads displayed and therefore towards the products/services advertised.

Online ads, however, can, and usually do, offer some kind of dismissal of the ads. Whether immediately or after a number of seconds watched. The mere fact that you know how many seconds you’ll have to wait is way more respectful towards the consumer than what the TV network ads give. Which hence lowers the guard of the viewer and allows the ad to have better odds of doing its job.

Thinking About the Future

In the modern business era, it’s all about the growth, and while almost everybody has a TV already, Cisco VNI forecast estimates that the internet will get another billion users in the next two years. So advertisers are preparing the soil for fresh 1,000,000,000 potential consumers. Not only because they will able to show an upward trend in terms of views and impressions to their managers, but because they will be targeting audience that hasn’t been fed up with digital ads yet.

So better increase your marketing budget on time. Now.

The shift of the Spending Power  

Most households still own one TV, so while the parents were in the living room watching TV programs they wanted, the kids were in their rooms, on their PCs, phones, and tablets watching exactly what they wanted. And they still find their information, entertainment, and education online. Only now, they are the ones who have spending power. Ones who have the needs that should be satisfied by what you are selling.

Trickle Down

65% of Millenials have said that they’ve deliberately watched a TV ad because it was engaging. And what Millenials like, Millennials share. It’s highly impractical to tell your friend to check out that one specific ad you’ve seen on TV, but online, ads spread out for free.

And it’s not just the younger demographic, 33% of total viewers have told someone about or shared a video ad they just watched.


While the big TV networks are owned or themselves are huge corporations, this is mostly not the case with digital content creators. And nowadays corporations often have a lot of negative baggage, people see them as evil entities not to be trusted, as opposed to the YouTuber that makes his videos from his room. So, automatically, the ads in his video will be received with more openness and won’t catch any of the negative feelings associated with the program they are on.  

It’s also worth noting that the numbers spent on TV advertising are inflated by huge events like the Super Bowl and Grammys that earn the majority of the money. Not anyone can come close to advertising during them. Online, playing fields are quite more leveled.

Will your ads be ready for 1,000,000,000 new people coming online in 2020?