Advertising and the new electronic media

Advertising and the new electronic media

Advertising and the new electronic media IRD, USA (1983), 160 pp, $985 Advertising agencies are impeding growth in advertising on cable and other new ...

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Advertising and the new electronic media IRD, USA (1983), 160 pp, $985 Advertising agencies are impeding growth in advertising on cable and other new electronic media, according to this report. Lack of interest in risk-taking and fear of jeopardizing their traditional 15% commissions from broadcasters are identified as the primary motivations behind this reluctance to experiment with new delivery systems. In addition, the cost inefficiencies resulting from small cable buys (when compared with broadcasting), and the fact that they must be made frequently, are discouraging experimentation. The lack of adequate audience measurement techniques has also served to hinder the development of advertisements for cable, says the report. Recently, however, concentrated efforts have been made to remedy this problem, and a breakthrough is expected. Seven different research methodologies are currently being tested to determine which, singly or in combination, might be best suited for cable. The report predicts that one of the more likely candidates to be chosen is Radar by Quantiplex, which contacts a sample of viewers daily over a seven-day period by phone; the service is due to be launched this year. Whether or not Radar becomes the standard technique for cable audience measurement, it now appears that the cable industry is finally coming to grips with a significant problem. Satellite cable networks themselves have often been their own worst enemies, observes the report, by promoting advertising strategies which alienate and confuse potential sponsors. The now-defunct CBS cable insisted on 'charter subscribers' rather than on sponsors of short-segment spot commercials - a policy which the report identifies as one of the reasons why the company failed to attract sponsors. Media analysts, maintains the

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report, make the mistake of treating cable as the weak sister of broadcast television, when it actually has characteristics closer to those of print magazines, which target selected and segmented audiences. In addition, teletext (a one-way information system) is being regarded as a traditional print or broadcast medium, though both approaches fail to take advantage of the technology's strengths as a unique medium. These new categories demand new thinking, observes the report. While it is much easier to slip a new concept into an old slot and apply tried-andtrue methods, effective advertising in the new electronic media can only be developed by exploration. A willingness on the part of the

advertising industry to deal with the unknown is of critical importance not only to the advertising industry, but to the burgeoning new electronic media themselves. Teletext, which, according to the report, will only slowly get off the ground in the USA, will benefit enormously from an investment in advertising; without this investment success is unlikely. Videotex (a two-way system) is likely to derive a high percentage of its total revenues from electronic yellow pages services -another form of advertising. Significant levels of advertising support cannot be expected for some time, however, as advertisers need subscribers in order to justify their expenses - - a situation which could seriously delay the growth of new electronic media. Nevertheless, advertising expenditures for the new electronic media are expected to exceed $6 O00M by 1993. (Inter-

national Resource Development Inc., 30 High Street, Norwalk, CT 06851, USA. Te1:8002435008) []

Centralized and distributed data entry in Europe Frost & Sullivan, USA (1983) 518 pp, $1 625 A blurring of distinctions between types of computer equipment will help the European data entry market to double by 1986, giving end users more for less and allowing additional suppliers to plug into the market predicts this new study. It is estimated that the number of data entry devices sold will grow from 249000 units in 1982 to 299000 in 1983 and 524000 in 1986. Dollar growth rates (1982 constant dollars throughout) will be slower, however, so that by 1986 values will rise by 70% to reach $1 750M. These figures are heavily influenced by the large proportion of visual display units in the totals, which will experience considerable price erosion, and the growing share taken by low-cost devices such as portable data entry units

and hand print readers, says the report. The report maintains that much of this equipment will handle functions additional to data entry, as the move towards full transaction processing becomes more pronounced. For the entire forecast period (1982-86), the report estimates that 1.9M units representing $6 900M will be sold. The 1982 market was $1 100M, and is expected to be $I 300M in 1983. Top seller in both dollars and units for the entire period will be VDU terminals, increasing from 195 000 units and $531.7M sales in 1982, to 226000 units and $583.1M in 1983, and 227000 units and $786.1M in 1986. Within the market segment, equipment from Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, CDC and Honeywell is

computer communications