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Digital Vs. TV Advertising

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On the 26th August 1963, the BBC transmitted the first ever HD picture on TV. It is hard to believe how much all things have changed since then, including the way in which we advertise.

Traditionally, watching TV brought family and friends together like a social occasion. They would gather round a single TV set watching everything from the latest episode of Coronation Street to Saturday night game shows. Children would write their Christmas lists based on adverts they seen during the breaks, but that era is rapidly disappearing.

Watching TV on multiple devices in separate rooms has become the new norm. Only 23% of people opt to watch broadcastings on a TV as their first choice whilst 42% state their laptop and desktop is their favourite viewing device, smartphones follow with 13% watching whilst on the move.

It was only back in 2014 when 65% of people indicated they preferred watching shows on a TV set. The sharp decline of TV watching within recent years is due to a number of factors, such as the rise of video platforms such as YouTube and Netflix combined with the development of digital devices such as smartphones and tablets. As mobile devices have developed, people have moved away from traditional linear video viewing. On mobile alone, YouTube now reaches more 18-49 year olds than any network, broadcast or cable.

A number of companies use TV commercials to advertise their products and services to a mass audience of viewers. With the changes in the sector moving towards digital viewing, is traditional advertising still the best use of your budget?

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87% of people state they check their emails, browse social media platforms, go to the bathroom or get a drink during the TV ads. Therefore, traditional TV ads may no longer be the best use of your marketing budget and it may be beneficial to consider digital advertising.

Almost half of 18 to 24 year olds have already moved to other platforms such as YouTube to view TV programmes and videos within the past five years. In 2018, the number of monthly viewers watching linear TV dropped from 76 hours and 55 minutes to 64 hours and 21 minutes.

YouTube is the second most-used search engine in the world, it has a user base of 1.3 billion and counting with almost 5 billion videos viewed each day therefore giving your ads a larger reach in compassion to TV advertising.

Every year the number of people using social media increases as a result, people are opting to scroll their platforms as a form of past time rather than watching TV. The average internet user spends 15minutes longer each day on social media than they do watching tv. This highlights that traditional advertising alone no longer offers the widest reach and the importance of social advertising.

Whilst TV is still a successful way to deliver mass reach, businesses need to consider where people are engaged and watching, therefore at times a media blend is best. If your target demographic is 18-49 years olds, we recommend YouTube as the best platform to advertise your products to get the best ROI in comparison to traditional TV advertising. If your target audience is older than 45 years old supplementing your TV ads with complimentary digital ones, will reach a wider audience making the best use of your budgets. If you would like to find out more on how Digital advertising could help your business get in touch with us today.

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Digital Vs. TV Advertising. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from
“Digital Vs. TV Advertising.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Digital Vs. TV Advertising. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2023].
Digital Vs. TV Advertising [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Sept 29]. Available from:
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