New developments in technology provide television users with a variety of options concerning what program material to watch and when to watch it. Such changes affect not only viewer behavior but every aspect of the TV industry throughout the world. Special interest, narrow-casting services have not had the drawing power predicted and TV is now, more than ever, a broadcasting medium. As a result, the industry is being dichotomised into the big and the small channels and viewers are being polarised into the masses and the slivers. In the U.S., shakeouts, consolidations and mergers take place. In Europe, more advertising money will be needed to finance the system. Use of VCRs is reducing over-all time spent watching broadcasts as transmitted and remote controls and fast-forward features are leading to zapping and zipping of commercial material. These, along with napping and cluttering of the medium increase the gap between the size of program and commercial audiences and the chance that viewers will see commercials. More sensitive and searching studies of viewer behavior are required to assure effective advertising use of the medium.
Author: Robert Warrens
June 15, 1992
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