The Future of Advertising: Is It a Dying Industry?
When I was in college the digital revolution was really taking hold on the media industry and creating quite an upset. It's for that reason that I steered away from being a journalism major and choose Advertising and Public Relations, which a career ultimately in Communications.
At the time, newspapers and its traditional journalism were sinking fast and I figured companies would always need to advertise. I always thought advertising was a safe bet, but then I read this on LinkedIn a few weeks ago and it really got me to thinking...
If you can pay $11.99 for Hulu, you are ad-free.
If you can pay $8 for Netflix, you are ad-free.
If you can pay $10 for YouTube, you are ad-free.
If you can pay $15 for HBO, you are ad-free.
If you can pay $4.99 for Spotify, you are ad-free.
If you can pay $8.99 for Twitch, you are ad-free.
If you have an iPhone, AppleTV, or iPad, you can be ad-free.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are already exploring ad-free digital subscriptions.
If this trend continues, the ad industry is going to have a bigger problem.
Is it true? Is the advertising industry in trouble? Based on the facts above (which are true) then yes, it would look like the ad industry has finally succumbed to the digital age and the pressures of consumer trends.
But the truth is, consumers don't hate ads, they hate bad experiences. In an age where people expect to have everything at their fingers tips when they want it, they don't want to be force fed advertising at an inopportune moment.
Consumers also want peer-to-peer recommendations. They trust the advice of not only their friends and family but also the people they connect with and follow on social media.
As advertisers, we need to create advertising that creates better experiences for everyone. Ads need to be relevant, don't interrupt, and must add value for people (not noise).
I don't think the ad industry is in trouble as long as they continue to innovate. We're already seeing the industry change with the rise in "influencer marketing," where companies hire normal people on social media who have large followings to represent their products and share their praise on their social channels. It's things like this that will keep the industry afloat.
No matter how you look at it, consumers will always need some type of advertising... otherwise how will we know when new products come out. The issue is how to make advertise feel natural and helpful without adding more noise to our ever days lives.
The future of advertising powers ahead!