The timing of two stories this week spurred some television talk around the office: Nielsen’s latest Three Screen report and CBS’ cancellation of “As the World Turns.” Nielsen’s panels and surveys show that Americans still watch 99% of their video on traditional TV, but that DVR time-shifted viewing and online viewing are each increasing at double-digit rates. “ATWT” was the last remaining soap opera produced by Procter & Gamble, and for some reason, CBS chief Les Moonves told the Times that, if not the end of an era “…It’s certainly the end of the client-owned soap.”
The reason I’m puzzled by Moonves’ comment is that at Forrester, we’re believers in branded content. Marketers concede that in many cases it’s tough to measure ROI on sponsorships, but they also say that buying ads around programming with product placement or other branding is a sure-fire way to get double-digit amplification effects on branding metrics. The evolution of a three-screen audience increases the need for integrated marketing campaigns that can cross media, touch audience passion points, and tap into social media. TV’s probably the best hub medium for delivering the content experience for those types of campaign.