If the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show left the impression that TV as we know it is on the cusp of radical reinvention, the folks at research firm Deloitte aren’t buying the hype. Its media forecast for 2011 sees the medium staying largely the same as it’s always been: a hugely dominant force, with no big changes hitting anytime soon.
Deloitte takes a pretty dim view of the smart-TV trend, arguing that the search capabilities of the new breed of on-screen apps won’t do much to turn TV into a “pull” experience as opposed to the traditional “push”-based, channel-centric world. “When it comes to television in 2011, the only pulling that most viewers may want to do is pulling up a chair,” the report concludes.
One factor that will delay the future for the medium is cost; Deloitte analysts believe consumers are still more interested in buying their way to bigger screens than “enhanced search capabilities.” That stems from how ingrained the passive experience of TV is, though Deloitte remains bullish on the social-TV experience (Deloitte also shares some insights on the social-networking ad business here).
And that’s why Deloitte believes the good ol’ primetime grid will maintain its dominance; the increasingly real-time nature of the watercooler discussions will make live TV programming all the more important. That phenomenon, in turn, will preserve the 30-second commercial model that many see going the way of the dodo because of the increasing popularity of the DVR.
“TV advertising will be almost entirely unaffected despite that level of penetration,” according to the report. “While DVRs provide the technological capacity to skip ads, the majority of DVR owners are likely to continue watching the vast majority of their television live.”
Ad revenues not only will be untouched, but Deloitte projects a worldwide increase by $10 billion. The report grants TV “super media” status with growth projection so bullish that notions of cord-cutting or the myriad other forces pundits have long forecasted will kill the boob tube are barely taken into account. Apparently the more things change, the more TV stays the same.
Here’s a video of Deloitte analysts discussing the stubborn persistence of “push”-style TV; there plenty more videos on the Deloitte site: