Is Linear TV Advertising Still Effective in 2024?

Linear TV advertising.

In this digital era, one advertising method seems to be getting forgotten. This is the good old TV. While it’s probably one of the oldest advertising methods, It’s not getting as much attention as other advertising methods, such as social media marketing.  However, there are still many areas where linear TV advertising can be effective. 

What is Linear TV Advertising?

Linear television refers to the traditional ways of watching TV through cable or satellite TV. The reason why it is termed linear is because the programming follows a predetermined schedule. Unlike on-demand content such as connected TV, which is streamed to a specific user on demand, linear TV ads usually focus on a larger audience. They are usually more effective at prime time.

How does Linear TV Advertising Work?

 Linear TV involves the transmission of pre-recorded programs that are usually hosted on a server. The show’s timeslot and linear TV ads are pre-determined using software. However, there is an exception to the rule where raw footage is usually transmitted through live events. 

If you are an advertiser planning to get your ad on linear TV and feel overwhelmed, you should consider working with an advertising agency. These specialize in negotiating deals with  TV companies and can help get you a good deal.

Linear TV vs. Connected TV: Which is better? 

While the concept of TV advertising started with linear, connected TV is a new concept that is gaining a lot of prominence. Connected TV advertising is a streaming service that runs on connected devices.

 Therefore, when you play ads on connected TV, these usually play before or after a streamed service. If you are wondering whether to advertise on Linear TV  or connected TV, here are the pros and cons of each.

Pros of connected TV advertising

  • Targeted audience. Connected TV advertising allows advertisers to reach a highly targeted audience.
  • CTV ads have a big reach
  • Offer a lot of measurement and reporting not available on linear  TV 
  • More efficient and affordable
  • Offers precision targeting.

Cons of connected TV advertising

Here are the cons of CTV advertising:

  • Unclickable ads
  • Audiences have a negative attitude toward ads
  • Unpopular with older demographics.

Pros of Linear TV advertising

Linear  TV advertising  also has several benefits, such as:

  • Non-skippable ads. Unlike on-demand TV, Linear TV users cannot skip a linear TV ad.
  • Helps with marketing diversification. If you need an advertising alternative that will help you reach people who aren’t on the internet, linear TV advertising is the right option to help you do that.
  • Trusted by viewers. One of the most trusted advertising methods by customers is linear TV ads.
  • Live events advertising. Linear TV also enables brands to advertise during live events.

Cons of Linear TV Advertising

Here are the drawbacks of linear TV advertising

  • A very divided TV landscape. Previously, TV viewers could only watch TV or listen to videos. However, today,  they have the option to watch linear TV or stream their favorite programs. This has resulted in a reduction in the number of TV viewers.
  • Limited targeting precision. Unlike CTV ads, linear TV ads offer limited targeting options.
  • Low result tracking capabilities. It can be hard to track the results of your campaigns when advertising on Linear T V.

By adopting both connected and programmatic linear TV advertising, brands can reach a large audience and a niche audience at the same time. Therefore, it would be helpful for brands to combine connected and linear TV ads for the best results.

Linear TV vs Addressable TV advertising

Addressable TV  uses household data provided by cable television to target a particular audience. The ads are addressed to particular households depending on the interests and characteristics of the residents. While addressable TVs’ targeting options are narrower than linear TVs, connected TV ads have the most advanced targeting capabilities. Brands can then use rational appeal in ads to attract customers.

How Effective Will Linear TV Advertising Be In 2024?

Some marketers argue that linear TV is dead because a big part of its audience has been eaten away by addressable TV advertising and CTV ads. There is some truth in that statement, even though not entirely. It is also true that the future of advertising is in CTV and addressable TV ads. 

However, many viewers still watch the good old traditional TV. Linear TV is still relevant and holds an enormous opportunity for brands to market their products or services.  TV also remains a popular advertising channel in the United States and other parts of the world. It is a great option for reaching out to an audience that hasn’t fully embraced streaming services.

Brands are still spending on linear T V ads.

Studies indicate that brands still spend ⅔ of their marketing dollars on linear TV advertising. Last year, 303 brands launched their linear TV advertising across different channels. The advertisers were in different categories, such as B2B, B2C, and DTC brands. An example of a brand that achieved marketing success with TV advertisements is the Barbie Doll movie.

It’s also good to remember that it doesn’t have to be either. The best advertisement strategy often combines both linear TV advertising and CTV ads. This is important as each of these platforms has its strengths and weaknesses. They also have a diverse audience that can be hard to reach on one platform alone.

Statistics on Linear TV Reach

Studies indicate that nearly everyone watches TV in the US, whether it is linear or streamed services. At least 70% of the people in the US watch TV every day. The number rises to 90% every week.

Linear TV viewers have an average age of 55. 84% of the linear TV viewers are aged above 35. While this shows that the older population is the biggest proportion of linear TV viewers, you should remember that these also have a higher buying power. Studies indicate that people above the age of 50 account for 50% of all spending in the U.S.

Live events on Linear TV, such as the Grammy Awards and the Super Bowl, also attract drones from younger audiences. Therefore, if you still doubt the effectiveness of linear ads, you do not have to. It is still one of the most effective advertising options for older customers. Traditional TV is also best for creating ads that appeal to emotions.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.