September 2, 2020

Are We Past Mass Media?

The following is part of a series from our recent roundtable discussion, Finding Success in our New Data Reality, in collaboration with other leaders in the data and privacy space. Keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for additional learnings from this event.

Does traditional mass media still deserve a place of prominence in our new contextual data reality? The answer, like your average modern television itself, is becoming more complicated. Connected TV’s, smart radios and the like are blurring the once-impenetrable boundaries between what marketers define as Linear, Connected, Over-The-Top, and Addressable. So, will mass media survive? Probably. But perhaps we should stop calling it “traditional.”

For now, mass media often remains a part of any cross-functional plan. A powerful, innovative TV spot can still build brand awareness like few other media tactics can. But unless mass media evolves alongside our regulatory landscape–namely solidifies ways to demonstrate trackable and real business outcomes–it may not be part of future plans.

When the third-party cookie officially disappears, we could see a temporary resurgence of mass media spend to fill the need for broad audience coverage. This could occur until new, more-granular solutions emerge and concrete regulated standards develop. Powerful innovative TV and radio spots have historically had tremendous impact on brands and culture. With the addition of new solid attributable data, this will continue to help mass media evolve.


Special thanks to our collaborators LiveRamp, Neustar, MediaMath, UserZoom, ImpactProduct, Flashtalking, MediaMonks, Microsoft, the 4A’s, Wunderman Thompson, 3Radical, and SAS.

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