Forrester: If TV ads evolve, they'll thrive


TV advertising is poised to change dramatically over the next decade, embracing the kind of targeting and user control already common on the Web, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

Forrester lays out a decade-long evolution that will result in most programming being delivered on-demand with targeted ad messages based on location and behavior, along with community functions.

This "Personal TV," as Forrester calls it, also would deliver a Web-like experience for consumers, with a portal-like menu of programming options and search functions.

Forrester sees this shift as giving TV an opportunity to remain the dominant ad medium it is today. While a personalized offering would seem geared toward further audience fragmentation, Forrester anticipates systems that would allow advertisers to reach mass audiences in a targeted manner. What's more, cable companies, with subscribers' billing histories, know more about users than Web companies. Ultimately, TV will work like the Web, enabling viewers to interact with ads up to the point of purchase.

In the near term, Forrester expects experimentation in VOD offerings by cable companies.