Recently there has been a lot of worry around the fact that the new ATSC 3.0 over-the-air TV standard includes the ability to track what people watch. Many have pushed this as a bad thing, but the truth is it is a good thing for cord cutters.
One of the main things holding back over-the-air TV is the lack of measurements. With cable, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and more, content creators can instantly see how many people watch their shows. From there they can create more content people watch to sell ads against. With OTA TV you can’t track that and it drives down the price of ads on the content.
Recently the CEO of Cheddar, Jon Steinberg, talked about why Cheddar backed off plans for OTA because of the lack of measurements. “We couldn’t measure OTA. So we stopped that. I would like to do a big national OTA deal or license a .2 nationwide. But we need a large national partner and need Nielsen or other measurement to be able to sell ads against it to make it financially viable. I love OTA – I want to figure it out.”
The lack of measurements on who is watching the shows makes OTA TV less competitive versus cable or even streaming services like Hulu. With 3.0 OTA TV advertisers can know exactly what they are paying for. Just like how Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon can track what you watch now OTA TV will be able to too.
By letting the content creators know you watch a show you help the show continue by showing the networks its popular, attracting ad buyers to the show.
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