Fisking Mitch Oscar

Here's a link to the original piece.

It's All TV, Isn't It?

No. It's not. You TV zealots have been trying to turn the Internet and other lean-forward media into TV for at least the last decade. It hasn't worked. Stop trying.

I enjoy horizontally watching a slew of my favorite professionally produced TV programs, surfing the electronic program guide, neurotically scanning my personal video recording selections to ascertain future storage capacity, and fast forwarding through advertising messages to see if I can accurately time the activation of “the play button” with the final second of the last commercial position in the pod preceding program content.

Great. You're a couch potato who figured out how to use his DVR. Am I supposed to be impressed?

I admit, I rejoice in the $60 billion spent on TV advertising annually; remain unaffected by naysayers’ pronouncements about TV, the dying medium, and the 30-second commercial, a relic of the Paleolithic media age; and eagerly await the ubiquitous deployment of interactive applications in the televisual realm

Keep waiting. You yourself happily skip commercials, so why shouldn't everybody else?

We're certainly waiting for interactive TV. More than a dozen years of shouting its imminent arrival from the mountaintops and the best it can do is let me order crappy movies on demand or look at listings for homes for sale that I can get 10 times faster on my computer. Let's face it, two-way media don't exist so that media executives who like one-way, passive media can conquer them and remake them in television's image.

Why do the online ad agency professionals insist on calling the video viewing experience in the broadband arena “video streaming?” Why don’t they refer to it as “television?”

For a number of reasons. First, it's not being transmitted via a passive medium. Secondly, because we'd rather avoid the negative connotations that "television" brings along with it. Internet users are online not because they want to be passively entertained, but because they want to interact.

In my opinion, had they utilized the time-worthy appellation, they would more readily gain access to a greater share of the $60 billion in TV ad revenue, make my job and that of other digital transitionists easier, and accelerate bridging the gulf between the two mediums to mutually share in the ability of the fundamental sight, sound and motion attributes of the video experience to engage the consumer.

We're already chipping away at your share of ad revenue. We don't need your help to do it. Mostly because you TV guys keep asking for more money for less exposure every single year and seem to be awfully cocky about doing so.

What the hell is a "digital transitionist?" Is that some sort of fancy way of describing the notion that your audience is disappearing?

And let me remind you that traditional media executives are largely responsible for the "gulf between the two mediums." [sic] The emerging media business requires a skillset that the traditional set was loathe to adopt back in the day, so stop trying to pin it on the emerging media folks. When they were confronted with a choice more than a dozen years ago, most TV people simply didn't want to learn to adapt. Now they're paying the price as they watch ratings decline and their budgets shifting to other media.

Part of the answer, I think, lies in the line of demarcation drawn by the online ad community that, unceremoniously labeled the traditional media community as “offline”–kind of like the tail wagging the dog, albeit a very long, but nonetheless considerably smaller tail. Online generates $15 billion-plus (40% or more in search) in ad revenue. Offline media generate upwards of $245 billion in the U.S. Not a pleasant way to encourage a fellowship between mature and burgeoning advertising sectors, particularly when the mature/traditional community, via the media planner, oftentimes is still the gatekeeper to allocating ad budgets by medium.

Close, but you've got it exactly backward.

It was the traditional media community that started labeling emerging media people as "online." In other words, you're blaming emerging media people for a rift that traditional media people created.

And don't arrogantly pull the spending figures out of your ass, like it's some sort of invitation for emerging media professionals to bend down and kiss the pope's ring. We know what the spending figures look like. Television advertising had a head start of a few decades. I'd be worried if I were in a pure-play TV ad sales role.

I would argue that to the consumer, it is all the same experience. It’s television. And if we, the ad community, both mature and burgeoning, are successfully going to engage the viewer of video, whether it is via traditional television, broadband and/or mobile, we must view it as TV as well,

Really? It's the same experience? Did you see the Saddam Hussein execution on TV or on YouTube? Did you submit comments on the Saddam video via your television or your computer? When was the last time you talked to your TV and it talked back to you?

If people think it's all TV, then why does every media research company release reports about simultaneous media consumption? If it were all TV, we'd all have one idiot box to watch. But it's not, so we have computers, mobile devices, gaming consoles, and a slew of other interactive devices that CARRY video content, but don't limit people to passively watching it.

What you don't get is that people don't want their mobile devices and computers to turn into televisions. Anybody can order a TV tuner card for their PC and has had the ability to do so for at least 10 years. Do you see widespread adoption of TV tuner cards? I didn't think so.

People use television and interactive media for completely different reasons and to fulfill completely different desires. I hope the other "transitionists" understand that.