It’s a strange time for linear TV. After months of an ongoing writers’ strike, as well as the also ongoing actors’ strike, the fall season is here again but much of the programming is centered around reality, sports, reruns and, now, streaming hits coming to broadcast.

This unusual moment is likely adding to the ongoing perception shift of TV among marketers who may now question if they need TV rather than assume its necessity. Linear TV ads didn’t rank among marketers’ top five media channels in Kantar’s 2023 Media Reactions report; online video ads, sponsored events, digital out-of-home, video streaming and social media story ads took the top slots. (The same report found that marketers’ rank TV ads third when it comes to attention-delivering ad units.)

“We’re seeing a lessening of a reliance on linear TV with the notable exception of sports,” said Stacey Stewart, U.S. chief marketplace officer at UM, of the current video investment landscape. “We’re fundamentally seeing a shift in spending that’s following that trajectory and the pace of that is up. A lot of that is based on the strike. Are the eyeballs there? Is it worth the price we’re paying for prime for reality shows?”

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