The New York Times writes:
In the next few years, this ”personalization” will become only more and more pronounced. The television industry is in the process of updating its means of distribution by converting to digital signals, a changeover that presents new opportunities for networks to create multiple new lineups and channels (for example ABC, ABC HD, ABC Family) to serve all the new fragments. Within a few years, you should be able to, if you can’t already, satisfy any impulse, passion or modest enthusiasm through your television. Meanwhile, that typical Nielsen family that now has a hundred channels to choose from may soon have many hundreds more.
Whatever this transition means for TV viewers, it has different implications for advertisers. In recent months, in fact, a host of executives from big corporations, most notably Jim Stengel of Procter & Gamble, have begun publicly demanding that measurement companies like Nielsen and Arbitron provide better information about audiences. These advertisers don’t mind talking to smaller groups of Americans. In fact, companies like fragments. The more specific an audience, the more confident they can be of reaching out to and persuading its constituents. Specifying like this makes it easier to justify advertising expenditures. ”What we’re looking for is not just ratings but the receptivity to the message,” Beth Uyenco, the U.S. director of strategic research at OMD, one of the big media-buying agencies, said. To Uyenco, HGTV is an ideal place for home products, for instance, just as ”Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” on Bravo offers a good place for grooming products. ”Fragmentation can be a challenge,” Uyenco added, ”but if you have a very niche brand, it can be a blessing.”