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While new-media/technology business plans and elevator pitches have forever salivated about how television was a $70 billion market ripe for disruption, actually television advertising cracked the $70 billion mark for the first time in 2011, up 5% from 2010. That’s right, folks: TV advertising is getting bigger, with no sign of slowing down. The reality is that the hyper-fragmentation of audiences is making television’s mass media appeal more enticing to advertisers. After all, as a wise man once told me: “Targeting is overrated; everyone buys soap.”

Considering that the Internet’s main promises are targeting and tracking, that’s a bad omen. In fact, you can almost argue -- no matter how reluctantly -- that the Internet, social media, tablets etc., are helping television grow. I watch more TV today than I have in the past ten years, even though I may occasionally have multiple screens on when I do. Indeed, according to Nielsen, 45% of tablet owners watch TV and use their tablet together at least once a day. A whopping 69% say they do so at least several times a week and only 12% say they never do this.

In other words, while we’ve certainly seen a shift of consumer mindshare from print, radio, and yes, television to the Internet, the jury isn’t only out on whether the Web helps or hurts television, as of now, the jury has rendered its verdict: the Web is definitely helping.

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