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TV Industry Learned a Lot in 2012, Including Lessons About Zombies and DVRs Ad Age

The television industry is wrapping up 2012 after learning some lessons about how audiences' tastes are changing, reports Brian Steinberg in Advertising Age.

"If 2012 taught us anything about TV, it was that anyone who still thinks this technology should be centered around a family watching in the living room at a preordained moment is stuck in a time warp," Steinberg writes.

Among the biggest lessons learned this year are that zombies are a threat to television networks, with the success of AMC's "The Walking Dead" drawing premium ad pricing and challenging broadcast hits such as "The Big Bang Theory."

"If cable can develop a few more shows that prove appealing to the fickle young men that broadcast works so hard to reach, marketers may move more of their money in its direction," Steinberg notes.

Another lesson was that DVRs are falling out of favor with viewers as cable and satellite companies boost their VOD demands, according to the report. The popularity of Netflix and Amazon's streaming service is allowing consumers to get "nearly anything they want (at least in the realm of video) at their beck and call."

Another lesson the industry may take away from 2012 is that the country might be getting tired of singing and dancing competitions, Steinberg notes.

"[I]t seems implausible that the 2013 TV audience is going to arrive in the droves necessary to fully support a cycle of 'Idol,' two cycles of 'The Voice,' another season of 'Dancing with the Stars' and a third outing of Fox's 'X Factor,'" Steinberg writes. He adds, "Maybe the networks could cull one of these shows and put on a clever comedy that looks a lot like ABC's 'Modern Family' but not too much like it, if you know what we mean."