Reinventing the TV Model: Plan in the Works to Have Advertisers Pay for Commercials Based on People Actually Buying a Product or Service

Oct 10, 2017  •  Post A Comment

A movement is under way to implement a new advertising model with the potential to change how the business of television is done.

“A coterie of cable and broadcast TV networks have joined together in the hopes of unveiling an initiative that would employ so-called ‘attribution modeling,’ a technique that gives credit for exposure to specific ads over a pre-determined period of time, as a basis for individual deals between advertisers and TV networks,” Variety reports.

The model, Variety notes, essentially deals with the question: “What if advertisers paid for commercials based on how many people were prompted to make a purchase after they watched a specific ad?”

The initiative has apparently been in development in relative secrecy under the mysterious nickname “Thor,” but Variety notes that a number of TV executives are expected to declare their stand on it later this week. The report cites an unnamed source who’s familiar with the matter.

“This person declined to name specific networks involved, out of concern that doing so might jeopardize the group’s progress or prompt some of the prospective network participants to pull out,” Variety notes. “But the initiative work could add yet another yardstick to an industry struggling to devise new measurements for an audience that has scattered between traditional linear TV, streaming video, DVR playback and many other methods of consumption.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to Variety to read the full report.


  1. I see a problem on the supply side. What if the product or the creative is terrible?

  2. What about “image advertising?” Much of the money invested in marketing is spent creating or managing a brand. No other medium does this as effectively as television.

  3. This just sounds like a new name for the “per inquiry” advertising that’s been around for as long as I can remember. In the old days, you sent your money to the TV station (“Send $14.95 to ‘tapes’, PO Box 2815…”), and I’m sure that they have fancier technology now — but it’s the same basic idea.

    And the key thing to remember is that stations used “per inquiry” advertising to fill otherwise unsold slots because it generally worked out to a rate cut for the stations. So I have a hard time believing that this will be good for the TV business.

  4. How would you measure this ? And how would the providers (tv stations, networks, cable, etc.) verify the results. And how would you determine whether the purchase was ultimately inspired by TV exposure, on-line ads, on-line product searches or a combination of all. I know sometimes i see something on TV which interests me but I might not make the purchase until I see a good deal on-line…or (heaven forbid) in a Sunday newspaper flyer. This needs lots of work.

  5. There’s a phrase that comes to mind here. “Lead Balloon.” Or another one. “Snowball’s chance in hell.”

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)