The trouble with the TV business is that even though more people than ever are paying for TV—whether it's on cable, satellite/telco, Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime Video—fewer people are watching it live. Broadcast TV ads are sold against live audiences. Without live audiences, advertisers go away.
For networks that rely on live advertisers (mostly: the broadcast networks), this should be terribly worrying news. Same-day ratings have been falling for two years now, according to Citi Investment Research (first graph below) and there was a 50 percent collapse in broadcast audience between 2002 and 2012 (second graph below).
Think about what that second graph is telling us. Broadcast ratings are down 50 percent in 10 years, but ad revenue is down only six to seven percent. For now, that buoyancy is good news for NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX. But in the long run, adjacent advertising goes where the eyeballs go, and the eyeballs are going away. Broadcast will need new ways to make money (besides forcing cable companies to pay more in fees).
If you can't sell advertisements around the show, what about selling ads inside the show? For years, viewers have followed TV fashion, and the Web has made it easier to build a community around your sartorial obsession with certain characters. Sites like Worn on TV can catalog every suit, blouse, and shirt, and ask viewers to vote on their favorite ensembles.