Note: I posted this in 2005...
Not being software experts, Technology Review's recent article, The Impact of Emerging Technologies: "30 Seconds Is Too Long," misses the point. Arguing that television advertising will go the way of the dodo, replaced largely by mobile phone advertising, they fail to bring up the real kicker, individually targetted advertising.
Media that enable individually tailored ads will eventually supplant everything else. The Internet leads the way with its combination of cookies and script-controlled ad selections, but this type of technology could also be grafted on to digital TV, which already has built in spy-ware to record what people are watching (ostensively without correlating that with people's identities).
An image of what that might look like in the future was already shown in the movie "Minority Report," starring Tom Cruise. If you saw that movie, you know that televisions blurted out his name during advertisements in order to focus his attention on the ads.
Television is already way ahead, at least technologically, of anything mobile phones might offer to advertisers.[end of 2005 posting]
As far as the "spy-ware" is concerned, cable and satellite media have the advantage over broadcast media since they can see which households have TVs tuned to which station. That's how, for example, they're able to see how popular a given program is.