TV: Last 10 years vs Next 10 years

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Media & Advertising

TV is universal. It is ultimately considered vital for the living room. However, it is important to understand that the way it is being consumed has changed considerably over the past 10 years — in terms of how it’s viewed, where, and when. Today’s TV viewing experience is more interactive, shareable in real-time, and more consumable.

Consumption and mediums

The number of mediums in which TV is watched has erupted and become immensely popular during the past few years. This popularity is mainly due to the control given to the consumer over what they watch and the level of personalisation that comes with it. This causes pressure on cable companies as services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu offer an undeniable TV viewing experience, while also creating their own content.

TV today can also be consumed wherever you are — whether you’re on the train, at work, in the bathroom, or at a dentist appointment — and this is mainly due to the portability of TV through different devices. Studies have shown that the most popular devices used are tablets/iPads or mobile phones, with a lower percentage opting for their laptops.

The demise of traditional TV

The role of TV is vulnerable as anyone can create great content. With the rise of Youtube, prosumers could use a GoPro to capture great footage, edit the content with a laptop, and upload it. Other companies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple offer a significantly large amount of content even though it is not at the core of their business. For instance, Google’s core business is search, but they also deliver 4 billion hours of video per month through YouTube. And this is due to the understanding that success in media is centred around media content.

Advertising on TV

Brand advertisers understand that when buying TV, despite the technological growth in consumption, it has been proven that there really is no replacement for the ultimate TV viewing experience. Details, however dismissive, play a huge role in the way advertisements are perceived. A relatively good ad bases a majority of its focus on audio, as sound is more likely to capture the consumers attention during an ad break where they might be ‘multi-screening’, as opposed to the smaller percentage of visual attention caused by peripheral vision. On Demand TV such as; BBC iPlayer, 4OD, and ITVPlayer, have also proven to get younger people to talk about advertising through their mobile phones via Twitter, Facebook, etc — e.g. X Factor.

Implication 1: There are those who will never be a part of the digital world, ex: older people. Hence TV remains as the only way of targeting these consumers by their age or socio-economic factors. TV offers exactly that — it allows you to reach almost all homes within a day. However, its effectiveness can not be measured as well as that in the online world. It is also important as it allows for mass consumption of the same product with a universal message. For example: Oreo’s Tweet Heard Around The World during the SuperBowl in 2013 — a great tweet only because everyone was watching the same content on TV at the same time.

Oreo’s famous tweet during the SuperBowl 2013 reacting to the power cut.

Implication 2: TV is morphing into ‘digital’, which means its easy to measure and target audiences. This allows for brands to spend on TV and use storytelling to create emotional connections, which will ultimately lead to ‘digital’ media (apps and websites) where the consumers gain more info for their decision making process.

Thus, big brand television is still attracting a large audience, even if they are spread across different platforms, and this means that big brand advertisers will continue to see TV as the rock of their campaigns.