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TV is Changing Forever... But Is Your Brand Prepared?

Television has come a long way from black and white TV sets. From the first broadcast ad, boasting the ‘tingling freshness’ of Gibbs SR’s toothpaste in 1955, the digital age has reinvigorated many facets of the television industry, and continues to propel the industry towards further innovation. As television evolves and starts to include smaller, compressed agile screens, so too have advertising strategies began to shift and adapt to these technological changes.

The rise of digital also heralded a shift in the way in which we, as consumers, like to watch TV. Nestling into the couch for the regular 6pm soap opera seems to have been swapped for the early morning commute with Netflix in one hand and a coffee in the other. For marketers looking to cash in on TV’s lucrative advertising possibilities, the challenge takes the form of crafting compelling content that meets the changing nature of TV and engages consumers across all screens. Our latest report in collaboration with Sapio Research delivers a deep-dive into the current landscape of Advanced TV today and what consumers really think about TV.

Won Over by Tradition

From the flurry of excitement surrounding Netflix’s latest originals, as well as their rivals’ latest installments, you’d be forgiven for thinking streaming services have supplanted traditional TV as TV’s new titans. Considering digital streaming lives across multiple devices, and this compatibility with our increasingly on-the-go lifestyle, the focus on traditional & linear TV seems to have dwindled on a few core audiences.

On the contrary, our research actually revealed that traditional TV continues to prevail over its digital counterpart. When asked how consumers spend their time watching television, a large portion stated that traditional TV captures the largest share of TV watching (41%), whereas paid subscription services comprise 30%. Evidently, traditional TV’s advertising power still holds significant presence in the market, and while TV lacks the intricate audience and measurement metrics that advertising on digital platforms promises, the reach is much wider. Nevertheless - traditional continues to enjoy its reign, but the increasing rise of digital is gaining traction in the marketplace.

Digesting Digital Culture

Digital culture catalysed a shift in all forms of media, and is now inextricably linked to the lives of digitally native young generations. While traditional TV still captures the largest viewing time on a macro level, a closer inspection of our data reveals how this is broken down by age demographics. Those in the age group 66+ stated that the lionshare of their TV watching was made up by traditional TV (71%), whereas 45% of viewing time for those aged 18-24 was comprised of paid subscription services - showing that digital culture, intertwined with younger generations, is catching up to traditional TV. The increasing overlap between TV and digital culture is also indicated in the fact that 18-24-year-olds prefer to define Netflix et al as ‘TV’ (62%) as opposed to ‘Digital Video.’ (38%)

Refine Your Targeting

The changing face of TV means businesses need to provide better targeting capabilities in order to meet the demands of consumers today. Enter personalisation. With so many competing voices in advertising, ‘Ad Fatigue’ has become more than just a buzzword. Marketers now need to be able to penetrate the noise with advertising that is engaging and eye-catching. As consumer lifestyles and preferences change, personalisation has become a laser-focused way of reaching the right audience at the right time.

Additionally, following the implementation of GDPR, consumers are starting to become more aware of how advertisers make use of their data. From our own research, we learnt that 70% of consumers feel their data has become more valuable to advertisers over time. But when it comes to using data for personalised targeting, it seems there is a little more work to do. 59% of consumers stated that they felt they had been targeted with personalised advertising on TV, but only a fifth (20%) remember what brand or product this was related to. If we consider that 70% of consumers believe they have enjoyed a better experience with advertisers now that ads are more aligned with their lifestyles and preferences, we see just how critical personalisation has become in order to combat this so-called “Ad Fatigue”.

For now, we know the future of TV is not completely set in stone. But as consumer preferences and lifestyles change, it is important to reflect upon your marketing strategy straight away - CTV is available now!

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