The Current State of TV with Greg Angland, a Broadcast Vet

January 24, 2014

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Explain what is happening with the current state of TV?

Today, the television landscape and viewing options available to consumers and marketers are seemingly endless. Apart from traditional broadcast and cable, options include Netflix, DVR, YouTube, Amazon Prime,  Apple TV, Roku, Hulu, Webisodes, VOD, DVR, Slingbox, tablets, smartphones, web streaming, Smart TVs, Aereo, Satellite, WD TV…we could go on! Needless to say, the way viewers consume their content has, and is, constantly evolving.

Although things are always in flux in this space, a few certainties remain and dictate change. First, we are an on-demand society. We want to watch what we want, when it’s convenient for us. Secondly, now more than ever content, especially exclusive content, is king. Lastly, our attention is now being shared between watching TV and our passion for our mobile devices and our digital lives. Can you remember the last time you sat through a TV show without picking up your smartphone or tablet to send a Tweet or update your Facebook status?

IAB takes us through dual screen usage in the diagram below:

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Do you think people are still watching traditional TV?

Although we have an ever-expanding ecosystem of TV and video distribution channels, the notion that “no one” is watching traditional TV is completely false. From Q1 ’09 through Q1 ’13 the average time spent per person watching traditional TV is down less than 3%*.[i] Take a look at the below table outlining weekly time spent in hours and minutes by age and demographic. Traditional television continues to be the highest consumption platform; representing 70% A25-49 of time spent, compared with other media/entertainment activities. If you include time-shifted viewing, that number jumps even higher to 78%. Looking at the younger audience of 18 to 24 year olds, traditional TV and time-shifted viewing remains strong at 67%.[ii] 

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Consuming video online and through mobile sources continues to increase, especially among those 35 and below. There is no doubt that it will be an important piece of the future for viewer consumption, as well as for marketers and media plans. Today, digital video is absolutely part of the landscape with 7% of 18-24 year olds consuming this way. This trend will only continue, especially with giants like Google and Amazon initiating discussions around distribution of networks and specific content.

What do these changes mean for marketers?

As the television and video landscape continues to evolve and expand, the ability to reach prospective customers utilizing just a few tactics will become increasingly difficult. Now campaigns must be developed to deliver across varying channels in order to achieve maximum reach and impact, incorporating traditional spot as well as digital video.This leads to increased creative development and associated costs. For example, the unit standards, lengths, talent and messaging fees have varying requirements, which will require multiple versions of content to be produced.

The space will continue to evolve as rapidly as consumers adopt new technology and platforms. Effective advertising strategies will need to be equally as fluid and integrated cross-channel to connect and engage with consumers in meaningful ways.