‘Turning the couch potato in to the golden egg’

Yesterday I attended the 3rd annual Future TV Advertising Forum – lots of future gazing and not all from a UK perspective but some good stuff relevant for us and our clients nonetheless.

 

In terms of Europe, the UK is leading way with emerging TV formats – we can look to the US to see where we are heading however (‘the future is already here, it’s just not widely distributed’ William Gibson).

 

I have summarised some key points below (there are a few media/marketing clichés for which I make no apologies – I will not  dwell on the chap who said that “VoD is a child and we are the village that needs to raise it….”) – both Virgin Media and Sky were present and are keen to work with us in 2012 to help shape the emerging TV ad market, so talk to me or your broadcast team if you want to find out more.

 

The question was asked ‘does TV still need advertising?’

·         32% of TV’s funding is from ads (46% globally), 25-30% for pay TV channels

And more importantly for us ‘does advertising still need TV?’

·         It provides powerful screens (centre of the living room, big screen HD etc…)

·         Unique, wide and quick reach

·         Such occasions are becoming more and more seldom therefore more and more valuable (14m+ viewing audiences are seldom seen in the UK anymore but 8m is still a regular occurrence and unique to the medium)

·         Is the main catalyst for owned/earned media, paid media boosts both and it has been demonstrated that TV + digital provides increased awareness

 

Mark Brandon from Virgin Media then spoke about their offering, specifically TiVo and big screen VoD whilst ‘content is king’, the ‘customer is queen’ (no really). He suggested that broadcasters and platforms should work symbiotically rather than battle against each other.

·         TiVo currently in 360k homes (target of 450k by year end)

·         25% of viewing not from EPG

·         5 of the top 10 prog searches are not in BARBs top 50

·         79% of users access an app 4.5 times/week

 

They have already partnered with Blackberry, Honda, Gillette, CapitalOne, Unilever and Lloyds TSB and are keen to talk to us about our clients….

 

Jeremy Tester at Sky was thwarted by the sun so couldn’t show his content piece (content is king remember) but reminded us of the TREsemmé case study (sponsorship and product placement in Britain and Irelands Next Top Model led to +34% increase in purchase intent in viewers compared to non-viewers).

·         Adsmart should be with us in 18 months time (ad serving different copy to different Sky+ boxes, it is already available on SkyPlayer so talk to your VoD champ to find out more).

·         SkyGo currently has 2m downloads and 30m views, only available on apple devices but should roll out to android and windows next year

 

Lots of discussion on measurement, not just what we need to measure but how. All agreed the need for a single currency and to break down existing silos (google kind of agreed with this) BARB are testing 2nd screen and VoD measurement in 100 of their panel homes in 2012 and hope to roll this out across their panel if it works.

 

The holy grail is still proving online video and catch-up TV adds incremental reach, from a single source that can be traded on. In the states AT&T research has demonstrated that TV and online provides 6% incremental reach (rising to 18% amongst 18-24s).

 

Bruce Hoang from Orange talked about ‘turning the couch potato in to the golden egg’ – we know people are interacting with content (Facebook, Twitter, Social gaming etc) but there is a need to connect all the dots rather than try and invent something new and further fragment the experience. Reward is key to increase interaction, NBC in the states currently reward viewers for checking in to their shows (exclusive offers, discounts) and a 16% increase in social buzz can lead to a 1% increase in TV ratings.

 

Tablets are in 6% of homes, 30% of usage is in front of the TV

 

Anyone can make a companion app to accompany a show…. Ed Couchman at C4 reminded us (again) of Million Pound Drop Live and more recently the buzz created around Desperate Scousewives (although it was suggested that the buzz was more in ad-land than with the general public).

scouse wives

 

Anthony Rose the founder of Zeebox (tablet app just launched in the UK which links the TV you’re watching to your social media) did not want to talk numbers at this stage but was excited by initial results and levels of interaction/’engagement’.

 

There was then some talk on addressable advertising see Sky Adsmart above) and the feeling that TV viewers were more likely to accept targeted ads on TV as they trust the broadcaster/platform more than an  ‘anonymous online ad-server’. Care will need to be taken over privacy legislation and not alienating the customer (who is queen after all…). TV will become nmore niche but with emphasis on live events and advertising in real time. It was recognised that specific targeting is absolutely possible within platform but the difficulty comes in coordinating across multiple devices – which leads back to the measurement mentioned above.

 

Finally it was noted that 2012 will see tough economic times (the rose-tinted view) and that more than ever advertising will need to be linked to ROI, but there is room for experimentation within the changing media ecosystem.

 

Posted by Tom Blaza @teblaza

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