Mediatel shared a particularly insightful webinar on the future of TV advertising recently. ‘The Power is in your Hands – How consumer behaviour is shaping the future of TV’ was delivered by Andy Jones, Head of Agency Development at Samsung Ads Europe.

The session focused on the rise of Advanced TV and its potential to deliver more choice through personalised content, demonstrating how consumer preferences will increasingly shape what the future has in store for TV and the subsequent emergence of new advertising models.

The evolution of the TV landscape

The 80s were dominated by a small number of key broadcasters producing and distributing content on a mass scale. More competition and proliferation came in the 90s with the introduction of satellite and cable. As with other media channels, the internet has been the big disrupter through the 2000s, making it easier and cheaper than ever before to share and access content.

Netflix then changed the landscape permanently when they changed their model from posting DVDs to streaming content online. Crucially, this established a direct to consumer relationship, which in turn created a new breed of competitor. The tech giants such as Amazon, Google and Apple then moved to investment in content and making that content available on multiple platforms and devices.

Fragmentation brought on by the rise in the volume of apps and content now means significantly more choice for consumers. Therefore, discoverability and navigation has become increasingly important for competitors and advertisers alike. The battle is on for the consumer’s attention.

Current shifts in TV viewing behaviour

We can look at a holistic view of one platform using Samsung’s data, based on 5m ad-supported TVs in the UK plus their 44m across Europe. The data presented from Q1 of 2020 showed that of the largest proportion of light TV viewers, 42% were watching 2 hours or less of traditional TV per month. Broken down further, 28% were light linear viewers and 14% were watching no linear TV at all as they were chiefly heavy streamers/ gamers. Samsung has seen this number steadily grow every quarter across Europe. They have also seen the demand for connected devices (such as set-top boxes and streaming devices) decreasing due to the growth of Smart TVs.

However, it is worth noting that whilst linear TV sees increasing challenges it still dominates daytime and peak dayparts when compared to VOD – this was borne out by Samsung’s compelling US data. This continues to evolve and the current Covid-19 situation will undoubtedly increase the pace of change too.

How can advertisers make sense of this change?

As we know, TV is an excellent canvas for advertisers to build brands and communicate messages with viewers. But with connected TVs more akin to the digital world and consumers now in charge of their viewing experience, advertisers face increased opportunities and challenges in their targeting, measurement, and effectiveness. Connected TV’s have unlocked new data sets and sophisticated targeting capabilities as well as offering quality content at scale. New opportunities arise for advertisers to connect with consumers, complimenting their viewing choice rather than disrupting it.

What does the future hold?

The shift from linear TV to VOD will be a growing trend as we see more connected TVs, streaming services, quality long form content and 5G becoming more prominent in the market. This continued innovation will bring new opportunities for advertisers to connect with their customers and put them at the heart of what they do – via smart targeting and insight capabilities. Despite these changes, what consumers want will not fundamentally change; they will still demand engaging content, served on quality screens at their own convenience.

If you’d like to discuss your content and TV advertising strategies, please get in contact with a member of our team.

Sharon Wright, Group Account Director