Focus on Effectiveness to benefit from the evolving Video landscape

TV 2

Medialab’s response to Ofcom’s Media Nations Report, 2023.

There are many headlines emanating from Ofcom’s latest Communication Report, mostly centered around declining viewing of Broadcast / Linear TV from older audiences. On the back of ITV’s challenging H1 results last week it makes for difficult reading in some parts.
What is not surprising to see is the continued expansion of video across platforms and all age groups as people connect with content that resonates with them on their own terms. The increase of Video-on-demand services, such as ITVX (driving a 24% increase in digital ad revenue in H1 2022) and BBC iPlayer, and the fact that older people are diversifying their viewing with streaming services, show that video is evolving at pace.

And while we have seen a decrease in people tuning into Broadcast TV, it’s encouraging that consumers still value this channel when it comes to key news moments. From an advertiser perspective, Broadcast TV remains critical for many. Not based on historical preference but driven by the very latest techniques in marketing effectiveness – from advanced approaches to spot matching and attribution, to isolating the impact of brand investment in TV at driving both short and long-term value – from consideration through to sales. No other platform can arguably deliver at such scale and with such effective, modelled ROI. Our brilliant friends in Out of Home will argue otherwise, but TV is still the Broadcast champ for many. The significant growth of BVoD is welcomed and has been proven through numerous Medialab effectiveness studies that it provides a valuable, incremental audience to the Linear TV audience and that it drives both consideration and unlocks incremental sales. Whilst consumer viewing behaviour continues to evolve at pace, so does the importance of accountability and agility in advertiser investment.

With Smart TV penetration constantly growing in the UK and somewhere close to 70%, the video viewing experience continues to fragment across all audiences, and it is maybe no surprise to see a slowing in the take-up of subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services such as Netflix and Disney+, surrounded by the ongoing household financial uncertainty that means that streaming consumption is more considered than ever. There is a valuable audience there and the opportunity for organisations like Netflix is to create a transparent, data-driven framework for advertiser access if they are really committed to unlocking ad revenue. YouTube continues to succeed in this space, and we are seeing great success for clients in measuring the incremental audience delivered through YouTube vs. a linear campaign. Like BVoD, it is complimentary, agile, and accountable. Principles that all advertisers should be demanding in an environment of changing behaviour but where value and discount are prevalent.

What is also clear is that the major broadcasters ITV, Sky and Channel 4 are not sitting back. They are investing, collaborating, and measuring harder than at any time before.

And a final thought for the audio market that continues to go from strength to strength, driven by commercial radio who had the best-ever Rajar results this week.

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