Friday, 13 September 2013

TV Audiences versus Online viewing. You know which one is winning and growing, don't you.

You do get tired of a constant barrage of PR and in essence propaganda, from vested interest groups in the TV market, telling us that TV viewing is growing. In fact, it's getting better they say. TV viewing?

They've not learnt the lessons of the music industry, nor the book publishing industry, that instead of knocking digital, they can embrace it and make from it. Digital can be the saviour of TV as CBS are finding out. 

Tired and weary.

Sure, I have a vested interest in online video but I don't hide behind it, and I have a daily vested interest in Advertising. Traditional TV broadcasters do hide, producing Press Releases and Research under acronyms as "facts". And the reason I'm interested in online, as a former dyed in the wool Adman, is that I know it's where the eyeballs are heading. I still do traditional Advertising but I tell clients the truth.

TV stations are of course, afraid of online and video online viewership, so they have to keep telling a yarn that the online explosion isn't really happening, when it is. Understandable perhaps, but it's helping, as intended, to dampen advertising support online. Which is slowing online growth - but not for long.

However, advertisers are cleverer than that because they know the switch in audience away from traditional TV - simply from their own experience. Anyone with a child under 18, sees it everyday.

It might surprise some, but Clients are people too.

It's a simple fact that as Social Networks have grown, people are spending more time (notably in the traditional peak time evening viewing) on those networks. And if they're doing that, they're consuming less TV OR, watching it differently by second screens. Second screens clearly reduce the impact of advertising. It's just commonsense.

Online video is soaring. 

- 58% of the US stream (EMarketer) up from 20% in three years. 
- 75% of internet users are watching digital video (EMarketer). 
- 87% of people complete a video ad (that's from Nielsen) 
- "internet video ads have a higher impact than TV Ads" (that's Nielsen too). 
- "TV viewing is flat, steamers are watching more online video for longer" (IAB) 
- And digital is growing in that light 18-34 hard to reach TV audience (Nielsen). 
- Light TV viewers are shifting online quicker (Nielsen). 
- 145 million people in the US watch video online compared to 290 million who watch TV. And that was in 2012 (Mashable)
- YouTube has over 1 billion viewers a month (Daily Mail) and "more 18-34's watch YouTube than any cable TV channel". 
- Online video advertising is expected to grow +40% this year (Business Insider) 
- Americans aged 12-34 are spending less time in front of their TV's (New York Times) 
- Netflix now has 33 million subscribers (that's paid for viewers who are more valuable to advertisers). 
- "Households abandon cable and Satellite TV for streaming" (Forbes).

Will I go on?

The point too, is that all the opposing arguments are based on data - nobody is lying - but it's how you interpret that data for your own PR purposes is the issue. As someone said, if 40% of car accidents are by drunk drivers, then sober drivers are more dangerous.

It's not the data - it's how you use it.

So a word to media planners and buyers. A word to marketing managers and brand managers. A word to Admen. Use your commonsense.

TV isn't dead....but it's dying. 
You know it and so do I. 

Do you think you'll ever buy a TV again? You won't, you'll buy a connected TV for online content which in a lot of cases, simply won't show traditional TV programmes. If you own the device (like Apple will own Apple TV), you'll own the content and that's broadcasters biggest fear - distribution. It could close them.

You pay to get on the App Store. You'll pay for access to connected TV as a content provider IF they want your content. And they probably won't.

Look at data and ask yourself why it has been given to you.
Question it.

Time for a change.