Perspective - The year TV brought Australians together

By Kim Portrate | 10 November 2023
Kim Portrate.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

It’s been a big year for TV bringing Australians together for cultural moments that had everyone talking and smashing audience viewer numbers as a result.

TV has always had the power to connect with Aussies but in 2023, the Matildas reminded us all – advertisers in particular – of something we've always known: TV is a cornerstone of our culture and its impact is unrivalled.

The Matildas’ match against England will go down in history as the most-watched television program since TV ratings were established in 2001. The game reached 11.15 million Australians nationally with an average audience of 7.13 million, according to OzTAM.

And it’s not just sport that brings us together. From news to lifestyle and those shiny floor shows where everyday Aussies ‘have to be in it to win it’, Total TV remains the place we go to understand what's going on at home, and in the world.  

There are two reasons why Total TV has this sort of power: reach and the attention it commands from viewers. 

Let’s start with reach.  

Total TV reaches more than 19 million Australians every week. Yup, every week. Not every month or three months. Every week! And this 19 million includes over 74 per cent of 25-to-54-year-olds in the country.

Whether you’re selling products and services or sharing brand messaging, advertisers know the high-velocity reach can’t be underestimated. Sure, plenty of channels reach large numbers of people, but few can do it as quickly and simultaneously as TV. There is literally nothing else that can bring a community together like that. 

The second key reason is that TV commands attention like no other medium. 

People scrolling social media or watching six seconds of a pre-roll ad aren’t fixed on your ad like they are when it fills the biggest screen in their home or the device in their hand. Research shows time and time again that TV delivers twice the active attention of YouTube and 15 times the active attention of Facebook.

Being reminded of that combination of high-velocity reach and consumer attention has served to re-establish the power of Total TV in the eyes of many advertisers. Why? Because they know that brands that reach a lot of customers – new or existing – in a channel they are actively engaged in, drives business impact.

Looking ahead to 2024, TV will continue its transition from its legacy roots as becomes an even more powerful media channel with a bigger, broader ecosystem. 

This ecosystem is now built from broadcast, streaming BVOD, on-demand BVOD and FAST (Free Ad Supported Television Channels). The combination of that suite of assets makes it impossible to argue it's not a platform and impossible to dispute its appeal given it is available free of charge to all. A boon for everyday Aussies facing difficult economic futures.

Five years of transformation across the TV industry will build to a crescendo in 2024. 

The Total TV ecosystem that comes to market is extensive and, importantly, it must be accurately and independently measured. VOZ will give advertisers absolute certainty they’re getting what they pay for.

We've already seen the accreditation of the first third-party software supplier in TVMap and more are coming. That's going to make all the difference.

At a broadcaster level, many exciting initiatives will come to life in the new year.

At Seven, the birth of Phoenix will give advertisers the ability to buy audiences at the touch of a button. With access to inventory optimisation through an AI audience prediction engine, Phoenix is designed to deliver guaranteed outcomes creating a connected, seamless experience for marketers.

Nine is making life easier for small to medium-sized enterprises with the Nine Ad Manager. The tech platform utilises artificial intelligence and allows businesses to tap into Nine’s 20 million signed-in users for as little as $500 making TV even more accessible to brands of all sizes.

Meanwhile Paramount is using Australia as a test market for Shoppable TV. Smart TV users will be able to click through to an online store to purchase products. Its first outing will be during the 2024 series of Survivor.

2023 was a big year for TV but I have no doubt it will pale in comparison given how much work has gone into making 2024 the year Total TV accelerates from transition to complete transformation.

Kim Portrate is the CEO of ThinkTV. 

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