TV is dead, long live TV

By Brett Poole | Sponsored
Getty

TV is on the consumer’s terms now. The advertising should be too. Data and technology are ushering in the new era of viewing — and it’s addressable, says Brett Poole, managing director of Finecast, part of GroupM.

“Good evening, and welcome to television.” Those were the first words uttered on Australian television in 1956, when we welcomed the television set into homes for the first time. A lot has changed since Bruce Gyngell said those words. But a lot hasn’t. We’re now staring down the barrel of a new decade, but before we talk about the future of television, let’s indulge a look back first.

TV fast became a dominant feature in Aussie homes, with shows that became household favourites and part of the fabric of Australian culture. Four Corners and Play School have been with us since the 60s. In 1975 the ABC brought colour to living room screens for the first time, the 90s brought subscription TV and the 24/7 news cycle and now, courtesy of Gogglebox, we even watch a TV show about people watching TV shows. That’s how deep our obsession with television runs.

The emotional power of TV to connect with audiences is undisputed. Everyone remembers where they were for historic events like the Moon Landing, when 9/11 happened, or Princess Diana’s funeral — because they watched it on TV along with millions of others. The Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics brought the nation together to watch Cathy Freeman light the Olympic flame in 2000, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard’s on-screen debate rapt the nation, Julie Goodwin winning the first series of Masterchef in 2009 changed foodie television forever, we all sat on the edge of our seats as Melbourne’s criminal gangs played out in Underbelly, and now Australia has been captivated by The Masked Singer.

TV has always connected people, and there is no doubt it will keep doing that for decades to come, but the way it connects is evolving. Whether it’s watching global politics or cultural phenomena happen, or being gripped by a drama unfolding, TV content is the focal point. Not the schedule it’s watched on.

Television still dominates culture in Australia, reaching 92% of the population every month, and while mass audience, shared viewing experiences on linear television still deliver the lion’s share of household viewing, there is an irreversible shift of consumer behaviour towards on-demand viewing. According to PWC, BVOD viewing is on the rise, up 43% a year from February 2018, and more than nine million Australians are already using connected TV devices like smart TVs and casting devices to watch TV.

Meanwhile, ThinkTV says, BVOD is up 35%, and experiencing record growth in terms of both audiences and advertising spend.

It all points to TV being on the consumer’s terms now. The advertising should be too.

Whether it’s viewers who can’t get enough of The Bachelor and Bachelorette, or the behind the scenes drama on The Block, avid sports fans who tune into Kayo for their fix on the field, or drama fans bingeing episodes back-to-back, everyone is streaming at home and on the go.

As TV audiences fragment across a range of platforms and viewing behaviours evolve, TV advertisers are grappling with how to continue making the best use of their most trusted medium.

But rather than spell the downfall of television — it opens doors of opportunity to reach audiences on the living room TV screen like never before. As viewers switch to on-demand, accurate audience data is more important than ever and unlocks the future of TV in a way nothing else can.

Data and technology are ushering in a new era of viewing — and it’s addressable. At Finecast we’re working hard to help change the way advertisers and viewers connect though TV by evolving traditional TV plans into modern TV plans that reflect the changing nature of television.

We process tonnes of data, household level audiences, first-party and third-party data from reliable and trusted data partners. This means advertisers can segment the audience, and reach the right people with relevant and timely ads, and audiences see things they are interested in.

Pairing the unrivalled reach and large captive audience of the living room TV, with the capabilities to enhance and target advertising to viewers and audiences delivers the best of both worlds — the power of TV, with the precision of data.
As 2020 approaches, the future of television is already here. It’s technology-led and planning it is data-driven. 

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