Navigating The New TV Landscape

Submitted by Justin Evans
March 7, 2019 / 12:36 PM

We’re thrilled to release a new white paper today that the research team and I have been working on for several months.

It’s called The New TV, and it represents an important step forward for our company, and, in turn, for our clients. We are seeking to rewrite the rules for achieving optimal results with TV advertising in an environment where TV has fundamentally changed.  In fact, it’s undergone such radical transformation that it deserves a new name—The New TV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how has TV transformed?  The first driving factor is content. Over the past 20 years, there has been an evolution in the quality and diversity of available programming. There is more content from more sources, including 495 scripted series (FX Networks, 2018) and over $67 billion spent (MoffettNathanson, 2018) on new programming in 2018.  In fact, we estimate that it would take someone a full year of round the clock viewing to watch all the content produced in 2018 alone!

The second driving factor is greater access to this content. A proliferation of viewing options across various devices and distribution channels – MVPDs, SVOD, TV everywhere apps, OTT, etc. – has transformed viewers’ TV experience. The ability to “binge” on both new and old content—from House of Cards to Full House—has led to an increase in viewing time. In fact, household viewing has actually increased by 43 minutes since 1983. (Nielsen, Average Daily Viewing.) So, despite the occasional noise in the press about TV’s demise, TV viewing is actually at an all-time high.

This suggests that The New TV is a superior advertising vehicle that deserves a critical place in advertisers’ media mix. But advertising strategies need to evolve to match the transformation in viewing behavior.

That brings us to the third driving factor, which is data-the foundation of The New TV strategies. While the proliferation of viewing options has made TV more complex, data can solve some of these challenges by making TV smarter. TV has moved from primarily a content-driven, awareness-building medium to a full-funnel solution with greater addressability and accountability.  

Over the past year, Comcast Spotlight has begun testing The New TV strategies with national and local clients, and has identified preliminary best practices that drive better results for advertisers. The New TV white paper shares some of these learnings.

The paper outlines a three-step plan for advertisers to achieve the best results in The New TV landscape:

  • Translate Knowledge into Data: Comcast Spotlight clients are the experts on their customers. We help them translate this knowledge into audience segments that can be used in advertising.
  • Follow Data to Take Advantage of All Premium Content: Tactics that have proven to maximize an advertiser’s reach include using a broader mix of networks, running schedules over a longer period of time and using complementary video formats.
  • Make TV as Accountable as Digital—Or More: As TV moves to a full-funnel solution, it can be used to influence lower-funnel purchase behaviors.  This coincides with greater accountability, as TV can now be tied to tangible outcomes and online activity.

Following these new tactics will require change for advertisers who have been relying on the same playbook for years.  And, as we acknowledge in the white paper, change can be hard.  Is it worth it?  The answer is a resounding yes.  We’re seeing that these new tactics produce substantially better results for our clients who are using them.  And while it’s still early days, and the best is yet to come, we look forward to working with our clients to forge the path ahead.

To learn more, please read The New TV: Redefining Video for Viewers and Advertisers.

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