For more than 80 years, European television has been uniting people in their consumption of content—reaching them in their living rooms, bedrooms, and pub and sports bars. And for over 60 years of that time, advertising revenue funded broadcasters, helping them create content that had us glued to TV screens.
Times are changing. The industry must adapt in order to maintain relevance in this era of multi-device, multi-platform content consumption. The days when panel-based measurement and linear television rating monitors revealed viewing figures in the multi-millions are over. Today’s consumer is no longer in a monogamous relationship with linear TV. We all enjoy content on our phones, laptops and iPads, at home or on the go, at a time of our choosing.
Detractors claim that the “death of television” is imminent. At Adobe we say this is far from the case—we simply need to develop new ways to measure content consumption across devices in order to inform and empower advertisers eager to effectively and transparently target today’s consumer. That’s why, six weeks ago, we joined the leading research and strategy consultancy, MTM, and a group of TV industry power players covering broadcast (Sky), data (TVbeat) and analytics (Alphonso) to form a consortium designed to explore TV measurement and personalisation needs in Europe.
The consortium has been busy hitting five markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Benelux), conducting research into the challenges facing the industry. Over 150 executives representing such industry leaders such as BT, the BBC, Deutsche Telecom, Canal+, RTL, Mediacom, OMD and Nielsen, were interviewed, with top line findings revealed today in a session given at Adobe Summit.
Television advertising is an almost €20B annual industry across the five markets visited by the consortium. Despite this, since 2010 the UK has experienced a 9 percent drop in daily TV viewing numbers on linear TV sets. The Netherlands and Italy follow with a 6 percent and 5 percent drop respectively. This period of significant change is due to pressure exerted by new entrants, the dramatic growth of multi-platform viewing and changing buy-side expectations and needs. Adapting to these changes is an industry wide business priority, necessary to maintain market share and relevance.
The consortium found that TV executives across the continent agree about the need for new audience data initiatives and metrics, and we’ve discovered that new TV audience measurement solutions are in various stages of development across Europe. According to MTM, the 150 participants gave an average score of 7.84 on a 1–10 scale (where 1 = disagree strongly and 10 = agree strongly) when responding to the statement: “Our TV industry needs to develop new audience data initiatives and metrics if it is to remain competitive and grow over the next 3–5 years.”
Jon Watts, co-founder and director of MTM London says: “The TV industry across Europe is experiencing a period of dramatic change, as TV viewing becomes more widely distributed and fragmented and barriers to entry fall. Data-augmented video buying is growing in popularity and scale. The industry is adapting well to these changes, with TV audience measurement improving across Europe, but there’s a strong consensus across most European markets that more is needed. Broadcasters increasingly need to leverage data to support and grow their businesses, developing new products, supporting improved targeting, and using data and marketing analytics to grow their multi-platform TV products. We’re confident that the industry will change with the times – but there’s clearly a lot to do.”
The Consortium identified five key priorities for the TV industry during the roadshow including the development of:
- Common advertising segments and targeting attributes across different pools of TV/broadcaster ad inventory, to deliver scale to marketers.
- TV audience data providing comprehensive and independently-verified consumption patterns
- New data sets and metrics (and associated products) to help bring new advertisers to TV for example SMEs, regional and performance advertisers
- Principles/methods for unified ad effectiveness measurement, ensuring comparability between different studies, and jointly develop ad attribution tools.
- New metrics and principles in areas such as viewability (e.g. 100 percent viewability for the full duration of the video) and brand safety (e.g. ad shown in a media-owner curated environment) to highlight TV’s unique quality and value.
“In this new world, it’s clear to everyone that experiences matter more than ever,” said Phillip Duffield, EMEA MD of Adobe Advertising Cloud. “Experiences are how you break through the noise and make a lasting impact. Audiences have more control and choice than they ever had when it comes to TV and marketers are challenged to evolve the way they connect with their consumers.
“To successfully continue to use the amazing power of TV to reach consumers, it can’t be about more, it has to be about better —better, more relevant experiences across the entire TV experience.”
Find out more about the Consortium’s work here.
For further details about the consortium, go to http://www.mtmlondon.com/.