Consumer technology has evolved over the past few years. Fibre and 4G rollouts have delivered faster broadband, and the availability of digital devices has changed the way multimedia is consumed. It is now commonplace for people to:
The media landscape, which has become heavily fragmented, has already netted its first high-profile television casualty. BBC Three, the broadcaster’s flagship youth channel, has ceased broadcasting on traditional platforms, instead offering its service exclusively on the BBC iPlayer. Is it because television isn’t ‘cool’ anymore? Fragmentation might cause discomfort amongst the commercial broadcasters that rely on advertising to survive, but global ad spend is expected to top £270 billion this year and the television share will continue to grow. This will be driven by the availability of tangible demographic data. It will enable broadcasters to generate real-time data and use this to provide compelling advertising packages which hit highly-targeted audiences. YouView, for example, provides its IPTV service via a connected set-top box. It gathers significant amounts of data that provides valuable insight into who is watching what and when. YouView is currently determining how Big Data technologies can mine this data for the benefit of advertisers. Hulu Plus, an American streaming television service, supports over 50 platforms from Smart TV’s to entry-level Smartphones. Similar to YouView, it gathers viewership data which it uses to sell targeted advertising packages. Tellingly, Hulu’s largest shareholders comprise traditional TV networks – NBCUniversal, Disney–ABC and Fox – and it engages measurement firms such as ComScore, Nielsen ratings, and Quantcast to track quantifiable ratings data. Are the big broadcasters quietly adapting their business models? On average, only one third of a marketing budget is spent on ‘Owned Channels’ – the affordable blogs, social media and mobile sites owned and maintained by the advertiser. The remainder goes towards traditional electronic or print media buys. It’s likely that for some time to come, the big creative idea will continue to drive successful campaigns and that television will continue to lead the mix. It’s too early to say if television really has lost its ‘cool’, but ad buyers are remaining faithful and Big Data is becoming its saviour.