Digital Killed the TV Star
Television is by essence a mass media, able to deliver both programs and commercials to millions of viewers at the same time. Since its inception and accessibility to the public at large in the 1950s it’s been the star of families’ households …But that was until digital media killed the TV star.
From an advertising perspective, the rise of computers, access to the internet and digital media brought, in the 2000s, finer targeting possibilities to brands, and more KPI metrics for advertisers to track marketing campaigns’ performance. In the following decade, as they could better monitor return on investment and found greater value for their money, adspent began to shift in favor of the Internet. Even though TV programs kept offering the most qualitative audiovisual environment for brands to advertise (so that TV remained haven for Branding purposes), it definitely suffered tougher competition and struggled to maintain the same level of advertising investments. Global digital spending overtook TVs by 2017 and in 2021, for the first time, digital accounts for more than half of total advertising investments, while the share of television has dropped to a third.
SVOD, AVOD… BVOD
The proliferation of digital video and the rapid shifts in consumption habits also started to reshape the TV advertising ecosystem in the early 2010s. As OTT platforms, devices and connectivity have now developed, consumers increasingly consume video content online. Viewer consumption behaviours now continue to drift toward digital video platforms, and by consequence, so does ad spend. Today, Advertising VOD, once limited to Youtube and User Generated Content, is earning its stripes and establishes itself as a major business model for VOD platforms beside Subscription VOD and Transactional VOD.
Threatened by both this consumption shift and the rise of the AVOD model, the 2020s see broadcasters come up with a couple of innovations : The first one is BVOD, a terminology of their own (for Broadcaster VOD), BVOD is an AVOD based model for online TV content. With BVOD, Broadcasters ensure qualitative content inherent to television, Brand safety and digital targeting capabilities to advertisers. This way, they can defend their safe haven whilst exploring the digital ecosystem.
The second is ATV, the latest step of TV digitalisation and a major change of paradigm. As advertisers also expect to be able to reach their core audience across linear TV through efficient, cost effective and data driven tactics, Broadcasters started leveraging the data collected by TV providers, and the connectivity of Smart TVs, to develop addressable TVs.
While TV advertising provides reach within TV shows, while BVOD ensures digital features to TV content consumed online, ATV brings data and digital targeting to traditional linear television. These innate advantages of digital advertising were, until now, unavailable within the traditional TV environment.
ATV already weighs 10% of total TV advertising revenues in the US, and is gaining momentum across Europe. It covers different features depending on the country and while it’s common for German viewers to have digital banners on their linear TV feed and to have programmatic buyings for TV ads, France’s data driven inventory, for instance, is not yet eligible for RTB.
To this day, ATV hasn’t unleashed its full potential yet and it remains an underutilised strategy for advertisers. Also Now is the time for advertisers in Europe to leverage the opportunities created by this new medium. By offering digital access to premium linear content and reach, standardised measurement and reporting, and seamless, data driven buying options, ATV advertising clearly offers the best of both worlds. Now Brands and agencies must be willing to invest and experiment with it in order to continue pushing digital media innovation forward.