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Did 2020 change the video world?

On the 25th February 2021, Thinkbox released their latest insight into the nation’s video viewing habits during 2020. As always, there were numerous useful insights for any marketeers that not only highlighted the prevailing power of live TV but also alluded to the future of broadcast video-on-demand (BVOD) and connected TVs.

Thinkbox analysis revealed that live TV remains the dominant form of video viewing, at 64% of 2020 video viewing for all individuals. 2020 actually saw an increase in the number of hours spent watching live TV to 3 hours 20 minutes per day! Even for 16-34-year-olds, where TikTok, YouTube, and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) make up a larger share versus the national average, live TV still makes up 36% of video viewing and is the highest single form of video viewing.

Thinkbox highlights that BVOD is a key channel especially for reaching younger audiences, with a 5% growth year-on-year (YOY), boosted by a further increase in the proportion of the population owning smart or connected TVs. Connected TVs have promised addressable advertising and the future of video viewing for a while. The access points continue to grow with traditional smart TVs alongside devices including ROKU sticks, Samsung TV Plus, and demand-side platforms such as Planet V

The rise of connected TVs is further illustrated by research from Magnite, which highlights the high uptake of connected TVs in the UK versus other European markets. Their study suggests that nearly 70% of UK adults preferred streaming their content compared to viewing on linear broadcast. With the potential reach on the rise for BVOD and connected TV offerings and with the superior targeting capabilities – should we be seeing advertiser spends accelerating across these platforms? Well, not quite yet….

It’s important to keep a balanced view of the various VOD offering, especially from a direct response perspective. BVOD and connected TV platforms are very much still in their infancy regarding measurement. We don’t have the same transparency as live TV regarding when impacts are delivered, making it harder to build data-based decisions on whether we’re driving incremental responses or measure the wider business impact from BVOD/CTV. Consumer responses are likely to happen via different devices, adding further complexity to measurement and attribution.  ARM is however leading the way in helping to solve these challenges, using unique approaches such as combining innovative statistical modelling methods alongside tailored media planning approaches.

On top of that, there’s still a hefty premium attached to BVOD and CTV pricing, with CPMs up to 10X more expensive than TV, which in turn drives up the inefficiency. Targeting capabilities may be better, but they are unlikely to drive 10x better response rates.

All Response Media viewpoint

The various VOD offerings undisputedly have great potential for the future, for some clients with a very specific audience or regional targeting requirement, they make sense to be at the forefront of media plans. However, for performance focussed clients with broader target audience groups and a close eye on efficiencies, linear TV generally remains the most cost-effective route to market currently, especially paired with our ARMalytics systems of measuring responses.

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