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Live TV still key in the Dutch viewing ecosystem

First of all, Fijne Koningsdag! Or Happy King’s Day, for last week. For those not familiar with King’s Day, it is a national holiday in the Netherlands to celebrate the King’s birthday. People don their orange apparel and take to the streets to sell

their unwanted belongings.dutch-tv-jpg

SPOT, the Dutch marketing centre for TV advertising, last year commissioned a study to be carried out by MWM2 on the role live TV now has in Dutch viewing. The survey was carried out in two waves; firstly the panel were asked to answer questions about their viewing everyday via their smartphone. The second phase was more in-depth and was based on interviews with the panel about the data they entered in the first week of the study.

The study was divided into six key findings which are outlined below:

Live TV is still integral to the Dutch daily routine

  • Watching live TV relaxes people and strengthens the feeling of being part of a group
  • Watching TV is seen as an activity in itself, regardless of what you are watching
  • There is not much difference in the live viewing habits of different age groups
  • Those under 30 years old are more likely to communicate about TV on social media

The consumer feels in control of their TV experience

  • Watching a TV set is still preferred; it looks better and is still a central point of the lounge
  • Digital TV and VOD (video-on-demand) give the viewer a feeling of control and convenience
  • Watching YouTube and videos on Facebook is not considered watching TV

Everyone is using on-demand capabilities to enhance their experience

  • Even older groups are using VOD technology within their TV routine
  • People differentiate whether an experience should be live or catch up; programmes such as ‘Who is the Mole’ should be live, but series are better on catch-up
  • Live TV still gives a sense of belonging

The attention given by consumers varies greatly on the content

  • Genres such as cooking or news are more likely to blend into the background; it is seen almost as an extra family member
  • Even when people are not paying as much attention, they are still receiving the message and are able to multi-task

Social Media creates solidarity and reinforces the desire for live TV

  • TV remains a central part of daily conversation and people show this through their social media interaction

TV advertising is accepted over online advertising

  • People accept that advertising is part of live TV and found actual adverts entertaining
  • Online ads were seen as a nuisance, people were in the frame of mind to watch something and find the advert overbearing or intrusive

All Response Media Viewpoint

Whilst the findings of the research seem to fit with other studies on the subject, it is worth noting that the panel for this research are classified as ‘innovators’ which is representative of 33% of the Dutch population. So although a wide range of age groups was covered, it is biased towards people that actively use digital and VOD platforms. Whilst the feelings may not be representative of the whole population, it does offer insight into how people might feel about live TV in the coming years.

The study backs up what the numbers are saying, with over 90% of TV still being watched live, and although there is a convenience and control element to catch-up TV, the enjoyment that people get from live TV still exists and is the driving force behind its continued viewing.

For advertising, live TV still dominates as the medium where people are most receptive, and is especially beneficial for response driven advertising. Firstly, people expect to multi-task whilst watching TV, and we have become adept at picking up on things even when the TV doesn’t have our full attention, going on a website or calling a number is therefore less of an issue than when we are engaged in catch-up content. Secondly, viewers expect adverts to be on live TV – they are more open to listening to the message than when served an ‘intrusive’ ad through an on-demand service.

Undoubtedly, these attitudes will change, and as people become more used to seeing adverts on catch-up/on-demand services it will feel like less of an intrusion. Until then however, advertising on live TV is still extremely effective, and consumers haven’t abandoned the remote control just yet…regardless of what Google says.