By Richard Foster, UK managing director, LiveRamp
The rise of on-demand streaming services has completely disrupted the television industry and the way in which content is consumed. Platforms like Netflix, ITV Player, Amazon Video and BBC i-Player are shifting the balance of power rapidly towards the consumer, who will become even more spoilt for choice in 2019 when Apple, Disney and Warner Media launch their on-demand streaming services.
Traditional television advertising becomes less effective in this rapidly-evolving market because advertisers can no longer rely on a predictable captive audience that tunes into a specific station at a set time to watch their favourite show.
Instead, there is a new generation of television audiences that can, and do, watch their favourite shows at any time, in any location, from a variety of devices. In fact, recent figures from Sky revealed that the number of connected devices per home has doubled in the past year, from four to eight.
Despite this surge in online content popularity, television is still regarded as the safest and most profitable form of advertising in the UK, accounting for 71% of advertising-generated profit. But this traditionally safe platform is being turned on its head, placing advertisers under increasing pressure to find new ways of bridging the gap between traditional and online platforms to remain relevant.
And the answer lies in advanced TV advertising, where personalised adverts are shown to different people who are watching the exact same content from separate devices, at varying times. Advanced TV advertising presents an exciting new frontier for marketers, who can for the first time ever offer their target audiences increasingly relevant and personalised content in a more creative and flexible manner.
This results in considerably improved insights and ROI measurement data (i.e. engagement, brand lift and conversions), as this granular type of attribution enables marketers to understand the true performance of their advertisement in more detail than ever before.
But is the local market prepared?
The UK has traditionally fallen well behind the United States, which is the global market leader in advanced television advertising and omnichannel user experience. However local players are making substantial investments to gain lost ground.
Sky is already pushing ahead with plans to sell ads programmatically in its video on demand (VoD) platform and in its addressable AdSmart platform, with similar plans for its future linear broadcasts. What’s more, following a recent deal with Virgin Media, the broadcaster will offer a potential addressable audience of up to 30 million people in the UK and Ireland within the next year.
But like any nascent technology, marketers are bound to encounter challenges arising from this rich new data. It is important that they get the most out of their campaigns by ensuring that they treat consumers like individuals, with customised messages that are delivered from anywhere in a privacy-conscious manner. All siloed data should also be connected to see omnichannel consumer journeys at the person level, thereby enabling optimised targeting and more accurate results measurement.
With the £5-billion UK television advertising market set to experience steady growth in 2019, marketers must prepare for advanced TV advertising to propel them to the next level of true omnichannel experience and stake their claim in this new era that holds considerable potential.
Graeme Hutcheson, Sky Media Director of Advanced Advertising, speaking at LiveRamp’s RampUp event in London, Nov 2018