It has been a significant couple of weeks for our understanding of the developing TV landscape. The convergence of TV and Internet technologies has been spoken of as some kind of future event for the past 15 years or so. Now, more than ever, we can understand it as something that has happened and will continue to develop.
The over the top global TV platforms continue to scale.
Netflix announced a global partnership with Liberty Global giving access to a further 30m homes worldwide driving growth beyond the current 29m subscriptions outside the USA. Additionally, RBC Capital Markets reported that 42% of UK internet users used Netflix to watch TV/Movie content in the past 12 months, compared to 54% for YouTube and 62% for the BBC iPlayer.
In terms of high-profile content, Amazon announced a launch date of November 18 for ‘The Grand Tour’ maybe the most prominent global reach show to date for an OTT platform. Twitter streamed their first live NFL Thursday night football match between the NY Jets and Buffalo Bills. In the VR space, the first VR Emmy went to the Oculus Story Studio. We are now witnessing premium content propositions, in virtually every genre, being made available through these new platforms being launched every few weeks.
On the other side of the convergence coin, the traditional broadcasters and platforms have been taking advantage of new technology led opportunities. At IBC in Amsterdam, Sky recently discussed the launch of Sky Go UK inventory sold via the Videology platform on a programmatic basis enabling brands to access content such as live English Premier League outside of traditional broadcast.
At IBC a range of new TV screens were launched that go beyond 4K into High Dynamic Range, Wide Colour Gamut and Ultra HD. Content in these cutting edge formats is more likely to be initially delivered over IP rather than broadcast.
It is not just a zero-sum game, these platforms drive each other.
Nielsen in the US report that increased viewing of related content on YouTube drives viewing of a TV show. Consumers are happy to bounce between platforms, especially on the same device, to create a more personalised experience. Measurement of this behaviour is now a global scale challenge requiring new methodologies for TV measurement, in-store attribution and cross-device targeting.
We can now see a path to better monetisation of video impacts delivered over IP. No longer are they something that is hard to measure, scale and trade. Consumers have taken to new platforms and formats, especially younger and more affluent consumers. Global platforms are creating and distributing some of the most high profile and sought after inventory. Brands can now also access that high-quality content through a range of new buying mechanisms.
Convergence has positive impacts on TV, we just need to frame the opportunity a little differently.
This was very much the focus of discussion amongst the media and advertising community at IBC. It is now especially relevant to have a deep understanding of many audience segments. Through conditional insight, testing different hypotheses and experimental design, we can recognise brand differentiators through value creation mechanisms. A clear measurement framework that operates across devices, platforms and approaches is now the most critical challenge to deliver on the opportunity of the post convergence TV/AV landscape.