One in seven people don’t tune into commercial TV during the weekday, says Roy Morgan.
Findings from the research company claim seven years ago it was just 6.9 per cent of Aussies who turned their eyes away from the telly, but now that’s more than doubled to 14.9 per cent. And the gap is widening, says Roy Morgan, particularly with 14-34 year-olds.
“Commercial TV is now unable to reach around a fifth of all 14-34 year-olds, and the trend looks set to continue,” said Tim Martin, general manager of media at Roy Morgan.
“In another seven years, it might well be a third. Already the very idea of ‘seeing what’s on TV’ at a particular time is beginning to seem a little archaic next to the massive libraries of niche, personally appealing content ready—by definition—on demand.
“Most viewers aren’t desperate to avoid any advertising whatsoever—it’s just that there are more easy ways to circumvent it, so why not record a show and skip through ads, download it, legally or illegally, subscribe to SVOD, or simply switch attention to the tablet or phone the second an ad break arrives.”
It’s a tough pill to swallow for the networks as the rise of streaming services such as Netflix have upped the competition.
Unsurprisingly, those with an SVOD (subscription video on demand) in their house watched less commercial TV than those who didn’t.
“Nine’s Stan and Seven’s Presto lag well behind Netflix in the SVOD market,” added Martin.
“After another rocky year on the ASX, 2016 may be do-or-die time for the networks to get a better, long-term understanding of how to attract and engage viewers and put the right ads in front of them. Without some self-reflection and innovation, commercial TV could perhaps find itself as a medium only for people taking a quick channel-surfing break from the burden of choosing between all the range and quality available elsewhere.”
Nevertheless, the research company pointed out that it still means the commercial networks are reaching the majority of the population.
“Commercial television has the biggest reach of any medium,” said Martin. “An in-depth knowledge of each show’s audience and their levels of engagement can give advertisers huge reach and impact in their target markets.”