People Don’t Watch Crap Anymore; The Industry Needs To Redefine ‘TV’

Man with big hair watching television


While the industry is all about putting TV into categories like ‘catch-up’, ‘SVOD’, ‘linear’, consumers don’t care about that, says Christian Kurz, senior vice president of research and insights from mass media company Viacom. To them, it’s just plain ol’ TV.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

Speaking a breakfast in Sydney yesterday for mammoth kids’ network Nickelodeon, Kurz explained how the industry is “salami slicing” TV, referring to TV in very specific terminology.

“As an industry, we really need to catch up with our audience who are already there, and we just need to change the language when we talk about these things,” he told an audience of media buyers and brands.

There’s no shortage of media attention given to the perception TV is declining, said Kurz, which he claimed is completely not the case.

Rather, consumers have redefined what TV means to them, and the industry has been left to the wayside.

“As an industry, we kind of need to follow suit,” he said. To consumers, it doesn’t matter whether the TV is watched on a big screen in the lounge room, or a puny device under the covers. It’s all the same.

And given the plethora of content available now on any of the various salami slice definitions, viewers choose what they want to watch, not just what’s on TV.

More access doesn’t equal more consumption though, said Kurz. “No one watches crap anymore.”

When it comes to how kids are tuning into the screen, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind linear TV – the LCD the comfy couch is pointed towards – is the main source for securing a few kiddie eyeballs.

However, research from Viacom saw a deeper penetration of tablets in Australia than globally.

If there’s access to tablets for kids at home, some 75 per cent of them will hop on, compared to the 64 per cent globally.

Smartphones were a lot less, with 54 per cent using the palm-sized devices in Australia compared to 65 per cent on an international scale.