The TV networks are casting their differences aside and joining forces to create a brand spanking new research and marketing body called Think TV. TV executive and panellist on Gruen, Russel Howcroft, is spearheading the initiative as chairman.
While speculation was rife the free-to-air networks were on the cusp of linking up, nothing had been confirmed until today. Think TV will include networks Seven, Nine and Ten and subscription service Foxtel.
The new body will promote the benefits of TV, which has had a rather hard slog in recent years with the onslaught of Netflix and audience fragmentation. The Australian is this morning reporting many TV executives are fed up with hearing about the death of TV and want prove otherwise.
“Think TV is without doubt the most potent and collaborative initiative that television broadcasters have developed in 20 years,” said Howcroft in a statement.
“Much industry debate follows the ‘ping pong’ shifts in digital media with many assumptions then linked to television’s impending doom, assumptions which are fundamentally flawed. There is an urgent need to clarify for advertisers conflicting and confusing digital measurement claims and misinformation about the impact of advertising in many digital channels,” he said.
“It’s hardly new news but advertising in broadcast viewing environments – linear and digital television – remains amazingly resilient, effective and brand safe. Television is not going anywhere, it’s broadcasting everywhere.”
There’s no CEO for the body just yet, but an appointment is expected sometime in June.
Media commentator and academic, Professor Karen Nelson-Field, praised the new industry body, saying the TV sector needed something like this to re-establish its baseline, “a baseline that has shifted largely due to the falsely generalised sound-bytes from digital case studies that are quickly turned into ‘best practice’ – often by those who stand to gain the most from their acceptance,” she said.
“Despite the sensationalised claims that television has lost its sparkle, at the end of the day when buying media for the purpose of growing a brand, the two most important considerations are cumulative unduplicated reach potential and audience quality in terms of reaching more light buyers – television ticks both of these boxes.
“Have I become a television-only evangelist? No. I consider myself media-agnostic and think all media have a role to play. But I do think the pendulum has swung too far and each medium should be considered on its real merits.”
Think TV is to be modelled off the similar British version, Thinkbox, and will bring material examples to media buyers and advertisers of the benefits of TV.
“It’s incredibly cluttered out there for people and advertisers,” Howcroft added. “But television, contrary to popular commentary, remains unrivalled when you look at the amount of time people choose to spend with any content on any screen. Broadcast quality content is also a proven advertiser-friendly environment, which will increasingly become a rare concept.”