Forging A Path Forward For Advanced TV In Australia

Forging A Path Forward For Advanced TV In Australia
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In this guest post, dataxu’s ANZ country manager, Matthew Joyce (pictured below) argues adland and marketers are failing to keep pace with the rapid changes in television’s tech offerings, to their detriment…

In many ways, Australia has always been at the forefront of TV-related trends. In recent years, Over the Top (OTT) and Connected TV adoption has skyrocketed, and Oz achieved a historic switchover from analog to digital-only, free-to-air TV transmissions before the end of 2016. This feat was accomplished well ahead of neighbor Singapore, where the deadline for households to switch to digital TV had to be extended to the end of 2018.

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Backed by such impressive momentum, one would assume that Australia’s marketing professionals would be at the very forefront of the new TV frontier. Instead, the lack of mainstream adoption of a “TV everywhere” mentality is hurting forward progress. In order for Australia to fully realise the benefits of Advanced TV, industry acknowledgement of television content as simply content – that can be consumed anywhere – is key. Once this has been accomplished, pay TV operators, advertisers, media companies  and other marketing professionals will all need to play a role in moving Advanced TV opportunities forward in market.

Step 1: Adopt a “TV everywhere” mentality

Making “TV everywhere” a reality is about more than a consumer deciding to cut the cord. TV everywhere is the idea that lines have blurred between traditional linear broadcasts, recorded and time-shifted programming, and content that is streamed over internet-connected devices. Consumers are leading this charge. In fact, for younger generations, “watching TV” is no longer dependent on the source of that content. Viewers no longer draw a distinction between tuning into a linear broadcast on their set top box and turning on a streaming device, such as a gaming console, to watch one of their favourite series. It has all become one and the same: sight, sound and motion content consumption.

Step 2: Identify and take advantage of new opportunities

With this dramatic shift in consumer mentality around TV content, marketing professionals have been granted access to a plethora of new long-form content advertising opportunities. Savvy Australian advertisers are already trying to rethink TV from the ground up: from ways of measuring ad effectiveness, to new ways of audience targeting, and even new ways of understanding how to reach their target audience where that audience actually isnot where the advertiser used to think they would be (i.e. glued to their living room television sets after school or work). They see these shifting trends as a brilliant excuse for marketing professionals to increase the level of personalisation in their messaging. Consumers will continue seeing targeted marketing messages across all of their devices at an appropriate frequency. This will create a better experience for both the viewer, who sees only messages applicable to his or her interests, as well as advertisers, who are reaching a more relevant and engaged audience.

However, the marketing professionals who are having trouble adopting the “TV everywhere” mentality are struggling. They are stuck on the idea of whether these new TV formats fall into traditional TV budgeting and planning cycles, or digital. This has the effect of siloing budgets, messaging and creatives across two teams, and stops innovation before it even begins. To take advantage of the benefits of Advanced TV, marketing professionals must adopt to the consumer viewpoint of TV everywhere and treat long-format, live TV content and online video content as one and the same.

Marketing professionals who adopt this TV everywhere mentality will be able to provide consumers with a seamless experience, putting them ahead of the competition. And those marketing professionals who choose to apply programmatic omnichannel identity and data management technology to their buys will also be able to take advantage of new reach and frequency capping capabilities for television to cut down on more waste than ever.

Step 3: Collaborate on the future of Advanced TV

Advanced TV is set to be 2018’s biggest Australian media trend, with a role to play for Pay TV operators, advertisers, and media companies. This is a consumer-led change, and at dataxu we have seen the above categories of television ecosystem players embrace this new TV world at varying rates. Sky, with whom we work in the EU, is a great example of a company who saw the writing on the wall years ago and who now has more ways of measuring, optimising, and advertising through television in 2018 than it did 10 years ago. Some brands, agencies, and media companies–like Sky– have been very nimble in utilising new technologies to meet audiences where they are. It is these companies who are slated for maximum success in 2018. However, others are less agile. Pay TV operators, advertisers, and media companies each have their own roles to play in moving the TV industry forward–but in order to succeed, all three must work together.

Advertisers should push for more Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD) options. Currently, the majority of consumption of streamed TV content occurs through Subscription-Based Video on Demand (SVOD) services, such as through U.S.-based SVOD company Netflix. Subscription-based video adoption increased 10x globally between 2010 and 2016, and is expected to double by 2022 to 546 million. However, while SVOD offers a premium consumer experience, it does not provide advertising opportunities to marketing professionals. For Australia’s advertising industry to benefit from all the advantages that Advanced TV has to offer, they will need to find ways to help lead everyone (including consumers) towards greater availability and adoption of AVOD services.

Media companies need to provide standalone OTT services for marketing professionals. With their premium content and extensive reach, media companies are well-positioned to provide marketing professionals with targeted, premium opportunities to reach specific audiences at scale. New standalone services will enable more direct engagement with end consumers which will in turn enable marketing professionals to deepen their understanding of their target audience. These services will improve the consumer experience by offering more choice and flexibility, while offering media companies more opportunities to deliver value to advertisers through audience-based buys that are able to reach a single audience across both digital and OTT formats.

There are still quite a few things to work out when it comes to Advanced Television adoption as 2018 ticks along. But by embracing consumer-driven change and using technology to quickly evolve your business to follow, we’re confident media companies, agency professionals and advertisers alike can get to where they need to be before the year is out.

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