The TV set has changed dramatically over the years, and while the future remains in many eyes healthy, it’s not going to get there doing the same thing it’s done for the last 10 years.
Speaking to B&T, Carat chief investment officer Ashley Earnshaw said the TV set is dead, but that doesn’t mean TV itself is.
“Maybe the TV set is dead. I think the TV set isn’t in great health but TV as a medium is doing just fine,” he explained.
“If it keeps doing what it’s doing it’s going to be in a healthy way for a long way to come. That said, there’s a few things that need to happen in terms of a strong local body, standardisation and also the government allowing local TV networks to compete on an even playing field with global businesses.”
Earnshaw talked about needing a local body to be a bit of a cheerleader for the television medium.
“I think there’s other things the TV industry needs to do in order to still be attractive to advertisers and attractive to consumers,” he admitted.
“I think the OMA (Outdoor Media Association) has done a great job locally. The outdoor industry has really profited from having a strong body championing it and driving innovation and listening to what the needs of advertisers are.
I think Thinkbox in the UK and the OMA are great examples of where bodies are championing the medium, and if there’s a medium that needs championing right now it’s the TV industry in Australia.
In terms of other areas where free to air TV needs a bit of back up, Earnshaw said the networks should be frenemies, not enemies.
“Coupled with a stronger local body a little more collaboration between the networks would be a good thing. Strong global competitors aren’t going away. And by that I mean not going up against each other with key shows.
“Within the same vein of collaboration would be television sticking to what has made it great and successful for so long. Consistent measurement, the same partners and a standard across all tv networks making for ease of transaction and a common currency. Let’s not make the same mistakes that digital made.
What made TV so attractive in the first place was that it was a unified medium that was sold in the same way, was reported in the same way, had a standard ad unit, and it was part of that that makes and made TV so successful. And I just see on the horizon we shouldn’t lose our way as an industry with that.
“But let’s not get lost in the headlines about ‘Death of TV’,” Earnshaw stressed.
“Wasn’t that VHS that was going to do that? FTA TV is working well to head off the challenges of a competitive content marketplace, with some networks ahead of others.
“TV consumption has changed from live TV only, to viewing on PVRs, to now online video and catch up viewing of television. The proliferation of technology has meant that people are expecting TV content in all the touch points that they use in their day.
“The FTA networks can keep up with this and there will always be an appetite for local news, local sport, local content / drama and current affairs.
“This is about TV content and the idea that TV is a set in the living room is a conversation we just need to move on from now.”