Posts

Shifts in Viewing: Video Consumption Up, TV Down

How appropriate that Nielsen’s new Cross-Platform Report is called “Shifts in Viewing.” You would have to be insensate not to know that people are consuming  more digital video. We know it because our video content publishers are seeing rapid upticks in traffic. In summary, the report says that although TV viewing has declined, most sharply among young people, not only has digital video viewing gone up, but the total time people spend interacting with has increased. Therefore, as Nielsen says charitably, we should not look at this shift as a game with winners and losers, but instead as an opportunity for everybody. Opportunity indeed. This must be what newspapers were told when news moved online twenty years ago. I’m not sure the opportunity here is for TV stations as much as it is for advertisers, who now have a solid new channel, mobile video, through which to reach those customers who have disconnected from TV. And according to Experian Marketing Services, that number is now 7.6 million households — up 44% in the past four years. But not having TV reception doesn’t faze them. fact, year over year among the younger 18-34 demo media consumption has grown four percent overall, two percent among Hispanics, eight percent among Blacks, and ten percent among Asians.  That’s because the young are looking at TV-like programming on their phones and tablets..  Nielsen says, “We are seeing year over year overall growth in digital use of sixteen percent among persons 18-34 with fifty-three percent growth in digital video viewing. ” But the truth is that not only the young are increasing the amount of video they consume online. Fast growth is also reflected in the 35-49 group, and the 50-64 demographic is surprisingly the fastest growing group of digital video consumers. Digital video consumption in this group  increaed 60%. TV viewing is down in every age group. And we look for that trend to continue, because this report shows that the highest increase in number of hours spent consuming video are spent on either time-shifted TV or mobile phones. Once the time-shift pattern was established, it became only a matter of time before video shifted online, and especially to the smart phone. As a culture, we’ve made a shift and we won’t be going back. Indeed, as phone screens get bigger, we expect video viewing on mobile phones to increase even faster.

Nielsen Highlights Audience Shift

Nielsen’s 2014 Advertising and Audiences Report, available as a free download, highlights the complexity of reaching an audience that is fragmenting and changing. While this report still sees TV as garnering the largest share of advertising dollars, the growth in TV advertising is slowing down, and the prices for TV spots are declining with the difficulty of reaching the audience on many different platforms, most of them mobile.

TV as spend has grown only 3% over the last year, and the cost of a single 30-second spot has dropped $1000 over the past five years. Where will the money be going? To a diverse marketing mix that will probably change every year until marketers figure out exactly where the consumer would like to see their messages.

And that’s a new kind of consumer. After years of watching the Baby Boomers age in America and Europe, a new population is emerging; it is younger, more racially and culturally diverse, and more tech savvy. It is also global by definition, since so much TV is time-shifted and streamed.  Even people sitting on the couch watching the familiar TV set are different: 86% of smart phone owners are using a second screen while watching TV, and they are increasingly seeing mobile ads rather than those on TV. Media planners are adapting with cross-platform campaigns. But how do we measure which parts of those campaigns are effective? Nielsen says,

As accountability from the largest global advertisers is becoming 
increasingly important, marketers and media planners seek ways to 
optimize advertising efforts in a way that yields return on investment 
through measurable, quantifiable results that align directly with overall 
business objectives. While massive amounts of data are available, 
sorting through it all in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way that 
provides specific, ad-performance based insights is the true challenge.

Right. There’s data enough to drown a media planner, but which numbers matter?

It’s still an open question how best to measure these kinds of campaigns, but we’re moving with our customers toward something that makes them feel they are getting the ROI they deserve. For ZEDO and ZINC customers, the metric for our video ads  is now Cost Per Complete View, something we can easily track and provide to the advertiser on our network, and something advertisers care about. Our advertisers are definitely  concerned with unduplicated Reach across platforms, but as Nielsen adds, “Resonance,”  and “Reaction,”  — sometimes translated as engagement. If someone likes a video ad enough to finish watching it, the ad is almost certainly viewable, contains the right message, and carries that message with powerful creative. When you put an ad like that into a high impact format like InArticle, where it has the potential to reach a text reader,  you have what it takes to catch the attention of a premium mobile consumer.