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THE MEDIA APRIL 2018

TV PLANNING TV : Tried, tested and tenacious The transforming TV landscape seems to benefit consumers, offering them an array of choice and even possibilities of self-expression. But does it provide advertisers with any benefits? BRITTA REID takes a look at media planning in a multi-screen world. Many forecasters sketch an apocalyptic view of the future of television, citing the explosion of channels, the diffusion of audiences across an increasing array of devices, the disruption of linear viewing by VOD, the predatory incursions of SVOD (e.g. Netflix), as well as in-feed and online video as lethal challenges. The difficulty of measuring total audiences across all platforms, and inconsistencies in defining ‘viewing’, further compound the problem. This transforming landscape seems to benefit consumers, offering them an array of choice and even possibilities of self-expression. But it does not seem to provide advertisers with many benefits. “Over and above the hundreds of channels offered by DStv, SABC and e.tv (the traditional players), there are OTT providers like Netflix and Showmax. Then there are the likes of Black from Cell C and similar content offerings from Telkom and MTN,” says Chris Botha, group managing director of The MediaShop. “The options available to consumers with a good data line (fibre) at home are endless” so it has become “much harder to really reach the topend consumer with traditional advertising”. Concurring with this, media consultant, Bridget Good, also points to the challenge of time shifted viewing, and a general “repositioning” of TV as a channel in the digital landscape, and identifies the younger market segment as yet another difficult-toreach target. These difficult to reach young and affluent viewers are revelling in an abundance of video material. “Consumers are watching more video now than ever before. We know this,” Botha affirmed. He continued, “So our approach has to be to look at video communication, and not just linear TV. In other words, a ‘video plan’ contains a mix of TV plus YouTube plus Facebook plus GDN, etc. – to build reach against the top-end consumer.” ‘TV is audio visual’ Group managing director of Vizeum, Kelvin Storie, believes “TV is no longer TV, it needs to be viewed as audio visual. With this mindset in place, the spectrum and wide variety of audio visual comes into play – linear viewership, cinema, digital OOH, online video, streaming…”. This broader notion of video goes some way to assist in building reach against the connected consumer, but it also presents some challenges of its own in the digital sphere, where concerns over fraud, brand safety and loss of trust have been raised by major advertisers. While it might be tempting to view online video as a lower cost substitute for TV, it is clear that not all viewing is equal. A mobile screen provides a far inferior viewing experience than a 50” HD plasma TV, and that is without even considering whether the advert is viewed in part, or full. Results of the most recent Establishment Survey (Jan-Jun 2017), suggested that South African viewers across the SEM spectrum continue to enjoy watching TV on a traditional screen and live. Viewership on alternative devices remains below 10%, with cellphones being the most popular, suggesting that convenience trumps viewing quality. Viewers prefer watching live and on a TV set (Past Week Cume) 92.6 89.4 96.3 94.4 96.1 94.6 95.4 94.3 97.1 96.0 15+ SEM 7 SEM 8 SEM 9 SEM 10 TV set Live % Source: ES Jan - Jun 2017 The Media | wagthedog.co.za P 29


THE MEDIA APRIL 2018
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