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Unification of broadcast and digital is everything – priorities No.1 and No.2 for TV

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The Future of TV Advertising Global (the new name for the London edition of Future TV Advertising Forum, held earlier this month) is one of the best places to feel the pulse of the global TV advertising industry. It gives you a sense of the challenges ahead and the solutions available. Here are our key takeaways from the 2019 event.

Takeaway 4: Unification of broadcast and digital is everything – priorities No.1 and No.2 for TV

This will surprise nobody, but the message was often repeated at The Future of TV Advertising Global because it is just so important: the television industry must demonstrate de-duplicated reach and frequency across broadcast TV and digital, and we have to make it easier to plan, buy and report audiences as a whole, spread across every ‘format’, which means digital (including, importantly, connected TV), broadcast and addressable (addressable is now frequently talked about in its own right, despite spanning both TV and digital).

The siloes have to be broken down and it is also clear that on the sell-side, media owners are going to take what practical steps they can, individually, to enable holistic audience planning and buying even while they support wider industry initiatives towards cross-media standardisation.

Sky provides a good example, as illustrated at this event. It is introducing C-Flight to help converge linear and VOD on their own platform and provide de-duplicated reach and frequency across those two areas initially, with trusted third-party verification. The company is encouraging the use of C-Flight by other media owners, supports BARB’s Dovetail efforts, and also champions the work of EGTA to create consistent measurement.

Across the industry, small and medium steps are being welcomed, given the difficulty with taking giant strides.

Convergence of broadcast and digital goes hand-in-hand with expanding the reach of broadcaster digital, since the digital reach must be part of holistic media plans. Here is a killer statistic, shared by Kim Portrate, CEO at Think TV Australia, based on the figures now pouring out of VOZ, the multi-broadcaster next-generation measurement and planning system that goes live in February.

The number of 16-24 year-old Australians that television reaches between the hours of 6pm and 10pm is 11% higher than has been recorded on the old (broadcast-focused) measurement system. Several media owners predicted that the uncounted digital reach bonus would be dramatic when finally revealed, and they were right. The Total TV measurement is much bigger than the TV measurement.

This should help change the conversation with the advertising industry, and maybe put an end to headlines about the death of TV.

Jamie West, Deputy MD at Sky Media, talking about addressable TV, noted the need to understand the holistic view of advertising and not one campaign in isolation. For Sam Taylor, Head of Group Commercial Marketing at Direct Line Group, measurement is still a key challenge so that brands can calibrate the value that television offers within the wider media mix. “We are missing the opportunity to show the impact of linear with sponsorship and with BVOD to drive reach,” he suggested.

Lisa Walker, Head of Media & Sponsorship at Vodafone, highlighted the need to explain the relationship between multiple channels and outcomes and the interplay between them – all of which is hard. Without this, it is easy for senior management to defer to last click metrics, she alluded.

VOZ was outlined in detail at this event and you can read what it does here. Mark Frain, CEO at Foxtel Media, pointed out how a major sports event in Australia could be distributed via four media outlets, covering Pay TV, free-to-air, broadcast and digital. An agency will deal with each one but have no way to bring the separate audiences together in one place. With VOZ, life will be different, he reckons. “Now, they can select that content and then look at what that audience story looks like across all those platforms, and it is a de-duplicated audience. It means we start to move away from the negativity that has been around linear TV.”

Frain said that young audiences were down on linear but up overall (the Total TV figure). “We can take that story to the advertiser,” he pointed out. “We have a chance to showcase again how powerful television is.” Portrate added: “This is an opportunity to get back money that has shifted to YouTube. We are really clear about where we want to get our growth, and that is from the duopoly [Google and Facebook].


Read our full list of takeaways from The Future of TV Advertising Global 2019:

Takeaway 1: Television is back on the offensive


Takeaway 2: It’s not a question of if you follow the 60:40 rule, just how you implement it


Takeaway 3: Addressable TV is coming fast, as a complement to ‘national’ ads, not as a replacement


Takeaway 4: Unification of broadcast and digital is everything – priorities No.1 and No.2 for TV


Takeaway 5: TV is an activation medium, which makes it a uniquely full-funnel offering


Takeaway 6: The real magic is data-driven, audience-based buying


Takeaway 7: The future of agencies – yes, they do have one


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