Making Traditional TV and Advertising More Competitive
Traditional TV, which includes paid cable TV platforms, is having a litte bit of a struggle blending in with modern life. People are more mobile and connected to the Internet, which takes them away from viewing content on their TV sets.
This issue extends beyond the United States; Other countries are dealing with it too.
Some governments have been working on solutions. However, one thing is for sure, some #traditionalTV advertisers and cable TV providers have been less comfortable than they were before. They have realized that online programming has offered people more alternative ways to view entertainment, and the entertainment that's being offered is getting consumers hooked.
As these new alternatives lure consumers away from traditional TV with lower prices, convenience, and strong content, the #cableTV providers and traditional TV advertisers will have to get more creative and strategic, in other words, competitive.
Europe Creates More Access
Europeans have asked a governing body that looks out for the general interests of European countries to be able to access their paid cable TV subscriptions while visiting other countries.
Here's why. A resident of England may take a business trip to Paris for a day, or a person may leave their home in Spain for a weekend getaway in Portugal. However, they weren't able to sit back and relax during their travels and watch some of their favorite shows on their mobile device.
So, in the early summer months of 2017, the European Commission responded to its citizens' requests for more portability. The concern on their end had been maintaining and adhering to copyright laws. The Commissioners held discussions earlier in the year, and ultimately, the governing body established new rules that allowed cable customers to access their content within and across borders at no extra cost. According to BroadBand TV News, these rules expanded to Internet Protocol Television customers, like Netflix watchers; Direct to Home providers, like consumers who have a dish that receives TV signals from a satellite; and, TV operators who offer an Over-the-Top media service, or #OTT, like the unpaid offerings on YouTube.
However, the Commissioners placed some restrictions. For instance, the rule applies to temporary visits to other countries; and, the video content must already be portable in the country where the consumer has their subscription.
Discovering New Approaches for Traditional Television
The European Commission hasn't been the only group trying to figure out the portability of cable. It has become a big deal in the States as well, especially because it effects advertisements.
The opportunities for people to see ads on cable television are limited to the hours they spend in front of the television. Today, more consumers have become accustomed to watching television on mobile and streaming devices. Traditional TV, which includes pay TV, is taking a backseat to top digital platforms, like Netflix and Amazon, as well as live streaming platforms, like Hulu and YouTube.
The portability of cable was the topic of the Keynote Conversation at NYC TV Week, or #NYCTVWK. Marcien Jenckes president/advertising at #Comcast addressed it at the Advanced Advertising Conference (#AdvancedTVAds) held in New York City in October. Jenckes mentioned that the question regarding the portability of cable comes up quite often within the industry.
Traditional TV watchers are shrinking and ad spending has slowly dropped, but the spending could become even less within the next five years as more people become cord cutters. These are people who have choosen not to have a cable provider.
In a way, traditional TV took its reach for granted, Jenckes assessed. Traditional TV and advertising have had high reach and high engagement, but there was little investment in targeting and data. In fact, Jenckes noted that television has the highest return, but for a long while it wasn’t measured. Ultimately, digital video earned its place at the table, he said.
Traditional TV didn't need to target and collect data in the past because it reached large masses of people, but today people have more options. Paul Morensen, founder and president of NuSpark Media, a strategic media planning and buying agency, believes that as long as you have data that you can marry with a platform that has some decent audience figures and unique shows you've got the perfect advertising medium. Morensen points to #Facebook as an example. Facebook's profiles collect personal information, such as birth dates, anniversaries and likes. Its #adtargeting helps advertisers to narrow in on people's locations, demographics, and interests. Facebook announced in the summer of 2017 that it would host its own original programming.
Now that the old model for doing business has been disrupted, executives at cable companies must consider what their companies will need to do in the future, especially since digital ad spending is expected to surpass ad spending for traditional TV.
A large amount of people still watch traditional television, though. However, more investment is needed in new forms of advertising so traditional advertising becomes more competitive, Jenckes said. This can be done through acquisitions and by making advertising more sophisticated, so it breaks tradition and becomes more measurable, accountable and targetable.