Significant opportunities amid the complexity

Revealing the trends and behaviours redefining the viewing landscape.
30 June 2022
John McCarthy

Chief Marketing Officer

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The future for the delivery of TV and video content and advertising and the evolution of viewer experiences and behaviours exposes much complexity. We shine a spotlight on the opportunities and challenges for media owners, advertisers and agencies, as well as highlighting the implications for audience measurement.

Our latest report, The Future Viewing Experience, offers an objective appraisal of what the future viewing landscape could look like.

Too often attempts to look into the future can become hypnotised by shiny objects, by what technology can do as opposed to what people actually want it to do. Working with Research the Media, our objective was to provide a viewer-centric evaluation of where the viewer experience is headed and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

We see a future where:

The big screen dominates viewers’ streaming consumption

The smart TV set is now the primary driver of increased usage of connected streaming services such as SVOD and BVOD. Mobile is a well-established and dominant medium across many activities, but when it comes to streaming long-form content, it’s all about the best available screen. The era of set-top boxes is coming to an end and the battle is on for control of the main video delivery gateway into the home: the connected TV screen itself.

Global media brands will pursue ‘monolithic self-sufficiency’ with full control over supply chains

Significant steps towards vertical integration will define the long-term as global media owners seek to control the entire chain, from production of content to delivery into the home. The trend could signify a slowdown in content availability.

The fight for franchises hots up

Media companies are seeking a return on their significant investments in intellectual property by promoting franchises and capitalising on global and local fanbases. The internationalisation of culture and younger audiences’ love of sub-titles is ushering in an era in which local content can go global. 

Independent and regional production remain vital

‘Critical mass’ for a global service will be beyond all but a handful of players with valuable and extensive intellectual property, independent production will remain significant with smaller and niche players finding value in collaborating with others to compete effectively.

Beginning of the end for box set bingeing?

What was once an important USP is becoming increasingly uncommon as streaming services take a more broadcaster-inspired sequential release approach to flagship originals - helping drive buzz and prolong subscriptions. This trend is seeing SVOD services increasingly move away from ‘all at once’ release strategies and is even driving a reappraisal of the role of linear channels to aid content discovery.

SVOD and AVOD: the future will end in tiers

The video market is entering a new period of hybrid models, with many SVOD and BVOD services moving to both ad-free and ad-supported tiers. However, challenges lie ahead in not cannibalising core offerings and other hurdles are identified. Will this approach accelerate us towards a two-tier advertising ecosystem in which those who can afford ad-free environments become ever harder to reach?

Complexity of TV and video ecosystem is a threat to addressable advertising growth

Progress towards true addressability has been slower than expected and current capabilities and delivery opportunities are limited. However, if the complexity of the video distribution ecosystem can be effectively tackled, Smart TVs will move addressable forward, offering ‘transformative’ opportunities - as well as facilitating new forms of advertising.

Underpinning these and other important trends identified in the full report is the value placed on audience measurement, which is set to continue to evolve in line with market changes.

Whilst many of the trends we’ve identified provide exciting monetisation opportunities and value for the industry, there are also significant challenges and vital decisions ahead for everyone. We hope that the report will deliver value for all and informing new growth strategies over the coming decade.

The Future Viewing Experience is available to download here.

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