Rise of time-shift viewing and media meshing presents marketing opportunities and challenges 

With technology adapting at a rate that is hard to keep up with, time-shift viewing provides a way for advertisers to engage with consumers.

Television advertising is changing. With so many ways to watch programming today, on a range of devices and at a variety of different times, the industry has had to formulate new ways in which to target viewers.

While this may pose certain challenges to TV advertisers, it has also offered an array of advantages. Accord is a direct response advertising and PPC agency in Devon. The company highlights both the challenges and opportunities in today’s changing advertising sector.

Time-shift viewing

Time-shift viewing is on the increase according to BARB, the provider of TV viewing figures in the UK. Time-shift viewing is the recording of scheduled programmes in order to watch them at another time. Through recent research, BARB has reported that TV viewing now increases, typically over the four weeks after the initial scheduled broadcast. While 98 percent of all viewing takes place in the first seven days, a further 1.5 per cent on average was found to take place in the next eight to 28 days.

For some genres of programming, the increase in total audience was particularly noticeable. For example, children’s TV, films and drama were found to have an increase of up to 15 per cent in the month after the scheduled broadcast.

Time-shift viewing has been a major concern for advertisers in that people tend to hit fast forward to skip through the ad breaks. However, it has been noted that around a third of people forget they are watching at a delayed time and watch time-shifted ads at normal viewing speed. Additionally, if viewers see a particularly poignant or entertaining advert while skipping through, they will press play and watch it.

Some evidence by New Zealand’s TVNZ actually points towards the fact that the use of personal video recorders (PVR) to delay and watch content later has increased exposure to TV commercials. Fifty-four per cent of those involved in the TVNZ research noticed individual adverts despite the fact that they were fast-forwarding through them. Because PVR owners – who in the UK now amount to more than 50 per cent of the population – watched more TV programming, they actually increased the amount of advertising they were exposed to.

Media meshing

In addition to the way we now watch programming; both on the TV set and other internet-enabled devices, there are also statistics pointing to the trend in media meshing. This is where audiences indulge in another form of media or communication while viewing television programmes. Media meshing, as opposed to media-stacking, involves using an internet enabled device to talk about, or engage in the programming being viewed.

Media meshing might appear to pose a challenge to advertisers as individuals pay less attention to on-screen ads because they are too busy tweeting. However, it does allows advertisers to target specific niches more easily, through a variety of platforms – particularly social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. The use of other devices during TV shows is particularly virulent among the younger demographic.

The changes in the way we watch TV actually serves to make TV advertising more targetable, allowing advertisers to place ads based on age, gender and more, and track their successes more easily.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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