- Thinkbox app for iPad
- Getting Started on TV
- TV Effectiveness
- TV at a Glance
- TV Technology
- TV Planning
- TV Toolbox
- TV Ad Galleries
- Screen Life: The View from the Sofa’
- Tellyporting: travelling to TV's near future
- Payback 3: ad success in tough times
- The link between creativity and effectiveness
- TV Response: the new rules
- The Truth about Youth: TV and young people
- TV Together: a very social medium
- Neuroscience: creativity, media placement and the brain
- Me-TV: the future of on-demand
- Upside to downturn: sharpening your ad payback
- TV sponsorship: a brand’s best friend
- TV & Online: Better together
- Generation Whatever
- Secret Life of Students
- DTRs - A Love Story
- Engagement Study
- Shareholder Research
- 3rd Party Research
- Audience Measurement and Data
- The Thinkboxes
- Case Studies
- Nickable Stuff
- Events and Training
- Hot Topics
- About Us
The proliferation of TV technology in recent years is at an unprecedented rate, allowing viewers more options than ever before. With the excitement around the introduction of the Ipad, the increase in the number of laptops and broadcaster catch up TV services improving over the last couple of years the phrase ‘TV Anytime, Anywhere’ seems finally to be coming to realisation. With Internet connected televisions becoming more common and 3D TVs beginning to enter living rooms we realise that we’re on the brink of a very new landscape. Thinkbox commissioned Decipher to investigate this fast approaching new world.
We explored 2 main areas. Using our previous work on the relationship between TV and online in 2007 and Me-TV looking at the growth in online TV in 2008, we were able to track the changes in behaviour for such things such as concurrent TV and online usage as well as discover new emerging behaviours such as social networking on smartphones. The second area we investigated was the impact of new technologies on a handful of mainstream families who were tellyported into the near future to find out if and how their viewing changed and their thoughts on how TV advertising could work in this potential new environment.
In order to determine the current landscape as well as track changes in device use and behaviour since 2008, we carried out a 3000 nationally representative survey of those in digital TV and broadband enabled homes representing approximately 70% of the UK population. In order to get a better understanding of TV viewing in the future we tellyported 5 mainstream families into the year 2013 kitting them out with a variety of equipment from Internet connected TVs, mobile media devices and Sky homes receiving 3D TVs and subscriptions. We interviewed them before and at the end of the 6 week period to gain insights into how their viewing changed if at all.
In addition we also interviewed 5 early-adopter families who already have this equipment in their homes to find out their opinions, why they purchased these devices and how they consume television as a result, and also to understand how early adopter usage of these technologies differs from more mainstream behaviours.
Results – The five main themes
Being able to compare our quantitative results to those of 2 years ago meant we saw some interesting changes as well as new behaviours emerge. The qualitative insights also helped us to identify five clear themes about how TV is likely to be consumed in the near future.
1) Consolidation of viewing
We saw a real growth in online TV viewing, 80% of our sample had watched a TV programme online compared to only 64% who had done so in 2008, and they appear to be doing it more frequently. We also found that online TV is no longer an activity confined to the young; as broadcaster websites become more popular, the mainstream population is now logging on as well. What is interesting is that despite the plethora of ways to watch TV now, we still found that the overwhelming reason to watch TV online is to catch up. In fact, 89% of our online TV users state catching up as the primary reason for watching TV via the internet compared to 78% just two years ago. It’s not surprising then that the broadcaster sites are the most popular destinations to obtain TV content, with all of them increasing the number of visitors from 2008. BBC iplayer remains the most popular site, followed by itv.com and 4OD.
This increasing importance of online TV as a means of catch up has led to a greater conformance around the linear TV schedule where content is viewed in order to watch next week’s episode on the TV set.
2) Hierarchy of screens
Qualitatively we noticed a real hierarchy in terms of how different screens were used. The TV screen was always the preferred way in which to watch TV content and web TV was very much used as a secondary option. In fact, most of the tellyported families’ VOD viewing jumped from the computer to the TV once they realised they could watch on demand content via their TV sets. Interestingly, despite the novelty of all the technologically advanced TV equipment they had in their possession for more than 6 weeks, we found that their viewing to live television changed very little. In fact, for the majority they felt their overall viewing increased as a result due to the greater opportunity to watch the TV they want when they want via their TV sets.
We did, however, identify many different platforms respondent’s view TV content on. Since 2008 games consoles have had the ability to stream TV content through providers such as BBC iplayer, ITV player, 4OD and Sky player creating a new platform in which to watch TV. According to our research, 11% of those who have watched TV online in the last 6 months claimed to have done so through a games console such as a Nintendo Wii or Sony Playstation.
A behaviour we first recognised in 2008 was the growth in 2 screening, watching TV whilst using the internet most often on a laptop. In this study we have seen 2 screening continue to grow as 75% of our sample admitted to watching TV and using the internet concurrently at some time, up from 64% in 2008. However, where as this was more of a behaviour driven by the young two years ago, 2 screening is now very much an activity all demographs partake in. The laptop’s role in the hierarchy of screens is primarily as a response vehicle, and as a social communication tool (although this last function appear to be under threat from smartphone adoption.
The emergence of smartphones and mobile devices such as Ipads in the last few years has meant a new second screen to use in front of the TV. Already 20% of our respondents had used a smartphone/mobile device to access the internet whilst watching TV. Indeed, using a mobile device to access social media during viewing was one of the main drivers of change, especially as many respondents felt that the TV screen was an inappropriate vehicle for social networking owing to its role as a household rather than an individual device.
3) TV and social media
Talkability around TV programming and advertising has always been one of TV’s main strengths but we found that social media is actually amplifying this. The increased ability to converse virtually via a mobile device or laptop whilst watching live TV means that people no longer need to wait for that ‘water-cooler’ moment the next day.
Rather than distracting people from what they are viewing we have found that online conversation is getting people closer to the programmes (and commercials) they are watching. In fact, the ability to twitter throughout a favourite programme or talk about it with your friends via a social media website like Facebook means people are keen to watch these shows live so that they don’t miss out.
This is especially true of the younger audience, the 16-34’s – more than 80% of them engage in online chat when watching TV, most of it on a regular basis.
4) Drive to live viewing
The 3 themes above all lead to this 4th finding which is the positive effect they are having on linear TV viewing:
- The opportunity to watch content via several different platforms means viewers are able to catch up with programming they’ve missed in order to watch the linear schedule the following week.
- 2 screening provides an opportunity now for immediate action as a result of seeing a TV ad making TV for the first time a real point of sale medium.
- Social media has allowed viewers the ability to further interact with the programmes they love and is driving live viewing as the desire to take part in the conversation grows.
5) The new TV advertising landscape
As the number of households with internet-connected TV’s grows so does the opportunity for new TV ad formats. Our qualitative respondents were able to see the benefits of having an ‘enhanced’ red button type service where the ability to ‘click to watch more’ or watch the ‘making of the ad’ could be used.
One of the main benefits respondents saw in living in an internet-connected television world was the opportunity for task-unintrusive advertising. Potentially being able to ‘click to watch later’ or emailing further details about a product/service advertised with the click of a button without taking you away from the programme you were watching.
Although the Facebook app on TV sets was disliked by almost all the families due to its clunky nature and the lack of privacy using social networking sites on a social medium like the TV, some potential was seen. The opportunity to ‘click to like’ an ad or programme onto your Facebook page via the TV was seen as a good idea, especially as it didn’t take them away from the programme they were watching..
In fact, all our respondents expect to be able to respond – as long as it doesn’t interfere with their viewing enjoyment. The fact that they can click once to respond to anything they see – whether to download content, bookmark websites, share their opinions or even purchase the product – makes them far more likely to do so and appears to give them a sense of empowerment over the advertising they consume.