Most audiences, 85% or more, still consume linear video via television in the UK, however the remaining 15% are considered “early adopters” with consumption habits spread across multiple platforms and devices. The New TV Ecosystem panel sponsored and emceed by SpotX explores how to tap into the evolving habits of consumers. An insightful quote from Lee Sears, Vice President & Head of Commercial Innovation, Viacom Velocity International: “Here at Viacom…we are making sure our content is everywhere our audience expects it to be.” Lee
Ben Williams, Digital Director, The Box Plus Network from Apple, agreed, “Anyone that is looking into the long-term forecast, looking at where millennials and the younger generations are consuming content, it’s across mobile, it’s across connected devices, it’s across game consoles. So, I think what you have to do as a content business is just make sure the content you’re making is still relevant for your audience, but more importantly, that you are there. That your content is on the devices they are consuming it with.” Ben went on to talk about how they’re making “short form content” for the younger audience and how that is an approach that is thriving.
TV Player is finding that “Freemium” content is most often considered on mobile, but when consumers pay for more premium or specific content, it is consumed on a television, most often with an Amazon Fire or an Apple TV. Rob Hodgkinson, COO, of TV Player, with a primarily millennial audience, sees consumption equally fragmented across laptop, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.
The audience is still consuming video but the “opportunities” are more varied for providers in how they reach their audience. Of the linear consumers, they’re finding more options for engagement with their content on mobile platforms. Of the mobile consumers, they are finding linear content introductions via mobile platforms and being brought into the linear audience. This thought from Lee was expanded on by Ben, “Content is content” and can be edited for a new content strategy. Once content is created for a linear platform, not only can it be edited for social, but can be made relevant for different platforms. For example, a 30 minute show can have a 1 minute-edit for a Facebook video, creating a content-engagement circle.
An audience question regarding the limited ability to get “return path viewer data” from linear viewing, versus more easily obtained mobile viewer data, was answered by the ability to gain data from the cross-platform consumer “conversations” around consumption, and now combining that data with the traditional forms, such as Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) data. Regarding the conversation around linear content, Lee of Viacom says, “You can’t have the second screen without the first screen.” The conversation online doesn’t happen without the original, linear content.