The re-emergence of TV as a shared viewing experience

In the days of old, when there was just one screen in the house, families used to gather round the TV at night and watch programmes together.  Mum or Dad were usually the ones who got to pick the programmes (unless they were caught at a weak moment), but everyone watched the same show as a group.

Fast forward a few decades, and the advent of lower cost technology led to everyone having their own screen – initially a TV of their own, and then more recently, a device of some sort that connected each viewer to a world of video choices. Viewing video became an individual experience; tailored for each person based on their personal preferences. A ‘lean-in’ experience they called it.

And with that came the ability for advertisers to target viewers based on demographic data. They were watching as an individual, so it made sense to target them individually.

Further advances in technology now appear to be moving the pendulum back somewhat.

43% of people have either a Smart TV or an alternative media streaming device (like a Chromecast) in the home. And the uptake of these has led to a massive change in the way people now view long form video.

Both Mediaworks’ THREE Now and TVNZ’s OnDemand platforms are seeing around 30% of viewing via a Connected TV.  And recent YouTube campaigns show around 20% of viewing on that platform is being done on ‘the big screen’.

So what does this mean for video advertisers?

It means we need to remember that, although we can target by individual demographic characteristics, we may be reaching a broader audience than intended (depending on who’s account is being used).

It means that, if we want to capture people in those ‘lean in’ moments, we need to consider device targeting on top of demographic targeting.

And it means that, if we’re trying to reach a broad audience on the big screen, in order to achieve effective reach, a layer of Connected TV is required.