The New Living Room: Taking Advantage of the Big Screen
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James Rothwell
By James Rothwell,
VP, Global Agency, Brand & Industry Relations

Headlines would suggest that TV is dead, or at least enduring a slow death.

The reality is that TV viewing is very different than what it was three years ago, let alone 10. How we define “TV” is still being debated. Is it the content, device or pipe that presents it to the viewer? But one thing is clear: with the proliferation of devices now powering TV content in the home, the living room dynamic has radically changed.

The new living room is a hybrid environment, home to the best of linear and digital television. While viewers are increasingly choosing to build their own schedules—comprising a blend of live, on demand and DVR—they tend to gravitate toward the best (and usually largest) screen possible.

FreeWheel’s latest Video Monetization Report (Q2 2018) shows that with every quarter, increasing volumes of digital and dynamically delivered video advertising are accessed via set-top boxes (STB) and over-the-top (OTT) devices on the big screen. This now accounts for 57 percent of all non-linear impressions.

As a result, the new living room is not only the point where traditional TV viewing and online content converge, but also the center of a multi-viewer experience. With numerous members of each household gathered around a single TV set powered by an increasing number of devices, the potential for ads placed within premium digital video and broadcast content is vast.

The power of TV, in all its incarnations, to drive advertising impact is greater than ever. Yet, so far, it remains underutilized by many advertisers. As TV evolves, knowledge and capabilities across the value chain must evolve, too.

KEEPING PACE WITH VIEWER HABITS

The advertising industry must adapt and catch up with the viewing habits of the modern consumer. Unfortunately, legacy organizational, technology and measurement challenges have prevented advertising from following the audiences.

With enhanced addressability capabilities coming to the big screen, advertisers should be following eyeballs and working around the technology limitations that exist today to capture reach and precision opportunities in the most compelling advertising environment: premium video.

These additional capabilities free the TV set from being just a pure top-of-funnel awareness driver, and enable more targeting and personalization to drive consumers down through the purchase funnel to action.

To help address some of the nuances and challenges created by TV’s evolution, The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video has released “A Buyer’s Guide to the New Living Room,” which is intended to help those in the advertising planning and buying world fully grasp the opportunities offered by OTT, STB VOD and addressable linear, and how a holistic approach can harness them.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Become a subject matter expert in the new living room to gain advantage for your clients while these channels are still nascent and growing
  • Create a plan using complementary channels to balance reach and precision, leveraging the common and unique attributes of each
  • Work through measurement hurdles and leverage the tools and KPIs that are available to access these engaged yet underserved audiences
  • Personalize messaging and manage frequency through addressable options with creative diversity on all campaigns delivered to the new living room
  • Optimize for scale by adjusting your KPIs for platforms as necessary such as viewability targets in channels that aren’t able to be measured

Globally, 81 percent of people use their TV set to watch broadcast TV at least once a month, making it the most popular media channel. Combined with streaming video (69 percent of all adults use the technology, but 86 percent of those ages 18-36), which is increasingly being viewed on the big screen, there is no question that the living room remains a core environment to engage with valuable audiences at scale.

As TV evolves and embraces the best of both linear and digital, there is a need to align video advertising delivery across common goals and tactics to deliver results, regardless of what your buying or selling approach has been historically.  

Only then can advertisers take full advantage of what the new living room has to offer in terms of quality, value and addressability.

You can download “A Buyer’s Guide to the New Living Room” here.

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