The Continuing Evolution of TV Viewing Habits

By Beth Hurrle  | 

Television viewing habits continue to evolve as consumers become more accustomed to accessing content on any screen and device. Newly released statistics indicate that more US television households have access to a Netflix subscription than those who use a DVR, like TiVo or a set-top cable box. In addition, new figures from the US Department of Energy reveal that the average number of TVs owned by US households is declining as the average number of mobile devices is going up. These stories are part of a larger narrative about the continued evolution of TV, a narrative that requires advertisers to think differently about the TV and video advertising experience. Here are three takeaways to help guide advertisers’ own evolving approach to this new era:

Consumers don’t just watch “TV” using their TVs
Following decades of precedent, it’s still tempting to think about consumer viewing habits in “silos.” TV budgets go in one bucket, while video and mobile campaigns fall into another. The reality is that consumers aren’t making the same distinction, and they’re likely to follow their favorite content to whatever screen or platform is most convenient in a given moment. Thankfully, advertisers have a growing range of options to reach consumers in “TV-like” viewing situations using smartphones, “over the top” apps and connected televisions.

Streaming video services aren’t going away
Netflix may be the biggest winner of today’s time-shifted viewing environment. And advertisers are justified in worrying about the popularity of a service that is ad-free. But Netflix is far from the only player in the streaming universe. Rather than ignore streaming services, advertisers should investigate the growing range of free, ad-supported streaming video services. From the omnipresent YouTube to other offerings like Yahoo’s ad-supported Hulu experience, there are plenty of options when it comes to reaching consumers in new digital TV viewing environments.

Ad creative needs to be scalable to all platforms
At a time when more consumers are flocking to mobile devices and digital services to view content, it’s all the more important that advertisers demand scalable creative experiences that transfer across platforms. Not only do these consistent creative experiences make media buying easier, they also simplify measurement, ensuring more accountability and better results.

The rapid change that is reshaping today’s TV experience demands creativity and adaptability from advertisers. But as new technologies and habits emerge, this change is also opening up incredible new opportunities as well, opportunities that today’s advertisers look ready to embrace with open arms.

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