Navigating in a Cross Platform World

By. Peggy Conway, Vice President, Director of Media

Consumers have an insatiable appetite for video, and options abound, from YouTube to original online series to top rated prime on linear TV to a multitude of programs on demand. While traditional TV still accounts for the majority of video viewing (A 2014 report from Nielsen states that 283 million Americans watch nearly 146 hours of TV each month), online and mobile are where the growth is and we see a continued shift to online streaming. As digital platforms continue to emerge, media fragmentation continues to accelerate, making it increasingly difficult to reach a larger audience. What digital lacks in reach, it makes up for in personalization and advertisers can benefit from more precise targeting, higher engagement and interactivity available in the digital sphere.

Reaching Consumers Across Multiple Touch Points

One of the challenges we face is understanding cross platform viewing behavior and having the ability to follow consumers as they move from screen to screen or engage with multiple devices simultaneously. According to Nielsen, 90% of consumers are interacting with other devices while watching TV, primarily iPads and iPhones. The good news for advertisers is that about a third of these multi-taskers say their online activity is likely to be related to what they are watching. An example of this is the recent Game of Thrones finale. It made the Twittersphere explode with over 436,000 tweets seen by over five million people. Having the ability to reach consumers over multiple touch points leads to higher awareness and greater impact.

Age Matters for Media Consumption and Device Perferance

It’s important to keep in mind that content consumption varies by age group. You need to understand your audience and how each segment engages with media. For example, Adults 18-34 spend nearly as much time using digital devices as a whole as they do watching TV, while adults of all ages spend more time with TV than any other platform. A Google/Nielsen study recently found that among 18-49 year olds, time spent watching TV fell by 10 percent from December ‘2013-2014 while time spent on YouTube grew by 44 percent with mobile making up the largest portion of that growth. You Tube accounted for 51 percent of time spent watching premium digital video across desktop streaming, smartphones and tablets.

It’s not only about where people connect but when they connect. Consumers have a platform preference depending on time of day. The Q2 Nielsen Total Audience Report shows radio usage highest 6a-6p with a 40 percent device share during the 7a hour, surpassing even television. Between 6p-6a, television accounts for over half of all media use peaking at 9pm when it accounts for two-thirds of media use. TV connected devices e.g. Roku or Apple TV increase their share into the late evening. Video use on digital platforms is up 20 percent year to year with the greatest increase during the overnight and early morning hours when the ease and convenience of a tablet or iPhone is preferable to reaching for the remote.

Intergrating Media Campaigns Across Devices

The integration of campaigns across screens is important and will become even more so. Users expect consistent brand experiences across different devices. If someone engages with a device after seeing your TV spot, the content that sparked their interest should be easily accessible on that device and optimized for that particular screen, e.g. mobile ads should be brief.

Video budgets are predicted to continue to grow while planning is expected to become more holistic, likely merging online video and television buying groups. With that comes the challenge of unifying measurement. Industry players including the Advertising Research Foundation, Media Rating Council, American Association of Advertising Agencies and Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement recommend using a comparable metric across media such as gross rating points.

The media landscape has never been more complicated and marketers struggle with a host of issues e.g. the balance between traditional media platforms and newer media, media measurement and transparency and what media looks like in an increasingly digital world. As media professionals, we need to increase competencies, learn from one another, be more collaborative and rethink our respective roles. We need to integrate and we need to innovate.

Interested in learning more about how our media buying expertise can help your business? Contact us!