Tech viewpoint on TV on command
A view from George Peters

Tech viewpoint on TV on command

In a recent Tech viewpoint, Rightster’s Charlie Muirhead quite rightly pointed out that the "success of one channel needn’t come at the expense of another". Shortly after this, we did some research that provided proof of his assertion.

The numbers show that 35 per cent of people plan their evenings around the TV schedule, five million more than four years ago – demonstrating a shift back from TV on demand to what we call TV on command.

Appointment-to-view TV and second-screening mean people now want to watch their favourite programmes when they are aired, not later on catch-up, so they can be part of the conversation as it happens. However, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that viewers who are watching TV as it airs are doing so with the rest of the family. This is not the case.

There are a number of technological factors pushing this behavioural change. Explosions in platforms, connectivity and devices have had a huge impact. Being out and about does not necessarily chain you to watching catch-up TV downloaded to your iPad.

One of the main drivers of media on the go is connectivity with 4G, which is predicted to become available to 98 per cent of the UK population by 2017. There is also the growth in provision of free Wi-Fi absolutely everywhere.

It looks like the next big phase in portable device development is going to be the phablet

But, obviously, it’s not just about what you’re connected to, but also what you’re connected on. It seems ridiculous to think that the tablet may already be slightly outdated, but it looks like the next big phase in portable device development is going to be the phablet. While the phablet isn’t new, sales in the category are expected to be driven by the iPhone 6 Plus.

And it doesn’t have to stop there. Looking further into the future, you could quite easily imagine one of Google’s self-driving cars having a windscreen that is actually a connected TV, allowing you to watch your favourite programmes while sitting in traffic, instead of getting high blood pressure.

So, what are the advertising opportunities? The growth of second-screening turns advertising from a monologue to a dialogue. Technology allows the user to access more content, which means more dwell time for consumers with the brand, but it also helps to drive convergence and get the consumer closer to the point of purchase.

While it is brilliant that video on demand and video-sharing mean we never have to miss a second of content ever again, amazing content, greater connectivity and better devices are working to keep the joy of live TV pumping. Advertisers that count one platform over the other, instead of treating them both as powerful media, are going to miss out on some brilliant opportunities.

George Peters is the associate director, broadcast at Carat